Awfully Good: Turbo Kid
Turbo Kid (2015)
Director: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell
Stars: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside
A kid living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland is granted abilities like his favorite comic book superhero and uses them to explode many bodies and save the girl he loves.
It's not easy making a B-movie on purpose. There's a very fine line between creating something that feels naturally fun and trying too hard to the point of parody(ala KUNG FURY). TURBO KID takes that risk with gusto and not only comes out unscathed, but produces something legitimately great—a superhero movie that's more entertaining and heartfelt than those with 100 times the budget.
Some of the vehicles seen in the MAD MAX: FURY ROAD deleted scenes were rightfully cut.
If RAD and MAD MAX fell in to a vat of toxic waste, the ensuing slimebaby that emerged would be TURBO KID. It's a loving and colorful homage to the 80s post-apocalyptic genre and is filled with all the cinematic staples of the decade you could ever want: TERMINATOR-style cyborgs, Verhoeven-levels of violence, BMX biking, over-the-top arm wrestling, a great synth score, and even Michael Ironside. There's no ironic mockery of any of these things, just a genuine love of the genre and a desire to make something that would fit in that canon.
Someone call Nicolas Cage, because Michael Ironside is a national treasure.
The movie also constantly pays tribute to the films that clearly inspired it. Fans will recognize bad guys straight out of THE ROAD WARRIOR, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and even Rufio from HOOK. There's dialogue culled from THE KARATE KID and ARMY OF DARKNESS and a mask clearly inspired by the Sean Connery stinker from ZARDOZ. You even get a creature not unlike the Sumatran rat monkey from Peter Jackson's DEAD ALIVE. It's fun to spot all the easter eggs, but the movie doesn't rest on it's references alone. There's actually a real, imaginative story along with fleshed-out characters, which is truly surprising for this kind of flick.
Rufio's mom was always looking to bangarang.
TURBO KID takes place in an alternate version of 1997 where the world has been ruined by acid rain and war. Drinkable water is the main commodity and villainous tyrant Zeus (Michael Ironside) murders people and grinds up their bodies to turn in to H20 and control the Wasteland. The otherwise nameless Kid is one of the inhabitants there, a loner who salvages old relics of society. His days of boring solitude come to a close, however, when he meets Apple, an unendingly cheerful and strangely naïve girl, and then stumbles upon a super suit belonging to his favorite comic book character Turbo Rider. Soon the two, along with Frederic, a champion arm wrestler with a constant supply of tough guy one-liners, find themselves on the path to a final showdown with Zeus.
The ghost of Macauly Culkin finally got his revenge on Elijah Wood in THE GOOD SON II: SON OF THE GOOD SON.
It's a goofy premise no doubt and aside from Ironside you probably won't recognize any of the performers. But the cast understands the material and brings the right amount of enthusiasm and heart to TURBO KID to make it all work. For example, Apple honestly should've been a terribly annoying character, but actress Laurence Leboeuf manages to make all of her weird traits endearing. It's no small feat and again impressive for a movie of this size.
Terrence didn't make a great first impression, but he was a sweetheart once you got to know him.
And TURBO KID may be low budget, but kudos to the filmmakers because the cinematography and creative production design makes it looks much more expensive than it actually is. (Though there's really no good way to make a bicycle chase as exciting as a car chase.) The costumes and weapons are obviously thrown together on the cheap, but they too fit the desolate world of the film. That being said, if you're going to remember one thing about TURBO KID when its over, it's the absolutely insane levels of violence and practical gore that permeate the film. The action and kills are clearly where most of the budget went and it was money well-spent. Things are taken to such entertainingly ludicrous levels that all the ultra-violent stuff becomes funny instead of disturbing. People get blown up, blended, disemboweled by bicycle, split in half and stacked on top of one another, and much, much more. It truly has to be seen to be believed. Especially one amazing gag involving something with an umbrella.
"Yes, all my arteries are working. Thanks for checking."
Few movies can boast deaths by unicorn and gnome, but TURBO KID is definitely the very best among them. And it has a lot more to offer too.
Some of Frederic's best one-liners, Apple's guide to kicking ass, and a nice homage to Bruce Campbell.
Some of the movies most ridiculous kills and gory parts. Not for the faint of heart.
C'mon, it has KID in the title. Pervert.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- There's a reference to another movie
- There's a completely ridiculous kill
- Someone is concerned about his personal space
- Apple says "Gnome-stick"
- Someone passes by a skull
Double shot if:
- Something is made memorable
Thanks to James for suggesting this week's movie!
|Extra Tidbit:||The short film this is based on was originally submitted as an entry in THE ABCs OF DEATH anthology.|