After debuting at last year’s Sundance to rave reviews, Turbo Kid made a splash on VOD and is now coming home. The upcoming impressive three-disc Region 1/A set contains the feature on DVD and Blu-ray, but also includes a disc of killer special features. You can pre-order the set here for $19.99.
Written and directed by Canadian filmmakers François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, Turbo Kid is a love letter to the post-apocalyptic films of the 80’s. The film, partially financed on IndieGogo, stars Munro Chambers as a wasteland teen who will have to defeat a water-mongering warlord if he wants to save his robot friend. This flick absolutely deserves fandom, so here are four reasons why I think you’ll love Turbo Kid.
Low Budget Ingenuity
Sure, it may have been produced on a tiny crowdsourced budget, but this flick’s got charm for days. So much of its charm comes from a strong commitment to practical makeup effects. There are a lot of ways to kill people in a post-apocalyptic landscape (The Walking Dead fandom knows), and Turbo Kid does it in some of the most inventive ways I’ve seen in years. Sure, there’s quite a bit of blood in the film, but the violence is so delightfully cartoonish that it wouldn’t look out of place in a Monty Python film. But just as impressive as the effects are the sets, costumes and props. The film’s main henchman, Skeletron, would look right at home on the Fury Road or in one of the Borderlands games. His riveted metal mask and saw blade arm make for some of the most memorable designs in the film.
Michael Ironside as Zeus
If you needed a male villain in your Canadian movie, Ironside was, and still is, your man. He’s giving his gleeful all as Zeus, the wasteland overlord who makes clean water from the blood he collects in his fighting pit. Ironside’s not hamming it up here — he plays the role totally straight-faced, lending it a gravitas that really helps to balance the film’s tone. What’s so great about Zeus is that not only is he essentially a Mad Max villain, he’s a pretty darn memorable one. The whole water-from-blood thing is brilliant, and his henchmen are just as cool as Wez or The Toadie from Mad Max 2 (a.k.a. The Road Warrior).
Laurence Leboeuf as Apple
Munro Chambers’ Kid may be the backbone of the film, but Apple is its heart. Canadian actress Laurence Leboeuf imbues this plucky robot with wide-eyed wonder and boundless enthusiasm, brightening up the grim wasteland. She gets the best laughs in the movie, and her easily cosplayable costume is one I expect to see at many Comic-Cons.
One of the biggest reasons that Turbo Kid is such a loving and effective pastiche is its terrific soundtrack. Provided by Canadian duo Le Matos, this pulse-pounding score strikes the perfect balance between Brad Fiedel’s Terminator scores and Daft Punk’s work on Tron: Legacy. The soundtrack album, Chronicles of the Wasteland, is currently available from Le Matos’ Bandcamp page for $9.99 CAD (about $7 USD). That gets you a whopping 50 tracks of retro electronic awesome.
Looking for a place to talk about Turbo Kid? There’s no better place than the community here on Wikia.