The Turbo Kid so looks (and sounds) like a cheesy 1980s movie that you could probably sneak it on the weekend schedule at the North Park and no one would bat an eye, other than possibly to comment, “Gee, I don’t remember this movie being so gory.” Drawing equally from Mad Max (or rather it’s less successful post-apocalyptic progeny) and forgotten stuff like BMX Bandits, this Down Under production stars a young actor named Munro Chambers (who for the occasion should have changed his name to Corey). Living alone after the death of his parents, he survives in a post-disaster world where water is scarce and gasoline non-existent, with bicycles as the only remaining mode of transportation.
(That makes more sense than the Mad Max future, but it doesn’t make the sight of be-masked bad guys duking it out on bikes any less silly).
Our hero, known only as The Kid, finds a new friend in Apple, a girl his age he rescues in the desert, appealing played by Laurence Leboeuf as a seven-year-old in the body of a 15-year-old. When The Kid has to go up against the local bad guy (Michael Ironside), he does so with the help of Indiana Jones-ish adventurer Aaron Jeffery and a suit that gives him the powers of a comic book hero.
The film coasts through all this plot with only slightly more detail than I have just provided; it’s the kind of low-budget movie that assumes you’re not going to waste your time asking a lot of logical questions. Made with tongue firmly in cheek, Turbo Kid most of all salutes Kiwi filmmaker Peter Jackson, who long before committing his life to J. R. R. Tolkien began his career with the ridiculously gory zombie comedy Bad Taste. Turbo Kid tries to outdo that film’s low-budget splatstick, which is admittedly an acquired taste: I could have done without the merry scene in which an interrogation is conducted with a bicycle wheel connected to the informant’s intestines. Still, for those of you into this kind of thing it’s not to be missed. It’s at the Screening Room this weekend.