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Review: Turbo Kid Has the “Splatstick” Humour of Early Peter Jackson

Review: Turbo Kid Has the "Splatstick" Humour of Early Peter Jackson

The 2010’s has seen a rise in nostalgic postmodern love letters to 80’s cinema both in music and film. Turbo Kid is a wonderful welcome addition to this synth soaked craze, combining the fun cartoonishness of Kung Fury with the genuine heart of coming-of-age films like Kamikaze Girls.

Set in an alternate post-apocalyptic 1997 it follows a comic book obsessed teenager (Munro Chambers) who reluctantly befriends a quirky/seemingly mad girl named Apple. Together they ride a BMX through a gorily violent wasteland, learning more about each other while doing battle with Mad Max inspired raiders.

Starship Troopers star Michael Ironside plays the raider chief Zeus. Just him being there gives the film a genuine 80’s feel. He doesn’t seem to have aged since Total Recall and just his presence reminds us of all those great Verhoeven movies made 30 years ago.

The impressive gore effects have the “splatstick” humour of early Peter Jackson and the brutal detail of Hatchet. Praise should be given to the costume and makeup designers. Their decision to present the two leads in bright colours (in contrast to the bleak wasteland) is not only in keeping with the nostalgic nature of the film but also gives them an innocent likeability.

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Turbo Kid himself, Aaron Jeffery’s cowboy and the entire cast are fantastic but Laurence Leboeuf steals the show as Apple. She’s a manic pixie dream girl who uses a garden gnome as a bludgeoning weapon. What’s not to love? It’s hilarious watching Turbo Kid flinch every time her eyes dart enthusiastically. There’s a lot of eye work in her performance. So much so it becomes integral to the plot.

This film is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a quirky soup containing Hobo With a Shotgun, the soundtrack of “Stranger Things”, the blood gushing humour of Bad Taste and then have someone accidentally drop an innocent 80’s kids movie into the mix.