Streaming services provided hundreds of options for your movie night, but inevitably they never have the one that you are looking for. As you scroll endlessly looking for something familiar, you are missing out on hidden gems buried under all the mediocre-to-awful movies that fill out the numbers of each streaming service. Instant Gratification spotlights those awesome genre movies that never topped the box office, or might not have even made it to theaters.
Currently streaming on Netflix Instant
review by Adam
Turbo Kid is a funny, violent, retro mash-up with surprising heart. This 2015 independent film shoves every bit of pop-culture detritus an 80s kid might have consumed into a blender to create a deliciously bloody genre-smoothie. Turbo Kid is a comic book and Saturday morning cartoon heroics in a Road Warrior on BMX bikes setting, with the ridiculous gore of 80s splatter horror and a pumping synth soundtrack drizzled over it.
The Kid scavenges the Wasteland of post-apocalyptic 1997 for junk to trade for supplies and the occasional Turbo Rider comic book. One day he is (forcefully) befriended by a strange girl named Apple. They soon run afoul of local big bad Zeus (played by genre legend Michael Ironside), and his awesomely named and designed henchman Skeletron. Once the Kid stumbles upon the remains of the real Turbo Rider, he uses the deceased hero’s armor and wrist blaster to try and take on the evil Zeus.
This movie could have easily been nothing but lazy nostalgia or an endless parade of genre tropes, but it manages to blend its familiar elements into something fun and unique. The character of Apple is an especially fantastic creation and performance, and her and the Kid’s relationship provides the beating heart pumping out all the geysers of blood. Those practical gore effects are another charming part of the movie, and the costume and character design are even more impressive. No one is going to mistake this for a big-budget film, but thanks to the filmmakers’ creativity and style it manages to be both cool and cheesy at the same time. It can make you laugh at the ridiculousness of a dramatic chase scene on BMX bikes, while still raising your pulse with the awesome soundtrack. It can play the gore for slapstick, but still makes you feel like our heroes are in legitimate danger. Turbo Kid evokes the feeling of countless cheapie 80s Road Warrior rip-offs, but with exponentially more care and effort from its creators. Their hard work deserves to be seen.
What’s your favorite independent film? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for checking out our review!