Turbo Kid is a low budget science fiction movie for all of you who are fond of ’80s sci-fi chic. It’s also a clear homage to post-apocalyptic science fiction movies like Mad Max and A Boy and His Dog. If you’re the type of person who has made it their business to watch every cult sci-fi film you can get your hands on; then Turbo Kid will be for you. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, then this is probably a movie you should avoid.
Turbo Kid Summary
The movie follows a solitary teen as he tries to survive a post-apocalyptic future by scavenging junk in return for water. He’s dragged into a dispute between the despotic Zeus and folk hero Frederick the Arm Wrestler when he tries to save to save the girl of his dreams.
Turbo Kid Review
Turbo Kid is a fun film that isn’t for everyone. It’s a knowing wink to cheap ’80’s apocalyptic movies, with even the film used producing a look reminiscent of that period. Its success relies on whether you find the movie charming or just plain cheap. Will you enjoy ’80s style synth based special effects or will they grate on you?
For most critics, Turbo Kid is a middle of the road 3-star movie. And I can see why. Its gorn is silly, its premise dated and much of the film is deliberately derivative.
That said, I enjoyed the movie and if you’re on a site like Stranger Views there is a good chance you will too. To start with there is actually some useful messages beneath all the kitsch. Underneath the ‘hero’s journey plot’ it’s about taking what’s useful from the past without being defined by it.
The performances are strong throughout, with Laurence Leboeuf (Apple) and Aaron Jeffery (Frederick) standing out from a strong cast. These two actors deliver very different but memorable performances. Leboeuf keeps on the right side of kooky as Apple, while Jeffery makes what could have been a stereotypical hero character believable, hilarious and awesome. Michael Ironside plays Zeus, and delivers a performance you’d expect from Michael Ironside. The Kid is played by Munro Chambers, who captures his characters strange mix of naivete and world-weariness perfectly.
Beneath the knowing winks to cult movies and slapstick style violence is actually an emotionally affecting movie, that’s well worth a watch. You’ll care for the protagonist’s plight as you’re laughing at their situation. It also delivers some memorable scenes, characters and lines. What more could you ask for?
It also has this guy:
Which is cool.
Turbo Kid is one of our top ten low budget sci-fi movies.