Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is my Gnomestick!
I don't know if it was the fact that my theater did a double feature with Kung Fury, or the crowd I was with, or possibly both, but Turbo Kid is by far some of the most fun I've had in a theater this year. Neon-lit drink cups in hand with glowstick headbands, we were all cheering throughout both films at the best moments, and Turbo Kid proved to be as delightfully gory as I had hoped it would be.
It's a completely self-aware tribute to classic 80's scifi, taking place in "the future, the year 1997," where a mysterious nuclear fallout has wiped almost all of humanity and the straggling survivors are left to fend for themselves. A lot of elements pay tribute to the Mad Max series, including the insane brutes who chase our protagonists through their journey. Apple is an eccentric blonde who attaches herself to the unnamed protagonist, who eventually dons the nom de guerre "Turbo Kid," in tribute to a comic series he's a huge fan of. Turbo Kid comes across a Power Glove that shoots epic 80's laser beams, lovingly animated in the primitive special effects style of the time.
Turbo Kid is an immensely satisfying gorefest, packed to the brim with intense, edge-of-your-seat action and memorable characters hallmarked by classic physical attributes. Zeus (Michael Ironside), the villain, is a one-eyed menace who hobbles about on a five iron and maniacally turns human bodies into drinking water. Frederic is an Aussie arm wrestler with a past of his own. Apple is a delightfully quirky loner who falls in love with our hero. I feel like Munro Chambers (who played Turbo Kid) could have easily been replaced by Michael Cera and the character would have lost nothing. He emulated the quirky characteristics that Cera displays so well that it almost felt like I was watching a Michael Cera film.
I guess I'm a sucker for 1980's tributes, given how much I ended up loving Turbo Kid. The soundtrack was so spellbinding, and the plethora of stupid 80's tributes made it that much more awesome. The story may be fairly basic, and had this not been a full-on 80's tribute, it definitely would have had no chance of working. Fortunately, the directors use their main draw in a spectacular fashion, and what results is an amazingly fun time. Doing a double feature of this with Kung Fury is a perfect idea, so should you ever come across this film, I recommend watching them consecutively, preferably KF first. It will help you appreciate the complete 80's-gasm that's within this film so much more.