Turkey Shoot is a peculiarly charmless bit of trash. It’s a Most Dangerous Game story with multiple potential victims, prisoners of the state in a dystopian future. Their hunters consist of an evil lesbian (Carmen Duncan), a vicious fop (Michael Petrovitch) with a pet monster and a bureaucrat who’s so out of shape one has to wonder how they got him to walk so much in the film (Noel Ferrier). The main villain is Michael Craig. He’s not as bad as Duncan, Petrovitch or Ferrier. He’s far better than supporting villains Roger Ward and Gus Mercurio. But he’s still not a good villain. Craig doesn’t even have the enthusiasm to appear embarrassed.
There are a couple acceptable performances among the hunted, though not the leads. Bill Young and Lynda Stoner are both fine. There’s not much competition, of course, as leads Steve Railsback and Olivia Hussey are awful. Hussey’s far worse than Railsback, but he’s not any good either.
No one appears to be having any fun with Turkey. Given Trenchard-Smith’s direction is atrocious and inept at conveying the lousy script, it’d be hard for anyone to have any fun. Composer Brian May tries occasionally, but his energetic music–even when it’s not any good–doesn’t match Trenchard-Smith’s lame direction. He shoots almost every action shot in a long shot, the actors moving from right to left across the very wide frame. It’s exceptionally boring.
Actually, you know, John R. McLean’s photography is perfectly good. Sure, Bernard Hides’s production design is laughable, but Turkey Shoot has decent locations and McLean knows how to light them.
It’s not really a disappointment in any way because Turkey Shoot is never any good. Bad acting, bad writing, budget limitations aside, Trenchard-Smith just isn’t a competent director.
Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith; screenplay by Jon George and Neill D. Hicks, based on a story by George Schenck, Robert Williams and David Lawrence; director of photography, John R. McLean; edited by Alan Lake; music by Brian May; production designer, Bernard Hides; produced by William Fayman and Antony I. Ginnane; released by Roadshow.
Starring Steve Railsback (Paul Anders), Olivia Hussey (Chris Walters), Michael Craig (Charles Thatcher), Carmen Duncan (Jennifer), Noel Ferrier (Secretary Mallory), Lynda Stoner (Rita Daniels), Roger Ward (Chief Guard Ritter), Michael Petrovitch (Tito), Gus Mercurio (Red), John Ley (Dodge), Bill Young (Griff) and Steve Rackman (Alph).