Speculative Fiction Saturday, So Bad It’s Good Month: Turbo Kid

Turbo KidWell, we are now reviewing a film called Turbo Kid, and with that title like that, you know it can’t be good, but is it so bad that it is good? The answer is yes.

Granted, it isn’t the best “so bad it’s good” movie that I’ve ever seen, but here’s the strangest thing: if this film were released in the eighties, it would have been taken seriously. The premise is about how the world has been decimated by acid rain, and the survivors rule the wasteland…blah blah blah….this is the world of 1997.

Yeah, this film knows that this didn’t happen in 1997, and because it is so self-aware of these tropes in these “wasteland” film, it also doesn’t bother to explain how there were survivors. I think that I mentioned in my review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes how it doesn’t take much to really turn the world into a wasteland. Then you got your setting for a dystopian science fiction movie without all the people! Yay!

Anyway, after the opening narration sets the stage, the opening shots are some kid riding his bike through this wasteland while some really sporty eighties music plays. You know that you are in for it with this. The Kid, who actually has no name, is a lover of comic books, and has found some sort of shelter out in the wasteland. Yeah, don’t ask me how no one has found this and taken advantage of this.

In fact, since this is a dystopia, you know there are always those ravagers that are out to steal from the poor and give to themselves. In this case, it is Zeus, played by the legendary Michael Ironside, who is the only star power here. Not that this film needs any.

After Turbo Kid visits a certain town full of bandits and merchants, he comes back to his hideout, and he has a female visitor. This woman, Apple, is very naive, and very annoying, but not so much that you want her out of the film. The two of them are attacked by Zeus’ ravagers, and Apple is taken away.

Then, because the movie wanted it, the Kid stumbles into a hidden chamber where he finds a super weapon. Why is there a super weapon in this world? Why does it destroy you with a single blast? There is just no explanation, and maybe none is needed. I said maybe. I mean, it would have helped.

Eventually, the Kid saves Apple from the ravagers, and then they are on the run from Zeus and his henchmen. One of them is this guy in a skull mask known as Skeletron.

As it so happens, the Kid has a backstory that really joins him and villain. By the way, Apple is…you know what, I could spoil that, but I don’t think I will. If you think Apple is a love interest, you are right, but they put a very interesting twist.

Yes, there is an interesting twist on this story which feels like a satire of a Mad Max (the eighties ones) as well as those really cheap apocalyptic films that came out at that time.

I also follows the “so bad it is good” trope of taking itself too seriously. I don’t know why the Kid has a blaster, and honestly, I don’t really care. The one thing that I wish these films would cut down on is the gore, as these really insist on showing a lot of blood. I don’t know when that became funny, but apparently, it is now.

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