Turkey Shoot (Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1982)

If one were so inclined, one might find gestures towards satire, social commentary, or black humor in this film. It’s easy to read the over-the-top markers of genre (sadistic guards, fey overseers, creepy inmates, gratuitous nudity) and the maniacal obliteration of a futuristic reeducation camp (not to mention the cathartic explosion of a warden named Thatcher) as either an Antipodean knowing wink towards or a middle finger hoisted in the direction of a certain nation of Poms. Sadly, all of these gestures are imprisoned in the sub-basement of a narrative whose ground-level floors showcase unlikeable protagonist-ciphers, unexpectedly gooey violence (hackings and brainings and bifurcations, oh my) and the unexplained presence of a top-hatted manbeast.

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