The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Comic Critic Reviews "Turkey Shoot"

In the ‘70s and ‘80s a number of organizations both inside and outside the Australian government began providing grants to encourage Australian filmmaking. To establish this system, they needed movies that showed that they could make a profit. Exploitation films showed a return in other countries. So Aussie production outfits went for the low-hanging fruit. Turkey Shoot is an excellent example. Part dystopian future, part prison camp, it used every form of “exploitation” it could think of to entice an audience with low expectations of excellence to buy a ticket. Nudity, torture, sadism, excessive violence, they were all thrown in with only the weakest of dialog and story structure to hold it together. Turkey Shoot did not do well in Australia. Nor did it fare well in the USA, where it was titled Escape 2000. However, it was a different story in England. The writers of the movie thought it would be cute to name the evil commander of the prison camp Thatcher in homage to the then prime minister of England, Margaret Thatcher. When it came time to release this dredge of a movie in England, it was renamed Blood Camp Thatcher with the hope that the name would draw audiences. It did, significantly enough that the losses in Australia and America were overcome, and the movie was successful in making a profit. Don’t be surprised if you see familiar faces in Turkey Shoot. Every actor and celebrity in Australia from the small screen to the big screen wanted to participate in founding the Australian film industry. What I find sad is how everything that was seen as over-the-top in exploitation back in the ‘70s and ‘80s has almost become standard fare in the mainstream movies of today. Oh, by the way, Turkey Shootpasses the Bechdel Test. In 2014, another Australian film named Turkey Shoot was released. There are some similarities: prisoners, dystopian future, deadly chase, etc. But it follows the influence of The Running Man more than 1982’s Turkey Shoot.

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