In the totalitarian near future, objectors to the authoritarian rule are labelled ‘social deviants’ and sent to prison camps for re-education and behaviour modification.
The new arrivals at Re-Ed Camp 47 are Chris Walters (Olivia Hussey), a shy and law-abiding shopkeeper accused of helping a rebel (who had randomly stumbled into her store); 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 tyrannical Camp Master Charles Thatcher (Michael Craig) and his chief enforcer, Ritter (Roger Ward) – who has a luxurious moustache and a penchant for beating people to death for no reason – the prisoners accept a deadly deal.
They will be human prey in a ‘turkey shoot’ Thatcher has organised for Secretary Mallory (Noel Ferrier), and VIPs Jennifer (Carmen Duncan) – an upper-class lesbian with a crossbow and a collection of explosive arrows – and Tito (Michael Petrovich) – who is assisted by a top-hat-wearing werewolf-like freak called Alph (Steve Rackman).
If they can evade the heavily armed guests in the surrounding jungle until sundown, Chris, Rita and Paul will be set free.
As the shoot progresses, the prisoners turn the tables on the hunters.
Without doubt one of the most notorious Australian films ever made, Turkey Shoot attracted both wildly positive and negative reactions over the years. It was singled out for extraordinary praise by Quentin Tarantino when he visited Sydney in 2003 to launch Kill Bill.
With its unapologetically excessive display of gore and general mayhem (hands are cut off, bodies are split in two at the waist, and in one memorable scene a machine gun manages to make a head explode into thousands of pieces) it’s little wonder Turkey Shoot has an international reputation as one of the Ozploitation greats among ‘B’ movie buffs like Tarantino.
The film was known in the USA as Escape 2000 and released on video in the UK as Blood Camp Thatcher.