By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
If Menahem Golan were still alive and he and Cannon partner Yoram Globus had collaborated with Lloyd Kaufman of Troma and director George Miller, Turbo Kid would be their movie love child. After watching this fun, endearing, and soon to be cult-favorited flick, one can easily see the influences of Cannon, Troma, and the Mad Max series. From writers/directors Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yohann-Karl Whissell, known as the RKSS Collective, this SXSW Midnighter has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, and obviously is a throwback to 80s, post-apocalyptic movies. The strong writing, skillful direction and solid performances of the cast helped Turbo Kid to win the Audience Award Winner for best Midnighter Feature.
Set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, The Kid (Munro Chambers) travels the wastelands on his BMX bike surviving as a scavenger, collecting remnants and mementos of the past, such as toys and comic books, and bartering other, more practical items for water, supplies and food. Because of his love for comics, The Kid fantasizes about becoming a superhero, but the reality is that he may not have the courage to do so. He gets his chance to prove himself once and for all when he crosses paths with the vicious and ruthless Zeus (Michael Ironside), the self-proclaimed ruler of the wastelands. Working with his new loyal friend Apple (Laurence Leboeuf) and a grizzled drifter named Frederich (Aaron Jeffery), The Kid must step up, face his fears, and become the hero the wastelands need.
I enjoyed this movie so much that I had to watch it twice at the festival. Full of hysterical humor, wild, sometimes, over-the-top violence, and lovable fun characters, Turbo Kid is an awesome tribute to a deliciously fun genre of films prevalent during the 1980s. The film takes me back to my childhood/pre-teen years when I would stay up late and watch the movies on cable TV that I wasn’t normally allowed to see. Anyone who grew up during that era will absolutely adore this film. Audiences will also adore the lovely and talented Laurence Leboeuf who portrays the often hilarious side-kick Apple. I was more than thrilled that the film won the Midnighter award, because I cannot think of any other film at the festival which could define that category as perfectly as Turbo Kid does.