How did this movie get made?
I love hitting the Midnight Madness at SIFF. While basking in the dim light of the Egyptian, your nose welcomes the smell of popcorn, beer, and weed and you know that the service is about to begin. Along with the odorific emanations comes the trickle of a burgeoning stream fed by the melting of that day’s festival pretentiousness, the congregation shakes it off and prepares for the surprise in store for that night’s midnight mass madness.
Turbo Kid was that evenings surprise for sure! This movie got made – and that blows my mind. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect with the recent release of George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, and let me tell you why.
The story takes place in the distant future – 1997- a post apocalyptic world where a teenager (known only as The Kid) spends his days scavenging for relics of the 80’s in the safe zones (cassettes, view master reels, and a respectable pink flamingo collection, etc.). These items are then taken to the “Barter Town” where he trades for things like water, pegs for his bike, and comics. He lives in an old bombshelter and entertains himself by taking his bike off of some sweet jumps and reading the comics of his favorite super hero – TURBO MAN!. Which is basically Mega Man.
Having pretty much raised himself, the Kid lives in an isolated world which is rocked when he comes across girl while heading home. She immediately slaps a tracking device on him (seriously, it’s a slap bracelet) and quickly becomes the bane of his existence until the two form a bond over time and the Kid develops an attachment to her that he has never experienced in his life.
The cast is assembled with mostly unknown actors with the exception of the legendary Michael Ironside who plays the big boss called Zeus. Ironside is looking pretty old, but he still has it – proving that he is one of the greatest action movie bad guys in the last forty years. HIs casting makes this feel all the more like a great 80’s action flick. This movie is filled with buckets of blood and some of the funniest and creative kills in recent memory. This film is overflowing with genre tropes from the 80’s and 90’s. From the obvious Mad Max films to Cyborg to pretty much any Cannon film. The production team utilizes some fun exteriors and set pieces to make the film a little more legit in an order to suspend the disbelief a little longer. The use of practical effects in the more gory scenes are great and totally take the movie over the top.
So how did this movie get made?
How did a 1980’s, post-apocalyptic action film starring kids, Michael Ironside, and BMX bikes get made in 2015??
I don’t care.
It was amazingly entertaining and a must watch with a crowd or at least two or more friends. As of this writing there is no plans for a wide theatrical release for the film, likely only a straight to DVD/Blu so this is a MUST SEE with a crowd. Turbo Kid plays one last time as part of SIFF 41 on Wednesday, May 27th at 9:45pm at the SIFF Cinema Uptown. Go see it!!! Check out the trailer and some clips below!