viernes, 12 de febrero de 2010

Turkey Shoot

It’s a couple of years into the future, and a super conservative government led by the evil Thatcher (Michael Craig). Everyone who doesn’t obey is sent to a concentration camp where the most powerful men (and women) in government can take part in what they call a ‘turkey shoot’, an event where they get to hunt down the criminals like they were wild animals. This year the criminals include revolutionary Paul (Steve Railsback), goodie goodie Chris (Olivia Hussey) and a slut Jennifer (Carmen Duncan). Will they be able to survive?This is one of the most ridiculous movies I have seen in my life, and I mean that in a good way. From what I researched, the film was to be budgeted at almost four million dollars, which in 1982 was a pretty decent budget. But at the last minute, one of the investors pulled almost seven hundred thousand dollars, which means they had to get rid of the entire first act (which only a brief intro is left), leaving something of a confusing mess, since we don’t know exactly how this future got to be. And the money kept depleting during the production, not helped by the fact that the producers would go to Casinos at night and bet the money to see if they could make it bigger. I mean, what the fuck? Could you imagine this kind of shit happening today? I must say however, that director Brian Trenchard Smith was still able to make an interesting and entertaining, if flawed film.The acting is probably the least interesting part of it all. Steve Railsback and Olivia Hussey were never great actors, but even they were able to pull off competent performances in good films. Railsback in particular has shown acting gold in films like Helter Skelter and Lifeforce and even his over-acting in Barb Wire was fun. Here, he doesn’t know if he’s playing an American or an Australian, as the accent changes as much as the characters run. And Hussey? She just stays scared and gobbles like a turkey. More interesting are the villains. Michael Craig is really good as Thatcher, having both class and dignity, and Lynda Daniels is hilarious as the politically-incorrect lesbian killer with the exploding arrows. But my favorite performance comes from Roger Ward as Ritter, the warden from Hell. He’s huge, and he’s strong, and he talks a lot of smack but is able to back it up. The scene where he fake boxes in front of the prisoner, as she speaks the ‘mantra’ of the jail, and then beats the shit out of her is just vicious as hell, and very few actors are as imposing as him to pull it off.
Speaking of vicious, this movie has it in spares. This movie is bloody as fuck and it’s also exploitive as hell. They literally pull everything but the kitchen sink into the thing, from booby traps in the woods to the before-mentioned psychotic lesbians, and we even get a damn werewolf. No reason or logic, there just happens to be a damn werewolf in the film. And that’s where the charm of the film is hidden. There is no logic, there is no sense, there is only the sense to entertain, blow shit up and kill everything in sight. If you want high art, you rent yourself a Fellini film, but if you want something that’ll just kick ass, Turkey Shoot is the one for you.

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