Turbo Kid (2015)
February 5, 2016 10:35 AM - Subscribe

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a comic book fan dons the persona of his favourite hero to save his enthusiastic friend and fight a tyrannical overlord.

88% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This movie is less a rapid-fire pastiche of references and period-specific jokes like say, Kung Fury, and more like a warm, gentle tribute to a couple of synchronous, but very different 80s genres: the post-apocalyptic wasteland movie and teen comedies. It has a bit more heart than you'd expect. And more gore.
Made for ironicists, Turbo Kid, in its endearingly goofy way, says good things about the power reserves of our childhood - an inner superhero we can call upon when needed.Brad Wheeler - Globe and Mail
posted by DirtyOldTown (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Almost forgot... this is a selection of MeFi Horror Club.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:36 AM on February 5, 2016

This movie was less brassy and herpderpREFERENCEherpderp than a person would expect. I mean, it was up to its eyeballs in irony/riffing, but the overall effect still was more story and character-driven than I expected. In the end, it's a slight film, but will make you grin if the irony and nostalgia doesn't turn you off.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:11 AM on February 5, 2016

There's a sort of sub-genere of these sorts of films right now. There was the FP, where gangs battled each other using Dance Dance Revolution, and, of course, the more recent Kung Fury. Hobo With a Shotgun also sort of fits with this group. They're awash with nostalgia for direct-to-video films and 8-bit video games from the 80s, and they are sort of the contemporary version, done by independent artists with almost no budget and released through nonmainstream venues.

I've liked all of them. There can't be much call for this sort of film, and they're not breaking any box office records, so I have a feeling we're not going to see a lot of shitty knock-offs that steal the aesthetic. They're sort of love letters to a future that our past imagined, and I will see as many as are made.
posted by maxsparber at 11:40 AM on February 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I plan to get to this soon, probably this weekend, but in the meantime...

You're telling me that the eyepatch guy on the poster is Michael Ironside, and not Paul Sorvino?!
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:50 AM on February 5, 2016

It is Michael Ironside, and he's pretty Michael Ironsidey in the film.
posted by maxsparber at 12:28 PM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Fairly Michael Ironsidey, but also somewhat Stacey Keachy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:13 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like a lot of stuff that this is referencing (like Interzone or Dead End Drive-in), but this didn't do it for me at all. There's not much there beyond the references, and the well done (on a budget) practical effects. I thought it would do something with the generic robot girl, or the rough cowboy stereotype, or... anything, really. But it was mostly just a straight-forward throwback. It wasn't terrible, but it felt pretty empty.
posted by codacorolla at 6:00 PM on February 5, 2016

I enjoyed it, but I thought the first act had promise the rest didn't deliver on. In the early going, it seemed like there could be a darker, more serious story underneath the layers of comic book goofiness. Half an hour in, and I was just like, "Oh, hey, now it's Conan! The place where he found the Turbo Rider suit is like the cave where Conan finds the sword and the skeleton, Michael Ironside's character killing his parents is kinda like Thulsa Doom in the prologue..." It's fun, and it's imaginative, but it ends feeling like more of an exercise in style to me than anything else. Nothing wrong with that, but I did feel like it could have been more.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:39 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's fun, and it's imaginative, but it ends feeling like more of an exercise in style to me than anything else. Nothing wrong with that, but I did feel like it could have been more.

I was satisfied. I watched this a few months back, between Kung Fury and Danger 5, though.

What is amazing is seeing the 'kids' at work digging on it.
I find that fascinating. This is practically Sumerian history to them, and they they're still digging Gilgamesh.
posted by Mezentian at 1:26 AM on February 6, 2016

They showed it at the walk-in outdoor movie screen in my neighborhood last fall. I enjoyed it.
posted by larrybob at 11:46 AM on February 6, 2016

Any thoughts on Apple being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and literally an object? I'm wondering if there was some intentional commentary going on there.

I dig this movie in general. It's sweet without being twee and combines a bunch of retro references in a way that doesn't feel ironic. Although I do think this 80s/90s SF/Action riff thing is getting a bit old at this point.
posted by brundlefly at 3:06 PM on February 16, 2016

I went into this more or less blind and yea, taking the setting and tone seriously was the way to go. It's so sweet! It's basically a Fallout movie!
posted by The Whelk at 7:28 PM on February 19, 2016

(My analogue would be this to the VHS era splatter/post apocalypse genre what Who Framed Roger Rabbit was to the classic noir genre but with teenagers in place of toons.)
posted by The Whelk at 7:32 PM on February 19, 2016

Also, of these weirdly specific pastiches , this is the most mainstream appealing? It's got lots of action, humor, a romance, super sincere and since I watched it someone who didn't know any of these movies but loved it, not overly dependent on yOu being in on exact references but more ...tone and style.

Like I got a strong Venture Brothers -in-it's Hank -and -Dean tone from it and that's great
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on February 19, 2016

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