TURBO KID [FrightFest 2015]

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

The post-apocalyptic future wasteland of 1997. In a world without water, a young survivor known only as 'the kid' survives in his underground bunker, obsessively collecting the comic book adventures of a superhero known as Turbo Rider. Happening across the mysterious Apple (Laurence Lebeouf) while on a scavenging trip, the kid is slowly brought out of his shell. Genre-typically, it's not long before Apple is kidnapped and the kid must channel his own inner superhero to rescue his new best friend. The ridiculously overpowered laser blaster he finds out in the desert will come in handy there, then.

What we have here is a retro pastiche ‘80s sci-fi action film, pitched somewhere between Mad Max, Hobo With a Shotgun and Guardians of the Galaxy. It started life as an idea for an ABCs of Death segment, before its potential was realised and the story developed into a feature film. And that's for the best; while Turbo Kid has all of the anthology series' trademark gore and violence, it lacks its cynicism, possessing a wonderful heart even as the blood sprays and the innocent are violently murdered.

Lebeouf steals the show as Apple, but there's strong competition all around. Francois Simard is a likeable hero as the kid, and Michael Ironside does a tremendous job as the villainous Zeus. It's a meatier role than we've seen him tackle in a while, and he takes it with aplomb, maliciously snarling his way to the villain hall of fame (it'd be great to see how he gets on with Hobo With a Shotgun's Drake), buzz-saw wielding Jason Voorhees-esque sidekick firmly in tow. It's a rich world, like a Fallout videogame crossed with a (knowingly) tongue-in-cheek version of Waterworld.

In spite of the near incessant blood spray and Ironside's all-consuming malevolence, Turbo Kid is a triumph of sweetness; a cheery BMX toting Mad Max with real emotion and heart.

TURBO KID / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: FRANCOIS SIMARD, ANOUK WHISSELL, YOANN-KARL WHISSELL / STARRING: MUNRO CHAMBERS, LAURENCE LEBOUEF, MICHAEL IRONSIDE, EDWIN WRIGHT / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 5TH

 


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