|Turkey Shoot (1981)
| Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0 Mono. 89 minutes
In the late seventies and early eighties, Anthony
I. Ginnane was Australia's answer to Roger
Corman. He produced a series of genre films in
Australia and New Zealand that included titles
such as Dead Kids, Patrick, Thirst, The Survivor and Turkey Shoot.
|Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Starring: Steve Railsback,
Olivia Hussey, Lynda Stoner, Michael Craig, Noel
Ferrier, Carmen Duncan
Screenplay: Jon George,
Neill D. Hicks
AKA: Escape 2000, Blood
Known in the USA as Escape 2000 (funny, as it
is set in 1995) and in the UK as Blood
Camp Thatcher, Turkey Shoot has
some of the legends of 1980s Australian talent:
Noel Ferrier, Carmen Duncan, Lynda Stoner (TV's
Cop Shop and Prisoner), Roger Ward (Mad
Max), and Gus Mercurio, with imports
Steve Railsback (The Devil's Rejects)
and Olivia Hussey rounding up the cast along with
veteran Michael Craig (The Vault of Horror).
Turkey Shoot tells the story
of a terrible future, where simply questioning
a police officer's actions can land you
in one of the state's terrible prison camps,
as Chris Walters (Olivia Hussey) has found out.
Joining two other new prisoners, subversive malcontent
Paul Anders (Steve Railsback) and prostitute Rita
Daniels (Lynda Stoner), she finds herself in the
inescapable camp run by Warden Charles Thatcher
(Michael Craig) and his villainous aide de camps
Chief Guard Ritter (Roger Ward) and Red (Gus Mercurio).
On occasion, Thatcher runs 'turkey shoots'
where he releases weaponless prisoners into the
forest surrounding the camp for various heavily
armed politicians and socialites to track down
and kill. The prisoners reward if they survive…freedom!!
Turkey Shoot was directed by
Brian Trenchard-Smith (Dead End Drive
Inn), and was an attempt to cash in on
the popularity of the Mad Max films
(dystopian future) and inescapable prisons (Escape
from New York). Unfortunately, this film
seems at times like something is missing, and
there is. One of the financial backers pulled
out at the last minute and the 15 pages of script
had to be removed, and the set up featuring citizen
unrest and a police state, became a small series
of stock footage of rioting and civilian rebellion.
This, and the fact that one of the female stars
refused to do nudity, and Steve Railsback's
intense method acting style which caused some
cast conflict meant that the movie and the director
suffered. Turkey Shoot went from
being an exploitative social commentary to an
over the top campy gore fest (remember most of
the Australian cast are known for either soap
operas or Grahame Kennedy's Blankety Blanks),
but somehow still remains a great bit of moronic
entertainment, and I mean that with great affection.
|A really nice and clear 2.35:1 transfer.
|Unspectacular Dolby 2.0 mono that just does the
|Blood and Thunder Memories is an interesting
23 minute 45 second series of interviews with
Lynda Stoner, Roger Ward and Michael Craig. Filmed
in 2003, this featurette is like a purging for
these three stars of the sins of Turkey
Shoot. Intercut with scenes from the
movie they discuss all their opinions of the film
and of other cast members.
A Good Soldier is a 9 minute 43 second interview
with director Brian Trenchard- Smith. As with
Blood and Thunder Memories, Trenchard Smith discusses
the trials and tribulations of filming Turkey
There is also a trailer for Turkey Shoot (2 minutes 40 seconds).
Umbrella Propaganda is four trailers of Umbrella
releases, including Barry Mackenzie Holds His
Own, Puberty Blues, The Kentucky Fried Movie and
Rock 'n' Roll High School.
|It is the 'car accident' factor that
makes this movie appealing. You don't want
to look, but you just have to. Turkey Shoot is a cult classic that does nothing for the reputation
of the Australian film industry, but has to be seen
never the less. Dumb fun!