In the totalitarian near future, ‘social deviants’ are sent to prison camps for re-education and behaviour modification. The new arrivals at Camp 47 are Chris Walters (Olivia Hussey), a shopkeeper accused of helping a rebel; Rita Daniels (Lynda Stoner), a suspected sex worker; and Paul Anders (Steve Railsback), a dissident who has escaped from several other camps. After suffering brutal treatment at the hands of Camp Master Charles Thatcher (Michael Craig) and his chief enforcer, Ritter (Roger Ward), the prisoners accept a deadly deal. They will be human prey in a ‘turkey shoot’, which Thatcher has organised for Secretary Mallory (Noel Ferrier), and VIPs Jennifer (Carmen Duncan) and Tito (Michael Petrovich). If they can evade the heavily armed guests in the surrounding jungle until sundown, Chris, Rita and Paul will be set free. As the ‘turkey shoot’ progresses, the tables are turned, and the prisoners become the hunters…

“Turkey Shoot”, also known as “Escape 2000” and “Blood Camp Thatcher”, is a 1982 Australian dystopian futurist exploitation film directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith. The entire cast is a mix of international actors and Australian soap opera stars and television personalities. The film is notable for its extreme violence and sadistic prison sequences, and it features plot elements of The Most Dangerous Game, but rather than having human targets hunted for sport by a madman on his own island, the story features a concentration camp known as “The Establishment”, which offers the opportunity to rich adventurers with legal immunity. AskMen labeled it “Easily the cheapest and nastiest piece of mainstream celluloid ever stitched together by our Australia’s mad cinematic scientists”. “Turkey Shoot” featured in a Focus on Ozploitation collection of 1970s and 1980s Australian exploitation films, including Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, Dead End Drive-In and Razorback. These over-the-top B grade films were characterized by lashings of gratuitous sex, violence and fuel-injected muscle car mayhem which pushed the boundaries of audience taste to new limits. Olivia Hussey was miserable, upset and stressed throughout filming, believing Australia’s dangerous wildlife would be everywhere and hurt her, making it difficult to film her on location. Lynda Stoner had insisted on no nudity when accepted the role, but when she arrived on set she found out she was required to do some. She objected, pressure was put on her, so she compromised and did a back shot but says she always regretted it.The film lost about $700,000 of it’s $3,200,000 budget two weeks before production began when a major investor backed out at the last minute. Due to budget constraints the first 15 pages of the initial script were removed as well as a 4 page helicopter chase scene. The shooting schedule was reduced from 44 to 30 working days. “Turkey Shoot” is a classic campy action exploitation vehicle, with a social satiric backstory and can also be seen as a social political comment to a futuristic society. The lovely and beautiful Olivia Hussey does look scared and petrified in the movie, and apparently that was not acting. Steve Railsback is without no doubt a very unbalanced actor, but I always thought he did a good job in “The Stuntman”. Interesting to see Roger Ward doing a true villain as I have only seen him in “Mad Max” as far as I can remember. And the quite stunning Carmen Duncan is evil to the bone as Jennifer. Having been shot in North Queensland makes me feel a bit nostalgic as I used to live in Queensland myself. : ) And Brian May’s score adds to the atmosphere in the movie. Even if the material is pretty one-dimensional and the intent is to shock with its gore in one way or another with several sadistic scenes, I actually liked “Turkey Shoot”, being what it is within the Ozploitation genre. (3 out of 5)

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