Review: Turbo Kid (2015)

Directed by: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell | 93 minutes | action, adventure, science fiction | Actors: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Edwin Wright, Aaron Jeffery, Romano Orzari, Orphée Ladouceur, Steeve Léonard, Yves Corbeil, Evan Manoukian, Anouk Whissell, François Simard, Tyler Hall, Martin Paquette, Pierre Sigouin, Yoann-Karl Whissell

Canadian director trio Francois Simard, Anouk Whissel and Yoann-Karl Whissel call their movie “Turbo Kid” “Bugs Bunny for adults.” Actually, the description of the magazine Wired fits better: “Mad Max on a BMX” or Mad Max Junior. For the true lover of old school ‘blood and gore’, ‘Turbo Kid’ is not to be missed. And, as an added treat, we also see Michael Ironside (‘Total Recall’, ‘Starship Troopers’) once again in a villainous role that fits him like a glove. Add to that the captivating role of Australian top actor Aaron Jeffery (‘Underbelly’, “McLeod’s Daughters”) and you’ve got an amusing film that will most likely hit cult status in the near future.

The film centers on a teenager named ‘The Kid’ (Munro Chambers), an orphaned boy who keeps himself alive by gathering relics from the past and trading them for drinking water. Because in a desolate, post-apocalyptic world, affected by acid rain and nuclear waste, clean water is a precious commodity. He is introduced to Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), a robot girl of the friendly kind. Along with her and arm wrestler Frederic (Aaron Jeffery), The Kid takes on villain Zeus, a gang leader who entertains his followers with violent arena fights in an abandoned pool.

After a chase in the barren landscape, The Kid falls through a metal hatch and stumbles upon the spaceship of his comic book hero Turbo Rider. When he puts on his suit, with the accompanying super power glove, he feels invincible. In their fight against Zeus (Ironside) they regularly get a few ‘dents’, but in the end the trio manages to defy the evil forces.

The film contains, in addition to sharp texts by Aaron Jeffery in particular, many references to older horror films. Not surprising, because in their youth the filmmakers watched seven horrors per weekend (!). The trio also plays in ‘Turbo Kid’: Francois as The Kid’s father, Anouk as his mother and Yoann-Karl as Zeus’s malicious sidekick. And indeed, ‘Turbo Kid’ can be described as a satirical pastiche of the classic ‘Mad Max’. Funny are the chases on the BMX bikes, Frederic’s Indiana Jones look and the Italo-like tunes that musically support the scenes in which blood and limbs are sprinkled exuberantly. If you don’t take this horror splatter movie with a romantic twist too seriously, you will have a lot of fun with it.

‘Turbo Kid’ received an Audience Award at the South By South West Film Festival and was also officially selected for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Do you need more promotions? Okay, one more. In this film no less than 90 liters of blood is sprayed around. For fans of ‘Machete’ and ‘World’s End’. Final verdict: don’t expect cool!

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