Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 4th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Australia, 1982
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writers: Jon George, Neill D. Hicks
Cast: Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey, Michael Craig, Carmen Duncan, Noel Ferrier, Lynda Stoner, Roger Ward, Michael Petrovitch, Gus Mercurio, John Ley, Bill Young
BluRay released: September 22nd, 2015
Approximate running time: 93 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: In the near future societies “deviants” are sent to a behavioral modifications camp that is run by sadistic warden who gives four “Deviants” a chance at gaining their freedom if they can survive his game of death.
Turkey Shoot was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith whose other notable films include, The Man from Hong Kong, Stunt Rock and BMX Bandits. Key collaborators on Turkey Shoot include, cinematographer John R. McLean (The Cars That Eat People), composer Brian May (Patrick, Mad Max) and producer Antony I. Ginnane (Fantasm Comes Again, Strange Behavior). Alternate titles that Turkey Shoot is also known under include, Escape 2000 and Blood Camp Thatcher.
When discussing Turkey Shoot is it easy to pick apart it flaws. Which start with a poorly constructed narrative that is virtually devoid of back-story and no I am not referring to the film’s lame attempt at trying to fit some back info into its opening credits. Also don’t get me started on this film poor use of stock footage or crudely executed special effects.
Fortunately things pick up after the opening act as the film’s narrative puts the focus on a stalk and kill scenario that pits four “Deviants” against the warden and thee of his friends. Another strength of this film is that once this game of death part of the film starts it is relentless and does not let up for one minute. And when it concludes it is followed by a balls to the wall final where the “Deviants” revolt against their captors.
And when it comes to its depiction of violence this is where this film excels the most. Carnage and sleaze are the two elements which best describe this melting pot of genres known as Turkey Shoot.
Performance wise, it is safe to say that none of the actors are ever going to cite their work on this film as one of their better performances. With that being said, this is one of those films that is best to just sit back and embrace the mayhem.
Turkey Shoot comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new transfer was created from the film’s original negative and the end result is another solid transfer from Severin Films.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in English. The audio is also in great shape as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too.
Trailer for the film under the title Turkey Shoot (2 minutes 46 seconds), an alternate opening credit sequence under the title Escape 2000 (1 minute 43 seconds), an interview with director Brian Trenchard-Smith (9 minutes 48 seconds), a featurette titled ‘Turkey Shoot: Blood & Thunder Memories’ (23 minutes 45 seconds), a round table discussion with director Brian Trenchard-Smith, producer Antony I. Ginnane and cinematographer Vincent Monton titled ‘The Ozploitation Renaissance’ (26 minutes 34 seconds), Not Quite Hollywood Extended Interviews with: Brian Trenchard Smith, Antony I. Ginnane, Steve Railsback, Lynda Stoner, Roger Ward, Gus Mercurio (77 minutes 8 seconds) and Bob McCarron and an audio commentary with Brian Trenchard-Smith.
Topics discussed in the interview with Brian Trenchard-Smith include, how the budget limitations caused large portions of the original screenplay to removed, how he overcame the limitations of the budget, the film’s graphic poster art for its UK theatrical release and how the film was a financial success, the negative critical reaction to the film and his thoughts about the final product.
Topics discussed in the featurette include, how the original tone of the film drastically changed due to the first fifteen pages of the script being dropped due to budget limitations, the cast, each of the participants’ in this extra discuss their role in making this film and their thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the round table discussion include, each participant discussing how they got into filmmaking and they also discuss in depth various other films that they have worked on.
Topics discussed in the extended Not Quite Hollywood interviews include, how the original screenplay took place in 1933 and due to funding restrictions they had to place the film in the future, cast & crew, when budget limitations forced him to reshape the film and he decided to make a satire, special effects and other production related topics.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the general consensus from all of the participants’ is that the film they signed on for is not the film which now exits, they discuss in depth the role in the making of the film and the many difficulties that arose throughout this production.
Overall Turkey Shoot gets a first rate release from Severin Films.
Note: Severin Films are also releasing this film on DVD.