Sunday, 31 July 2011
Blood Camp Thatcher / Turkey Shoot (1981, Brian Trenchard-Smith)
It's got blood! It's got camp! And it's got a character called Thatcher in it!
An Australian movie sometimes known as Turkey Shoot or Escape 2000, this has been clobbered with a frankly ridiculous amount of cuts in most of its incarnations but finally crept out uncut on Region 2 DVD a few years ago.
For the first half an hour or so, BCT trundles along as a fairly standard prison exploitation movie, set in the then-futuristic arse end of the twentieth century. People who oppose the state or, in the case of one character, hang out in badly decorated shops are unceremoniously hauled off to a detention camp to be re-educated. Here they are whipped, assaulted and forced to wear unflattering yellow boiler suits.
After that first half an hour, though, the flick changes gear for the better and becomes a riff on The Most Dangerous Game. Several prisoners are released, and hunted by wardens across the surrounding terrain. We are also introduced to Alph, a rather dapper werewolf/freak character with a taste for toes, who joins in the hunting fun. He seems particularly pleased with his novelty contact lenses and sleek facial fur - he's half lycanthrope, half Head & Shoulders advert.
The camp outweighs the sadism, and I had a great time with this movie. The gore effects are low-tech, naturally, but surprisingly effective in their own way.. There are lesbian archers, sudden hand removals and a bit of business with a sharpened log that has immediately earned a place in my all-time top ten 'sharpened log’ scenes. Oh, and there’s a top-notch exploding head. If only they’d chucked in a rubber octopus, I’d have glued this disc to my DVD player and cast all others aside.
If you've ever wanted to see a wolfman in a waistcoat eating the toes of a man who looks like Chris Evans, then this is the movie for you. I should probably point out that I don't mean the guy who played Captain America. I mean the other Chris Evans.