Russian and American war machine
Will destroy mankind's dream
They shoot their missiles in the air
They do not care they do not care
Guerrilla armies rule the street
No more christmas or trick or treat
Is this what the future will bring
I pray for peace more than anything
The solution to peace isn't clear
The terrorists threat is a modern fear
There is no future for the youth
There is no hope for the young
Death destruction bombs galore
The rich are laughing at the poor
Planet Earth 1988 -Ramones
You gotta love the positive outlook of some of our great artists eh? Without their sunshine and rainbow visions sometimes sprinkled with some nutty political agenda and/or hard liquor and narcotics we would have never gotten any of those wonderful films forecasting a future where there was no future. Ya know the kinda films who's opening credits would be followed by a title card ominously reading something like, OUR FUTURE, After the Fallout, Earth Post WWIII, or if the movie was made anytime in the late 70's/early 80's, then maybe any calender year between say 1985 and THE PRESENT. Cut to some mangey kid with axel grease smeared all over his face wearing a tank top made out of a possum and staring a burning Plymouth Volare crashed into the side of a building and you got the opening of half a dozen post apocalyptic/dystopian films from the era. By the way isn't in funny how in Planet Earth 1988 with our world on the precipice of atomic ruin that the thing the Ramones seemed most concerned with is halloween candy?!
I can remember being a wee little guy when Ronald Reagan took that lead for Jody Foster back in '81. And while every B horror and sci fi movie maker at the time was wanting to fast track some flop about the fit hitting the shan and the world being bombed back to the stone age within the next decade, all I can recall is thinking that my dad and mom were going to beat me to death for hearing me say the F word when I was irate about not being able to get anything on the damn teevee except Bonzo Ronnie laid up in a D.C. hospital. I can maybe sorta kinda remember all that dang assassination hullabaloo preempting a showing of Escape from New York which for crying out Hinckley might be the best of the best when it comes to these ridiculous movies. Johnny Carpenter sees Manhattan Island as a max security prison for all the countrys' criminals, Isaac Hayes as its' in-house dictator and Donald "clearly I'm british" Pleasance as our own U.S. President? All by the year 1997!? Well you better believe it! Plus that's all fine 'cause we got Kurt Russel to send in and sort it out? HOME RUN!
On the ever so long and must less distinguished list of sac flys and bunts we have a bleak little Ozsploitation picture or peek-sha set in the popular world gone to crap year of 1995 and going by the title Turkey Shoot or Escape 2000 orrrr Blood Camp Thatcher orrrrrr, well, I think those three titles were it. What we get outta this one is a totally totalitarian society in which any and all persons deemed "deviant" by who the hell knows, are rounded up, given a banana yellow track suit and some Chuck Taylors and stuffed into murdered out Winnebagos and carted off to "Reeducation Camp". These less than luxurious camps are where they're to be broken of their decadent behavior by being tormented, slapped silly, raped, hunted for sport or if the days schedule is really busy just plain doused in flammables and blown up. Turkey Shoot opens with a lotta stock news footage of what I'll gently call social unrest and then we get to meet our two protagonists and gasp are they most heinous offenders against the new ideology of 1995! Paul, played by Steve Railsback AKA the poorman's Tommy Lee Jones and damn that IS pretty poor, gets nabbed by the gestapo or whatever they are for unlawful ham radio usage. Chris, played by the huge slice of eye pie that is Olivia Hussey is taken into custody for as near as I could discern...politely operating a jewelry store. You'll all recognize Miss Hussey who at the tender age of 15 flashed her cash and prizes in Franco Zeffirelli's renown version of Romeo and Juliet. Later she went on to star as Jess in Bob Clark's just as legendary but way less fleshy Black Christmas. Just a heads up for bawd hounds, the curve machine Hussey gets a steam o' rama shower scene in Turkey Shoot but my suspicions tell me that the filmmakers and Olivia pull the old switcharooney on us. That's right folks, stunt boobs. Enough with the gratuitousness of this movie right? Yeah right!
After we get acquainted with our two good characters we get to meet all the nasties that in no short supply populate Turkey Shoot. We get the camps warden type Thatcher and his two goon enforcers, one played by Roger Ward AKA Fifi from Mad Max and the other by some guy who looked a lot like my primary schools' custodian Mr. Costello who I can remember challenging me to fight him for hitting him in the back of the head with an egg salad sandwich on accident in the 6th grade. Beyond these three menaces we also meet a few evil aristocrats who convene at the re-ed camp on their weekend breaks from definitely not ever never doing anything deviant to participate in hunts of hand selected inmates. We get a cannibalistic lesbian archer on horseback, a Newt Gingrich lookalike which is deviant enough in and of itself but who also displays sex predator tendencies, and lastly a guy looking like the Count from Sesame Street who rides around in a dune buggy bulldozer thing and who of course has a circus freak sidekick that looks like some half-assed wolfman that rocks a top hat and vest. Freaky wolfy's name? It's "Alph".
After some random punishments by way of beatings, bullet sprayings, and immolations are handed out to some of the camps inmate extras it's time to send Railsback and Hussey a'runnin' for their lives. They're released with a trio of other deviants who you know aren't gonna see act 3 in this baby and then are promptly set upon by Thatch and his guards, the Count and wolfdude Alph, Newt, and the galloping gay version of Jennifer Nichols. The hunts' rules which clearly none of these scumbags are gonna adhere to are simple enough. No poaching of each others priorly selected prey and if any of the targets survive until morning they will be allowed the freedom to rejoin society. Well about 30 seconds into this honorable hunt good old Alph is pulling saturday nite wrasslin' moves and eating pinky toes off anyone he comes across and the lesbian archer is firing exploding arrows all over the joint like it's dystopian Dukes of Hazzard. Pretty soon there's blood everywhere, Newt is in flames, Steve Railsback is sweating through his jumpsuit in all the wrong places, and poor Alph has a stick jammed through his eyeball before getting his legs chopped off by a runaway go-cart! So this thing is pickin' up right? Our jungle hunt down of Railsback and Hussey all leads up to the double back to the camp for a slam bang freedom assault finale that features a gazillion squibs, a LOT of stuntmen doing somersaults, and at least like 600 dollars worth of what looked to have been South of the Border bought fireworks. Whammy kablammy. Machetes end up in skulls and through limbs, faces fly off heads, and king creep Thatcher is reduced to about 50 lbs. of flying ground beef when Steve Railsback finally gets him in his sights and lights him up like a christmas tree with an M-16. Steve's arm goes round Olivia, smiles, obligatory H.G. Wells quote, roll credits!
Gratuitousness aside, which if you edited it all out you'd be down to a 6 minute feature, we really have to hand it to the aussies for what they regarded in the late 70's and 80's as acceptable film making. Backstory on Turkey Shoot reveals the usage of LIVE ammo in weapons fired AT live actors with one actual extra being shot. Hey only one! The wonton pouring of gasoline all over the set to "liven up" the finale. Telling actors, not stuntmen but actors, oi so yeah mate ummm this jeep type rig with a huge blade on the front will be driving straight at you full speed so just get out of it's way "a bit early". Oh and just for fun we're gonna add in a dag bodgy wolfman wearing a top hat and vest. Good onya Turkey Shoot! Ozploitation at it's finest.
Blink and you'll miss my main man Alph at 00:49