This Turkey No Turkey

In the early to mid-’80s, Australian exploitation cinema produced some of the finest, most insanely excessive movies ever to grace the Grindhouse and cheap VHS tapes. They starred people you never heard of, were shot in fantastically exotic Australian locales, and packed in more blood, guts and explosive glory per frame of film than all but their most storied domestic counterparts. Among the best of these obscure classics is Turkey Shoot, a 1982 film heavy on action, light on plot and full of awesome.

The story of a dystopic future society that punishes the least transgression with confinement to re-education camps serves mainly as a setup for the lengthy "turkey shoot" of the title — your basic man-hunting-man-for-sport kind of thing. You've got the square-jawed "man who can't be broken" lead; the beautiful, delicate woman he's protecting; and, of course, the disposable secondary roles/targets. They're all being chased by such cartoonish characters as the lisping hunter with the cannibalistic mutant-wolfman sidekick and the scary lady with the crossbow that fires explosive and barbed arrows. Of course, there are over-the-top depictions of brutality, grotesquely violent death, torture and dismemberment, as well as the inevitable climax, in which the camp itself is overrun and freedom/chaos reigns as everything in sight explodes. What more could you ask for?

See your yourself at 10 p.m. tonight and tomorrow when Turkey Shoot screens at Starz FilmCenter, in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus. Tickets are $9.50 general admission, $7 for students and seniors, and $6 for members of the Denver Film Society. For more info, call 303-595-3456 or visit www.denverfilm.org.
Fri., Nov. 27, 10 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 28, 10 p.m., 2009

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato