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on 14 November 2012
In the near future, people that are deemed to be "social deviants" are sent to prison camps for re-education and behaviour modification. The film opens with three new arrivals, Paul (Steve Railsback), Chris (Olivia Hussey) and Rita (Lynda Stoner). As soon as they arrive they're met by Chief Guard Ritter (Roger Ward) and later witness him beat a female prisoner into a bloody mess, something that not only seems to be acceptable to Camp Master Charles Thatcher (Michael Craig), but endorsed. After the three put up with several weeks of brutal treatment from Thatcher and his men, they accept Thatcher's invitation to participate in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Thatcher and a few selected others will hunt them down on the island and kill them, but if they survive until sundown they'll be set free. It's obvious there's no way Thatcher will stick to his word, so the prisoners attempt to fight back and kill the hunters.

Steve Railsback is a very likeable lead, something that wasn't too difficult when you consider that almost everyone else at the camp are perfect "love to hate them" characters. He's definitely the main star, and carries the film extremely well. Railsback is a method actor, something that really annoyed Michael Craig in particular. From what several people connected with the film have said, Olivia Hussey was extremely shy, miserable and upset during filming believing that Australia's dangerous wildlife would hurt her. This made shooting her on location very difficult, but it works for the character she was playing. Whenever she looks upset, it looks completely real. Lynda Stoner seems quite disinterested most of the film, she was apparently very difficult on set and looks like she would rather have been anywhere else. Michael Craig and Roger Ward are great as Thatcher and Ritter, they seem to be having a blast playing the bad guys. There's some really fun performances from the rest of the cast as well, especially from a couple of the hunters. It was a very troubled shoot, so I think a lot of credit has to go to director Brian Trenchard-Smith who still managed to make an exciting, fun film. He's probably best known for the film he made after Turkey Shoot called BMX Bandits with Nicole Kidman, he also directed the underrated Dead-End Drive In and Night Of The Demons 2. There's a bit of nudity, some pretty decent gore including a brilliant head explosion and the music is great.

Apart from the problems with Hussey and Stoner on set, the film also lost $700,000 from its budget just before shooting began when an investor pulled out. This led to the first 15 pages of the script being torn out and a 4 page helicopter chase scene being removed, the shoot was also reduced from 44 days down to 30. It's quite obvious from the interviews on the extras that the film was initially meant to be a much more serious film, with a much larger social commentary. For the first 15 minutes or so it's still quite a serious film, but we're then introduced to a wolfman wearing a waistcoat and top hat from a circus and it becomes clear that they decided to just have fun instead. I was initially shocked the first time I saw the film and the wolfman appeared, suddenly it went from a serious, brutal, nasty film to a film where suddenly I knew anything could and probably would happen. Even Thatcher's name wasn't in there by mistake, this was the early '80s and the iron fisted warden was a pop at Margaret Thatcher. The film was even released in the UK as Blood Camp Thatcher, it was called Escape 2000 in the US despite the trailer claiming that it takes place in 1995.

The dvd from Optimum has a beautiful widescreen print, I've seen a few blu-rays that don't look as good as this. The sound is fine, everything's clear and there's no hiss or other problems. There's a 10 minute featurette which is Brian Trenchard-Smith talking about the film and its problems, there's then a very interesting 24 minute retrospective with several of the actors discussing the film. I actually got a little annoyed watching it, Lynda Stoner clearly hates the film and regrets being in it, she sure doesn't waste any opportunity to let us know how disgusting and pathetic she thinks it is. For an actress that never really went on to do anything, I would have thought she'd get a kick out of this film becoming a cult classic and it's surely the film most people will remember her from. Thankfully Roger Ward and Michael Craig come across much better and seem to have fond memories of the film, unlike the eternally ungrateful Stoner. There's no subtitles.

A lot of people think of Turkey Shoot as a "so bad it's good" movie, I don't. I genuinely love the movie and think it's one of the very best Ozploitation movies ever made, especially considering the amount of problems the film had prior to and during shooting. It mixes horror, prison drama, comedy and action together to make one of the most fun films of the '80s. Whether you love it because you think it's awful, or simply love it because of its over the top awesomeness, everyone should give it a go if you can just accept films as pure entertainment.
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on 15 December 2008
A group of three people(played by Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey and Lynda Stoner) labelled as deviants by the government, are sent to a notorious prison camp, where the sadistic Charles Thatcher(Michael Craig) and his equally brutal cheif guard Ritter(Roger Ward)preside over the corrupt establishment. The 'deviants' are sent to the camp for re-education and rehabilitation, in other words subjected to numerous tortures and other horrors.
However Thatcher has a special treat for the three new prisoners. He organises regular 'turkey shoots' where prisoners are chosen by various rich thrill seekers to be the prey in their hunt. They are given a head start, then the hunters set off in pursuit-Tito(Michael Petrovich) a pompous colonial with his very own wolf/human mutant in tow, the vicious Jennifer(Carmen Duncan) with her collection of exploding arrows and obnoxious prison official Mallory(Noel Ferrier) who has designs on Hussey's character. Thatcher picks Paul Anders(Railsback) as his target. What follows is a deadly struggle to the death.
This is an extremely gory, exploitative piece of low budget horror/sci-fi. It also happens to be highly entertaining. The film really takes over once the hunt begins, with the unarmed prisoners using all their ingenuity and wits to fight back against the hunters, and this leads to some wonderfully over the top gory set pieces. Somebodies cut in half, another ends with their head sliced in two by a cleaver, another with an exploding dart in their head.
The special effects don't always work, but the cast all give their all, and its an enjoyable piece of 80's sleaze, very much a product of its day. 4 out of 5
Just to mention the excellent Screen entertainment release, with wonderfully crisp picture and sound, far superior to the grainy Vipco release entitled 'Blood Camp Thatcher'. Highly recommended, and an great low price too
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on 22 June 2009
The original version of this cult Australian film "Escape 2000" was banned in the UK (under the title "Turkey Shoot") as part of the video nasty craze back in the 80's. I gotta say that I got a kick out of Turkey Shoot. It's just the sort of strange hybrid type film that I liked to see come out of the 1980s. Part sci-fi, part horror, part exploitation film - Turkey Shoot pretty much has it all, and somehow blends it all together well without becoming too "heavy-handed" with any specific elements. A bit disjointed and silly at times for as serious as the film seems to take itself, but definitely enjoyable and very entertaining. Turkey Shoot tells the story of a terrible future, where simply questioning a police officer's actions can land you in one of the state's terrible prison camps, as Chris Walters (Olivia Hussey) has found out. Joining two other new prisoners, a radio DJ and freedom fighter named Paul Anders (Steve Railsback) and prostitute Rita Daniels (Lynda Stoner), she finds herself in the inescapable camp run by Warden Charles Thatcher (Michael Craig) and his villainous partner Chief Guard Ritter (Roger Ward) and Red (Gus Mercurio). On occasion, Thatcher runs 'turkey shoots' where he releases defenseless prisoners into the forest surrounding the camp for various heavily armed politicians and socialites to track down and kill. The prisoners reward if they survive...freedom!!. Turkey Shoot was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith (Dead End Drive Inn), and was an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Mad Max films (dystopian future). The film was quite gory and violence was over the top and gritty, so if your a gorehound then you might like this. We do get a machete in the head, some severed body parts, a log through the chest, a stake in the eye and a whole host of other gory moments. Definitely not one to miss if you're a gore hound, like myself. The effects are pretty decent, as well, which is always a bonus. There was also some nudity, a couple of shower scenes with a mixture of male and female full frontal. There are many elements of a great exploitation film here. Violence, nudity, bad acting and plenty of excellent one liners delivered by some very memorable characters. Strange that this film never became the cult classic it deserves to be. You should definitely check it out if you haven't already seen it.
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"Turkey Shoot" (also known as "Escape 2000" and "Escape from Camp Thatcher") is a cult Ozploitation film from the early 1980s. The basic plot is a re-working of a very old film called "The Most Dangerous Game" (which is a very good gothic little b-movie).
I was going to say this is low budget too, but it turned out to be even lower budget than they expected, when one of their backers pulled out just before shooting began, forcing them to modify the film accordingly. While it certainly shows its age, if you are in the mood, it is good fun, with lots of campy characters and ridiculous special effects. I thoroughly enjoyed it!


Three "social deviants" (Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey and Lynda Stoner) in some near future (you know it's the future by all the synth music) totalitarian state, are sent to "Camp 47" for re-education. There, the camp commander "Charles Thatcher" (Michael Craig) organises man hunts, using the prisoners as prey, to entertain his rich and influential guests. He selects the threesome to become the hunted. The beast. Speaking of beasts, amongst the camp's camp collection of visiting hunters is "Alph" a sort of half man, half werewolf by the looks of it (under the make up, it's actually the actor Steve Rackman, who played "Donk" in Crocodile Dundee) to add a bizarre angle to proceedings.

