‘Turbo Kid’: So bad it’s good


Willow Bowen, Editor

There have been plenty of retro sci-fi films and shows. There is one in particular that was never quite as mainstream as the others. I found it difficult to even find a following for this movie. The movie in question is called “Turbo Kid.” It was released in 2015 and follows The Kid, living in a ’90s  post apocalyptic society, where a hierarchy fights for the water supply, his only outlet in this world being comics written about a hero named Turbo Man. 

On one normal afternoon for The Kid, he is startled by a mysterious girl named Apple, who he soon finds out to be a robot. After his temper is tested, the antagonist Zeus makes it his mission to kill The Kid, Apple, and the western arm wrestler Frederick who is helping them. They have been on the search for a generator since their first encounter with Zeus resulted in Apple getting shot. One of their only advantages to winning their battle with Zeus is a high tech glove that The Kid stole off the arm of a dead corpse. This corpse resembles Turbo Man. 

“Turbo Kid” only had a budget of 60,000 dollars, so what they produced from that was actually quite impressive. Unfortunately, it only grossed about 67,069. It’s odd considering the fact that “Turbo Kid” is a lot like “Mad Max,” which has a huge fan base and franchise, but it was barely even recognized. If this movie had the budget of a Marvel movie, then it would mostly likely be a huge part of pop culture today. 

The plot was simple but effective. There were some moments where the characters were not doing much, but it did give a little more room for relationships to grow and develop smoothly. There was one plot hole that was questionable, and that was whether Turbo Man is real or not. When The Kid finds this glove in an abandoned space shuttle with a corpse who is wearing similar gear to Turbo Man, does this mean he is a real person? I guess that is something that the viewer will be left to interpret. 

The action scenes were a bit overly dramatic and gory, but that’s one of the things that makes this movie comedic and likable, which is odd because usually you wouldn’t find a bloody scene funny or likable. Despite the circumstances these characters are in, they create a fun environment that the viewers can enjoy. 

Many of the characters in this movie were unique and had their own distinct persona. The Kid and Apple had well thought out costumes and likable personalities, which made the story more enjoyable to watch. One of the villains named “The Bald Guard,” who wasn’t actually bald at all, had a great and memorable costume. It’s honestly a little upsetting that you don’t see people recognizing these characters in pop culture or at comic events. 

Music is a very important thing for many viewers and “Turbo Kid” is full of well-executed musical scores. They used a synthesizer for the music, which is a nice touch because of how retro and nostalgic it makes people feel. This came out one year before the hit series “Stranger Things,” but you can’t help comparing them based on the music, and honestly, that’s not a bad thing. 

At the end of the day “Turbo Kid” is so bad it’s good. I would give it a 4 out of 5 for its comedic action scenes, lovable characters, and the charming touch it will have on your heart. I would recommend this to people who enjoy comedy/action/sci-fis, but if you don’t like blood, beware. There is a lot. You can currently watch this movie for free on streaming service Tubi, so if you get around to it hopefully you enjoy what you see.