Forgotten Friday Flick – “Turk 182!”

Since anarchy for a good cause seems to be a popular past picture theme for us, we’re keeping the bucking the system cinema going with another lesser known hidden gem – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re taking on big government all in the name of a little guy who is in need of some respect.  Seems a determined young man feels his injured on the job older brother is being ignored by the powers that be and decides to do something about it.  Painting, sand blasting, bridge light adjusting and a little graffiti are all part of the raise a little hell plan of the infamous…Turk 182!

Jimmy Lynch is a young man with little prospects – he jets from job to job, brushes off responsibilities and tends to not ever finish what he starts.  The one saving grace in his life is his older brother Terry who is a responsible firefighter and has taken care of Jimmy since their parents died.  But one day while celebrating and drinking at a bar during his off time, Terry runs out to answer the call of a tearful little boy who claims to know a girl who is trapped inside a burning building.  On instinct he heads inside, leaving Jimmy outside, and finds the girl hiding inside a trunk.  But when he turns to exit and comes face to face with firefighters who have a full blasting water hose pointed in his direction, he gets shot out a window and lands on a car.  The girl he’s holding escapes with no injuries, but Terry is not so lucky, suffering both physically and emotionally.  Problem is he was not on duty, drinking at the time and as such finds himself turned down from everything from worker’s comp to welfare to help pay for his much needed care.  A worried brother, young Jimmy tries to get some answers, even cornering the mayor for help, but after being blown off entirely he ultimately decides to take matters into his own hands.

There’s a lot of detailed story synopsis above that reads more like a dark drama than an audience pleasing picture, but the genius of the enjoyable Turk 182! lies in its ability to connect with the audience early.  A staple of the solid staging by Canadian Director Bob Clark (yes, he of A Christmas Story, Porky’s and the hidden gem From The Hip fame!), Turk 182! boldly takes its time getting into the more ruckus aspects of the story and makes the viewer care about characters first – thus making the payoff more poignant.  It’s something Clark as a filmmaker does incredibly well and with Turk 182! it helps turn what could have been an overly sentimental schmaltz fest into a fun flick that frankly feels genuine.  Not that the over-the-top antics of determined brother Jimmy aren’t a tad fantastical at times (could he really add graffiti to the ass of a horse while an officer is sitting on it?!), but being totally invested makes any and all more outrageous antics utterly forgivable.  Of course to fully work the actors have to believably bring to life relatable characters and thankfully everyone in Turk 182! is up to the challenge.  Timothy Hutton as earnest hothead Jimmy, Robert Ulrich (some of the best work of his career!) as the sullen older brother Terry, Kim Cattrall as their sensitive case worker, Peter Boyle as a surly head of security and especially Robert Culp as the seething slimy Mayor Tyler all bring their A-game (both with decent drama and hilarious humor!) to a flick that could have been an utter fluff fest with a false note.

Sadly Clark is no longer with us due to a tragic auto accident, but he leaves behind a long legacy of wondrous work of which Turk 182! is a deservedly big part.  I’m not saying naysayers won’t find faults within the film framework of Turk 182! as it’s a flick that may appear silly story wise, but it’s also a movie that isn’t afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve and for that it’s message of fighting injustice resonates big time.  A tall tale of the little guy getting some payback, the pain it brings to the powers that be and the joy to those who feel ignored – sounds like a sweet time at the cinema to me. Viva la Turk 182!


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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