Turkey Shoot (1981) from Tuna

Turkey Shoot (1981) is an Australian exploitation originally film released in the US in a heavily edited (12 minutes cut) R rated version called Escape 2000. The longer version is now on a Region 1 DVD, marking the first time an uncut version has been available in the USA.

At some time in the future, the government demands absolute loyalty and mindless obedience, and deviants are sent to retraining facilities. We travel with three of them, a hooker (Lynda Stoner), an innocent (Olivia Hussey), and a free radio militant (Steve Railsback), who are being sent to the toughest of these retraining camps. The camp director has a unique way of keeping his population down. He organizes recreational prisoner-hunting expeditions for top government officials, and our three are picked as victims.

The film's claim to fame is extreme violence, but it does have one very nice nude group shower scene, where we see a bunch of hippies, recruited only for this scene, showing full frontal. Both Hussey and Stoner had strict no-nudity clauses in their agreements, but were arm-twisted into some exposure. Hussey shows her breasts, but her face is not in the shot. Stoner compromised, and did a nude shot from the back, showing buns.


see the main commentary (left)

Stoner claims to regret having given in on the nudity, and both women now wish they had not made this film. Stoner, a staunch animal activist, did hold the line when she was asked to clean fish in one scene, forcing the prop manager to create fake fish.

The mutilation effects were rather strong, including one guard having his hands chopped off with a machete, one of the prisoners shot repeatedly with a crossbow, at least two people burned alive, etc. Australian critics united in their condemnation of the film, and most of the cast and crew would rather forget it.

DVD info from Amazon

  • see the main commentary (right)

The transfer is a rather nice widescreen, some of the jungle footage is attractive, and there are several commentaries, shorts, etc, making it a rather nice DVD package. Unfortunately, the film is derivative, over the top, and, other than the extreme mutilation shots, nothing special.

The Critics Vote ...

  • There are no major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 4.0/10. (Probably referring mostly to the R-rated version)
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a low C-. I didn't mind the time spent watching it, but then I am an exploitation fanatic. Non-fanatics: beware.

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