Turbo Kid: Nostalgia and Satire
Start writing a post

Turbo Kid: Nostalgia and Satire

When Superheroes Meet Mad Max

Turbo Kid: Nostalgia and Satire

Turbo Kid” may be the most mainstream superhero movie I’ve described so far.

That is, it’s the only film I’ve mentioned so far that fits a larger trend.

“Darkman” and “Unbreakable” were experiments, movies that meshed genres or fit in really small subgenres.

“Turbo Kid” is unusual but clearly fits in the same genre as short films like “Kung Fury” and TV shows like “Stranger Things” or “The Future Man.” It’s a retro 80’s movie.

“Turbo Kid” opens with grey smoke rolling across a desolate landscape and a narrator informing us acid rain and other problems caused an apocalypse, leaving a wasteland where people fight for what’s left.

“This is the future,” the narrator intones. “This is… 1997.”

1997, as Terminator fans remember, is the year Judgment Day was supposed to happen.

From there, we’re introduced to The Kid, an orphan who spends his time hiding from pillagers and collecting junk left from the old world (anything from cassette tapes to garden flamingoes).

Depending on what the Kid finds, he either resells the junk or adds it to his collection.

The Kid particularly loves comic books and anything else associated with Turbo Rider, a superhero who fought in the last war.

His routine gets upset when he befriends a strange girl who gets captured by Zeus, the head pillager.

Fortunately, the Kid finds Turbo Rider’s corpse and with a superhero’s gear and a few friends, he’s ready to end Zeus’ oppression.

Essentially, all this movie’s elements connect somehow to 80’s entertainment.

The Kid is a Spielberg Boy, a good-natured young male who somehow survive strange situations, like the heroes in “The Goonies” or “E.T.”

Turbo Rider’s gear gives the Kid powers similar to someone from 80’s cartoons like "Super Friends."

Zeus and his gang are classic Mad Max villains, down to the weird costumes.

The fight scenes emulate the violence from “Lethal Weapon” or “The Terminator.”

So, why do this crazy love letter to the 80’s work as a superhero film?

One reason is simply the fact “Turbo Kid” is a very well-made movie.

It has a TV pilot’s budget, but the directing and tone make it feel like a grand theatrical movie.

The other reason is it makes superheroes’ inherent absurdity work within the story.

Like “Darkman,” this movie pairs superheroes with other genres and lets them feed off each other.

But “Turbo Kid” takes a slightly different route than “Darkman” because it doesn’t just pay homage to certain genres.

As Michael Ironside (who played Zeus) noted, “Turbo Kid” is really a satire.

It takes elements from 80's entertainment and exaggerates them, blows them out of proportion.

Being a satire, “Turbo Kid” can go to strange places and still be a coherent movie.

It can have brutal violence and lovers kissing under an umbrella in the same scene.

It can have macho characters who say dramatic one-liners and cute characters who behave like nine-year-olds.

It can have a hero who finds a lost superhero’s gear and learns to use it, even when that’s highly improbable.

Satire allows us to enjoy silly or strange ideas.

Therefore, superheroes feel right at home in a satirical story like “Turbo Kid.”

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Alexis Hoffman

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all know that cutting out social interaction has taken its toll.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked Instagram How 2020 Was, And Maybe It Wasn't The Worst Year Ever

2020 is a year to remember but it's not as bad as we made it out to be.


It's finally 2021 and we're honestly all just happy that 2020 is over. I decided to ask my Instagram followers how they felt about 2020 and the results were a little more mixed up than expected.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ever since I watched "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days," I've been a major Matthew McConaughey fan. I've seen most of his movies, and I definitely got way too excited when he finally made an Instagram! So when he announced he would be releasing a memoir titled "Greenlights," I knew I absolutely had to get my hands on this book. And so did the rest of the world, as the book began to flood social media.

Truthfully, I would much rather read a fiction book and dive into another world than read a nonfiction book - even if it is one of my favorite celebrities. But I had a feeling this book wouldn't disappoint or bore.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Armie Hammer Scandal Discourse Is Kink Shaming And Harming Actual Victims

The rumors surrounding Armie Hammer has resulted in some very toxic and harmful discourse.


Sex is something that occupies a very significant place in our lives. Even asexual people can have an active sex life. With the various types of people that comprise this world, it obviously results in various sexual interests. And unconventional people can engage in some pretty unconventional sex practices. Even the most conventional people on the surface might surprise us with their sexual fantasies.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Top 10 'Sex and the City' Episodes You Need To Revisit Before The New Series

In anticipation for the upcoming series, "And Just Like That," here are the ten "Sex and the City" episodes you need to revisit.


"Sex and the City" has become quite the franchise since its premiere in the late nineties. The series lasted six seasons and even produced two films. Fans of the show were anxiously awaiting a revival, even if their hopes seemed futile. Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha Jones, recently spoke out saying she would not return to the show. Cattrall explained that she was never friends with her co-stars and even had a difficult relationship with Sarah Jessica Parker.

In the wake of Cattrall's revelation, rumors swirled the series would come back without her. On January 10, a new teaser was posted on social media for the new series, "And Just Like That." Now that a revival is officially confirmed, here are the ten "Sex and the City" episodes you need to revisit.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

My New Tattoo Reminds Me To Love Everyone With Intention—And Yes, That Includes Myself

I've realized that love has almost nothing to do with agreeing and almost everything to do with grace.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

I'm a big believer that everyone has a story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Women are known to lug around heavy purses with unnecessary items inside. How many of these useful items do you keep in your own bag? We need to be prepared with a list of things to have with us whenever we leave the house again.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments