Turkey Shoot – Australia, 1982 – reviews

 

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‘Hunting is the sport… people are the prey!’

Turkey Shoot, also known as Escape 2000 and Blood Camp Thatcher, is a 1982 Australian dystopian futurist exploitation film with horror elements directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, notable for its extreme violence and sadistic prison sequences. The cast is a mix of international actors and Australian soap opera stars and television personalities including Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey, Michael Craig and Carmen Duncan. Aussie composer Brian May provided the synth-soaked score.

AskMen.com labeled the film “Easily the cheapest and nastiest piece of mainstream celluloid ever stitched together by our [Australia’s] mad cinematic scientists.”

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Release:

On 8 September 2015, Severin Films released Turkey Shoot in the US on Blu-ray HD-transfer, restored from the original vault negative, with the following features:

Not Quite Hollywood Out-Takes (1hr 17min) featuring Brian Trenchard Smith, Antony I. Ginnane, Steve Railsback, Lynda Stoner, Roger Ward, Gus Mercurio, Bob McCarron

• The Ozploitation Renaissance (26 mins) Discussion with Director Brian Trenchard-Smith, Producer Antony I. Ginnane and Cinematographer Vincent Morton

• Making of featurette (24 mins)

• Audio Commentary with director Brian Trenchard-Smith

• Trailer

• Escape 2000 Alternate Title Sequence

• Blood Camp Thatcher Alternate Title Sequence

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The film features plot elements of The Most Dangerous Game, but rather than having human targets hunted for sport by a madman on his own island, The Establishment offers the opportunity to rich adventurers with legal immunity.

In the future anyone who does not conform with the totalitarian government is thrown into a ‘re-education’ camp: a nightmarish place where torture, sadism, rape and murder are carried out on the whim of the psychotic commanding officer, Charles Thatcher (Michael Craig). Steve Railsback, Lynda Stoner and Olivia Hussey star as three spirited individuals who have been newly interred in such a camp. But can they survive the horrific ‘Turkey Shoot’ – a periodically-held event in which the camp leaders hunt down and kill the inmates for sport?

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Lynda Stoner was apparently very demanding on the set. Due to her strong animal beliefs (she is a long term campaigner of numerous animal right causes), she refused to cut open a dead fish in one scene, forcing the special effects department to jerry-rig together a fake one as fast as possible for the scene.

The British cinema release and the initial Guild Video VHS release suffered an incredible six minutes of cuts, listed here

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Buy DVD: Amazon.co.uk

“Those enticed by the frowzy hype Turkey Shoot has generated over the years will be pleased to know it doesn’t disappoint: like a freak at a carnival, a screening of the film fills its venue with an inscrutable air of weirdness. Dazzling in its unerring perversity, this air deserves to be bottled and preserved so future schlock appreciators can unscrew the cap and take a whiff.” Luke Buckmaster, In Film Australia

“Like a fine wine Turkey Shoot hasn’t properly aged yet and watching it before it peaks will only result in an uneven, and ultimately disappointing, experience. But give the film another decade, and Turkey Shoot could stand along any of the great, terrible trashy exploitation films in cinematic history. There is genius in this film, it just needs time to fester.” Where the Long Tail Ends

Australian horror | exploitation film | sci-fi horror | werewolf

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1981 - Blood Camp Thatcher (VHS)

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