Friday, September 18, 2015

Turbo Kid

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  Wait...the kid isn't going Turbo, is he?

Turbo Kid – 4 out of 5

How do I even start with a review of Turbo Kid?  How about the NSFW Red Band trailer?  Sure, we can start there because I have no ideas on how to create a working opening paragraph.  Note:  If you don’t like blood and all around gross gory stuff you probably shouldn’t click play on the video.

Heck, while I’m at it, let’s watch the original short that this film was spun from.

The Kid is wearing a helment...which makes him more
responsible than 99% of all Harley riders.
In the future world of 1997, the world has become a radioactive wasteland and the human race barely clings to life.  A loner young man who obsesses over a comic book named The Kid (Munro Chambers) finds his world thrown for a loop when he meets an odd young lady who calls herself Apple (Laurence Leboeuf).  When Apple is kidnapped by a local murderous tyrant who calls himself Zeus (Michael Ironside), The Kid must find his inner superhero and team with a gruff cowboy named Frederic (Aaron Jeffery) in order to save Apple and bring down Zeus’ empire of evil.  And it gets very bloody along the way!

It's such a wasteland that the cover of Dianetics has even stopped erupting.

Turbo Kid combines some amazing things to craft a really fun and entertaining (and bloody) comedy.  The film takes one part Grindhouse gratuity and mixes it with what the 80s thought the 90s were going to be like and the ridiculous excess of that era's sci-fi.  The movie succeeds overwhelmingly with feeling like it was lifted directly from the over-the-top 70s and 80s cheesefests that came out and it makes the film extremely fun.

This henchman of Zeus' is named Skeletron and that's just a kickass name.

His codpiece is far less kickass, however.

While the BMX chase scene isn't as awesome as
anything in Fury Road, it's still very amusing.
One thing I really enjoyed in this film was the emphasis on substance with its style rather than vacuous flash.  The film feels like 80s excess and 70s Grindhouse without having to actively parody this style.  The film abandons adding in film scratches or editing mistakes in order to create this satirical feel and rather presents the film as a fun and loving representation that is honoring this style rather than mimicking it.  Tarantino making poor film stock quality gags in Death Proof work for what he was making but seeing that this film doesn’t try to copy the aesthetic feel of a Grindhouse but rather has the spirit of it living inside the story.

"I have the power that is different from another power so I don't get sued!"

The performances in the film are very good and really help keep the film from becoming a gimmick.  The characters aren’t the deepest but the performances make these people fun and easy to invest in.  While it’s a given that Ironside would be awesome as the film’s bad guy (because Michael Ironside is awesome, it’s a scientific fact), one thing that surprised me was how good Munro Chambers and Laurence Leboeuf were as The Kid and Apple, respectively.  Both are very entertaining but they also had a really strong chemistry that made their friendship the focal point of the film and turned all the comedy and gore into icing on the cake.

Apple comes off strange but that kind of strange that you can't help but love.

We should all be so lucky to have an awesome
last name like Ironside.
This movie clearly isn’t for everyone due to the reality that this film is gory as hell (I think I mentioned that a few times).  The film loves its gore gags and the blood fountains are abundant in the running length.  While a weirdo like me finds these gags that involve lots of blood and horrible things happening to random henchmen and organs being pulled out of people’s body by bikes to be great dark comedy, some might find this horrifying.  Don’t worry, that’s okay.  It’s just means that you aren’t completely broken like I am.  You might enjoy the more innocent gags of the film—which, coincidentally, I found these parts to be the weakest moments of the film because they were so painfully unfunny and felt like throwaway sequences after some brilliant use of gross out bodily harm humor.

True addiction is continuing to smoke even after you lose a hand.
All addicts take note.

Turbo Kid is one of those fun, unique films that can only exist in a time that has the internet.  While the movie feels like it belongs with all the other odd and cheaply made sci-fi films of the late 70s and early 80s, the premise is too self-aware and too out-there to belong with them and can only really exist in a time where we can crowd source such insanity (because a studio wouldn’t take the risk).  While the film may fumble with some of its more G-rated humor, the story is rich satire that is filled with gory fun, cool characters and a great synth-based soundtrack that really sells the fantasy of what the 80s films thought was in-store for the future in the 90s.

This is the first thing you see on the film and it immediately sets the tone perfectly!

1 comment:

  1. I just got a chance to see this film and thought it was just outstanding. I gave it high praise on my blog. The soundtrack by Le Matos was superb, also. Great review, Rev!


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