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  • Writer's pictureTroy Kinney

Movie review: Turbo Kid (2015)

Updated: Jun 8, 2019

Remember when your parents had a cable movie channel like HBO in the 80’s and you got to watch those campy post-apocalyptic, dystopian gems like Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983), Steel Dawn (1987), Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), Cherry 2000 (1987), Night of the Comet (1986), and Solarbabies (1986)? Don’t you miss them? If you do, then perhaps Turbo Kid (2015), currently available on Netflix Streaming, is for you.

The year is 1997. Imagine a world destroyed by war or something, where no one has a car, water is in short supply and there is an evil guy with an ugly eye-patch making life suck for everyone.

Yes, it’s true, Turbo Kid is filled with original ideas and a plot as tight as a trampoline sitting out summer after summer in the Arizona sun. It literally has everything you are looking for. Our main character is a kid who lives underground and goes out scavenging for unique things he can trade. As much as he tries to avoid the bad places, he is eventually drawn into the battle of his life. Besides that, the kid is humanity’s only hope. Okay, maybe it isn’t that desperate, but it could be. Along his journey he must discover something about himself. Because, “A man never knows how strong he is until being strong is the only choice he has.”

Everyone rides BMX style bikes. Even the bad guys. The chase scenes are epic.

The evil guy, played by veteran evil character actor Micheal Ironside, rules the land as Zeus. He is really bad. He has dirty and scary masked henchmen who appear as if they were send offs from the cast of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. One even has circular saw blades for a hand and a super terrifying metal skull mask. In fact, he is so scary he doesn’t even talk. Zeus has set up his central office in an old factory where he throws people in a pit to fight to the death which has never been done before by any evil character anywhere. He is so evil that if you survive the pit battle he kills you anyway, chops you up and throws you into a shredder-compacter thing so as to extract the 10 gallons of water your body has in it. Remember water is a hot commodity.

What is really great about this film is that the filmmakers were actually able to capture all the weird, fun, stupid and outrageous aspects of those 80’s films in a movie made in 2015. Even the music! The whole thing is campy, but serious in some interesting way. It is sort of like that car wreck you can’t stop looking at. The thing is rated R for language and outrageous/ridiculous violence. And not to be a spoiler here but I will say that it took a lot of blood and guts to make this movie happen.

Check out my book Watching Movies, Watching Stories on Amazon:

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