Th actors give it all they're worth, bless 'em. Some a bit extra.

The explosions are laughably anaemic, from exploding cross bow bolts and RPGs that Look like fireworks, to the jets which bomb the camp near the end. Regarded as quite shocking at the time, by modern standards, the "sadistic exploitation" stuff is very mild indeed, which helps to make it more fun as a bit of silly retro nonsense.

Thoroughly enjoyed it!
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on 23 April 2014
Turkey Shoot (aka Escape 2000 / Blood Camp Thatcher): citizens that defy the futuristic totalitarian government (branded ‘deviants’) are sent to prison camps for re-education; but this camp-master has other plans. The scene’s set well with an opening montage of violence / police brutality. The contrast between the scrawny camp workers and the decadent, pipe-smoking, cognac-sipping, liberty-takin’ fat-cat elite is simple, but effective.

The direction, production, sets and action are all way above scratch – particularly the striking imagery throughout and budget busting finale. Putting this DVD in I was expecting a cheap, schlocky B-movie and although this meets all of that criteria, it doesn’t hurt that it’s also a well-made, smart, political, exploitative, black-comedy, prison-camp action thriller. Boiled down, it’s a futuristic take on ‘The Most Dangerous Game‘ – Turkey Shoot is also, undeniably, 24 carat trash.

Score: 7/10 - from ParagraphFilmReviews dot com
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on 3 January 2015
posted fast,fantastic picture,uncut and a class film to boot.You can't ask for more than that!
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on 31 January 2010
Turkey Shoot
Aussie B Horror Comedy - plenty of funny moments, a couple of which will have you on the floor in tears.
the film, set some time in the future - hammy aussie actors in some sort of death camp run by an evil British baddie and his twisted entourage (check Alf! he he) - Evil Brit and followers go on hunt using inmates.
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on 5 May 2011
Directed by Anglo Australian filmmaker Brian Tenchard-Smith (most notably known for the Australian film that introduced Nicole Kidman to the world, BMX bandits, a kid/family movie, mainly remembered for the zeitgeist trend of the bicycle craze in the title), this post-Mad Max dystopian future movie tells the 'story' of a camp for retraining the 'deviates' of society, so that they may conform to the institutionalised norm as a whole. It begins with three people being taken in the back of a van to the camp of 'Re-Education and behaviour modification'. The camp looks much like the Nazi concentration camps of such films as SS Experiment Camp, or Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS. The film begins as all of the usual 'nazisploitation' movies do, with a pinch of titillation and humiliation. This is not however a nazisploitation movie, as it appears to have a more communist edge; as the motto goes (in a quite comical sequence where 'chief' guard Rimmer picks out the smallest woman, and mock-punches to her face, whilst forcing her to recite it), "I am a deviate, lowest form on earth..."

The main 'heroes' of the piece, are Paul (Steve Railsback), and Chris (Olivia Hussey - also known for such genre films as It, and Black Christmas). These also constitute the ubiquitous love interest within the plot. Whilst the inhabitants of the camp are humiliated and ritually abused in almost gladiatorial fashions, the main plot stems from the concept highlighted by the films title (although this was altered both for the UK video market - Camp Blood Thatcher; and the US market, Escape 2000), where there are five prisoners who are set 'free' from the camp so that seemingly elite persons from society can game hunt them with no consequences. All this leads to utterly predictable outcomes, resulting in an attempted overthrown of the 'authorities'!

The film exploits the concept of game hunting with elements of gore (again ubiquitous of the times of production), but doesn't really explore the societal elements that the protagonists are trying to subvert. We know nothing of the 'societies' structural elements that may instigate any kind of revolution or revolt. What exactly are the protagonists subverting? What are the policies, or dogmas of this 'society'? We only see the camp, and are not given any knowledge of the non-diagetic world beyond this.

The rich hunt the imprisoned. That is about as political as this movie gets. OK, so all movies don't necessarily need to have a message, granted. But if you are going to make a film set in a dystopian future, the world needs to be constructed so that we may understand why this future exists. To add insult to injury - despite the finale having a touch of gore - it almost seems like an episode of The A-Team, only people actually get shot. I almost forgot to say; a certain 'thing' accompanies one of the rich on the game hunt that he "found in a freakshow", which is essentially a badly dressed wolf-man. It's as if someone turned up on set in the wrong costume, and the director thought "well, we'll make it work!"

If you love bad filmmaking, with no social commentary, and no element of surprise or suspense, then you may well love this. But, it is, and will always be a bore!

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