[pullquote]“This is the future, this is 1997.”[/pullquote]
If all there was to this movie was the opening intro credits sequence, I would be happy. That alone sets the stage for a film that feels like a cinematic time traveler was sent from the 80’s to save the modern world. Turbo Kid opens with a killer 80’s ballad and some awesome BMX action from a kid cruising the wasteland. The kid reaches his hideout and the audience is introduced to a wealth of 80’s paraphernalia. It’s a plain spectacular sight and will have kids who grew up in the 80’s feel a lump of nostalgia in their throat.
The Kid (Munro Chambers) lives in an post apocalyptic world in the year 1997. He fills his days by taking rides in the wasteland to salvage 80’s paraphernalia for his collection. In his search he finds a comic book that features his hero, “Turbo Rider.” While reading his comic book he comes upon the wild blue-eyed, Apple. (Laurence Leboeuf) She quickly befriends The Kid.
The chemistry between these two is amazing, onscreen magic. Leboeuf has a adorable, bubbly charm that will make you wish she was your post apocalyptic friend.
While out on a scavenger hunt their fate becomes intertwined with a gang of bad guys lead by Zeus. (Michael Ironside)This is classic 80’s canon, bad guy material. Zeus’s right hand man the wild-eyed Skeletron (Edwin Wright) has a metal skeleton mask and a buzzsaw wielding arm cannon. This movie could have been about the bad guys alone and been fucking awesome.
Together with Apple, The Kid must become the hero of the wasteland. With his newly found turbo-charged arm cannon and her “gnomestick” (a ceramic gnome duct taped to a baseball bat) they must take on Zeus and his gang.
If you played a drinking game that encouraged you to take a drink every time you see something paying homage 80’s nostalgia, during Turbo Kid, you are going to get alcohol poisoning in the first half of the movie. On my third viewing of the film, I tried to point them all out but I lost count. It is amazing how much attention to detail went into setting up those little easter eggs; they make Turbo Kid a movie that has tons of replay value.
There is over the top silliness and gore at times but underneath that you can feel the love that everybody involved had for this project. It’s a love letter to nostalgia that has a constant current of heart. That isn’t to say that the beautiful over the top gore, disembowelment by a BMX and multiple decapitations aren’t awesome, because they absolutely fucking are. It is just refreshing to have those things wrapped up in something bigger. I have watched Turbo Kid 5 times now and I am definitely giving it an early spot on my top 10 films of the year.
Turbo Kid is currently out in select theaters and on VOD. If you are lucky enough to be in an area that is screening it, go see it with a crowd. It makes the movie even more fun to see it with a bunch of people who understand where it is coming from.