Turbo Kid is available to rent or buy now.
As a film-obsessed teenager of the late 1980s and early 90s, my local video rental store was a magical movie cave filled with wonder and potential. Here the endless shelves of shiny VHS boxes provided me with pick-n-mix heaven as I spent whole afternoons searching for my Saturday night entertainment. After much deliberation, I would leave the shop cradling my precious tapes with a large bar of Dairy Milk chocolate for the viewing ahead, my Saturday night sorted.
Like so many teenagers of my era, straight-to VHS films offered rich pickings, their low-budget effects and rushed release, either striking gold or sinking into a pit of oblivion as I munched my way through snacks in the comfort of my bedroom. Here the hum of the TV and whirring of the VHS player was all I needed to feel at home.
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Joyously taking the festival circuit by storm during 2015, Turbo Kid understands these teenage film hunting expeditions—bathing its audience in a delightfully retro straight-to VHS story layered with lashings of blood and humour. Its synthesised score, BMX bikes and 80s-inspired action take the audience back to those glorious days of fuzzy VHS tapes and endless trailers—all within a post-apocalyptic 1997, where global warming has killed off the majority of the human race. Here the survivors live in tin sheds and underground bunkers while drinking water made from juicing other humans.
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Within this devilish world, we meet our unlikely BMX riding hero (Munro Chambers), a teenager who scavenges the landscape outside his bunker, hoarding ’80s and ’90s relics. The kid’s love of Turbo Rider comic books offers us a brief glimpse of his destiny as he becomes attached (quite literally) to a peculiar girl named Apple. But the meeting also holds a deadly twist as the ‘kids’ life suddenly changes due to a sadistic gangster named Zeus (Michael Ironside).
If this all sounds slightly nuts, it is! But it is also a rare delight, embracing its retro action, guts and gore with pride while paying homage to the best in 80s video rental horror. Turbo Kid is a joyous, funny, bloody and creative slice of science-fiction horror that holds a well-deserved place in many film fans’ hearts.
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