Sunday, October 11, 2015
Blu-ray Review: TURKEY SHOOT (1981)
(a.k.a. ESCAPE 2000)
Directed by: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Distributed by CAV Distribution / Severin Films
I have had the DVD of ESCAPE 2000 for years, yet have never even opened it. I had no idea what a cult classic I was holding onto until I recently got the chance the check out the new Blu-ray of the film from Severin Films, using the original title, TURKEY SHOOT. Here is the basic plot of the film from the CAV website:
In a totalitarian near future, defiant citizens are labeled ‘deviants’ and sentenced to brutal ‘behavior modification’ camps. But when new prisoners Anders (Steve Railsback of THE STUNT MAN and HELTER SKELTER) and Walters (Olivia Hussey of ROMEO & JULIET and BLACK CHRISTMAS) are chosen as human prey for rich people to hunt, they will be thrust into a nightmare of depravity, dismemberment, cleaved skulls, exploding heads, lesbians with crossbows, the insane hungers of a deformed cannibal circus freak, and more. Michael Craig (THE VAULT OF HORROR), John Ley (BMX BANDITS) and Roger Ward (MAD MAX) co-star in this notorious blood-and-thunder shocker – also known as ESCAPE 2000 and BLOOD CAMP THATCHER – from maverick Ozploitation director Brian Trenchard-Smith (STUNT ROCK, DEAD END DRIVE-IN) and producer Antony I. Ginnane (PATRICK, THIRST), now fully restored in HD from the original vault negative.
This is a film I don't see talked about much for some reason, as to me it was an amazing film deserving of many accolades! The film stars one of my favorite genre actors, Steve Railsback. This is probably my favorite performance of his that I have seen. In fact, all the acting was pretty good in this film, although some of the dialog is pretty funny. Some of it is intentionally funny, I'm sure, but some is not. That is one thing that gives this film it's charm, though.
One thing to note is that TURKEY SHOOT is action packed from the beginning to the end. This is not really a horror movie by definition, although are some good kills and gore. It's more of a good 'ol exploitation film. It reminded me a lot of the ILSA films and the other "women in prison" flicks from the 1970's, especially the first part of the film as we see the new arrivals to the prison. The second half of the film plays out more like a RAMBO type revenge flick, as Paul and Chris have to stay alive as they are being hunted for sport. This second half is where we see some of the best gore, like a man getting his hands cut off with one swipe of a machete!
This movie is a lot of fun, and I can't recommend it enough. This would be a great film to get together and watch with a group of friends that like this type of film. The new transfer looks amazing on Blu-ray and is well worth the purchase.
TURKEY SHOOT is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from Severin Films and CAV Distribution and contains the following special features:
* The Ozploitation Renaissance roundtable discussion with Brian Trenchard-Smith, Antony I. Ginnane and Vincent Monton (26 minutes)
* Turkey Shoot: Blood & Thunder Memories - featurette with actors Michael Craig, Lynda Stoner and Roger Ward (24 minutes)
* Brian Trenchard-Smith Interview (10 minutes)
* NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: Extended Interviews with Brian Trenchard Smith, Antony I. Ginnane, Steve Railsback, Lynda Stoner, Roger Ward, Gus Mercurio and Bob McCarron
* Audio Commentary with Brian Trenchard-Smith
* Turkey Shoot Trailer
* Escape 2000 Alternate Title Sequence
* Blood Camp Thatcher Alternate Title Sequence
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray