Monday, October 13, 2008

Turkey Shoot

Brian Tranchard-Smith | 1982 | 93 mins | Australia

After seeing the doc Not Quite Hollywood at TIFF this year, my interest in Ozzsploitation was understandably piqued. I'd seen a few of the films described in it, but not enough! Perhaps the most simultaneously hilarious, action packed and nonsensical seeming option was Brian Trenchard-Smith's Turkey Shoot, which I got a chance to experience last week.

Turkey Shoot, a.k.a. Blood Camp Thatcher, a.k.a. Escape 2000, takes place in a futuristic, fascistic Australia in which "deviants" are sent to a sadistic rehabilitation camp, where they are reprogrammed through a strict regimen of abuse, torture and the like.

Steve Railsback is Paul Anders, an honest to goodness revolutionary who's escaped from every detention camp there is and has finally ended up in the toughest of them all - Thatcher's. Olivia Hussey is Chris Walters, a girl who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and is now stuck in the camp. Along with a few other inmates, they are about to become the human targets in a Most Dangerous Game-esqe amusement planned by the camp's vicious leader and some other miscellaneous mean rich people. Each hunter has his or her own target and weapon of choice (exploding arrows, machetes, big red ATVs - you know, standard human hunting accessories), and while poaching is against the rules, the contestants seem disinterested in following them.

There's enough zany action and over the top gore to keep the film interesting, but just in case your attention wanes, Trenchard-Smith introduces a few genuinely bizarre surprises along the way (hot tip: when a character named "Alph" shows up, this movie will go up at least 10 points on the awesome scale).

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy the turkey!

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