Saturday, January 30, 2016

Go Back to the Future with Turbo Kid


I’ve literally been waiting an entire year to see Turbo Kid. From the moment I was approached to interview Michael Ironside for the film, I was instantly attracted to the description I was given. A movie where the hero is a BMX bike-riding teenager battling a one-eyed maniac in the wake of a nuclear war set in an alternate 1997? Count me in! I was never allowed to see a screener for the movie, which fueled my forbidden interest even more. Now the movie is on Netflix for everyone to see… and I have. Yes, indeed I have.

Turbo Kid takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The only means of transportation for the survivors is bikes. An orphaned teen (Munro Chambers) must battle a ruthless warlord (Michael Ironside) to save the girl (Laurence Leboeuf) of his dreams.

I can’t stress to you how much fun Turbo Kid is as a movie. Imagine seeing an unconventional blend of Rad, BMX Bandits, Mad Max, and any of Yoshihiro Nishimura’s many “gore effect” movies such as Tokyo Gore Police, Helldriver, or Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. Yes, it really is as good as it sounds.

The soundtrack for Turbo Kid perfectly accentuates the world we enter. Electronic artist Le Matos gives each sequence in the film just the right amount of emotion and energy it needs to spring alive. The music resembles what we heard from Daft Punk in Tron Legacy if coupled with 1980’s New Wave. The title track, which regrettably doesn’t appear on the official soundtrack album, sounds like the stimulating rock themes we hear in Rocky IV, Footloose, and other inspirational movies.

Every last detail in Turbo Kid is well mapped out by an incredible script. Nothing is left unexplained and everything that happens does so for a reason. It’s one of the finest examples of the hero’s journey I’ve ever seen. The fact that it’s accomplished within the framework of an absurd independent film makes it even that much more enjoyable and smart.

I could literally go on for days how absolutely perfect every aspect of Turbo Kid is. From the direction to the editing all the way to the acting. Writers / Directors François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell have every right to be proud of their award-winning critical darling.

Turbo Kid is Unrated and for good reason. It contains graphic violence and gore, profanity, alcohol use, and frightening and intense scenes. I was surprised that there wasn’t any nudity in the film. Our hero finds a pen with a pin-up girl on it, but her bare bottom is actually blurred out. Most of the violence and gore is so over the top that it comes off as comical. However, I wouldn’t suggest the film to anyone under the age of 17.

Rarely do I watch a movie more than one time in the span of a couple of days and Turbo Kid achieved that honor. It’s such a thrilling blend of different genres that really shouldn’t work together but do. Just imagine an exhilarating concoction made up of equal parts coming-of-age story, post-apocalyptic tale, and extreme sports showcase. Add to that the visual stylings of what has come to be known as the "gore effect” as established by Japan’s Yoshihiro Nishimura and you have a spirited experience you’ll want to repeat over and over again.

Turbo Kid is available now as a digital download or on Netflix.

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