Imagine thumbing through the shelves of dusty old VHS tapes at a video store back in the 80s, stopping at one with a super hero and a BMX bike on the cover. You smile, grab it, and stroll off knowing you’re in for some cheesy…but oh so fun…entertainment.
If you can go back and put yourself back in that headspace, well then my friend, you’re probably going to love Turbo Kid.
Billed as a post-apocalyptic love story set in an alternate version of 1997, it has one retro nod after another.
(Let’s just say hearing “Thunder in your heart” within the first few minutes made me extremely giddy.)
The movie follows the tale of an orphaned teenage forager who, along with his female-robot companion, must fight an evil warlord who controls the only water supply. The evil warlord is played perfectly — which in this case, is completely over the top — by Michael Ironside (who I remember fondly from movies in the 80s and 90s as a biker gang member or some other villian).
Of course there’s plenty of riding throughout the movie as it seems bikes are the only form of transportation in this world. I found myself squinting to make out all the details of the bikes…someone paid a lot of attention to make sure they looked sufficiently retro. (I got a kick out of seeing “Special thanks to Skyway Wheels” in the credits.)
Another nod to the past is the location itself. The movie is a Canada-New Zealand co-production shot in rural Quebec.
Yes, just like the most famous BMX movie to precede it, Turbo Kid was shot in Canada. It’s enough to make a Canuck BMXer a little teary-eyed.
- There’s quite a bit of Kill Bill-style bloody gore in this movie so it might not be suitable for younger kids.
- This movie is on a limited run in most places. Catch it if you can! (Otherwise you can get it on Vimeo)