Turkish Exorcist (1974) Turkish Star Wars (1982) Turkish Mad Max (1983)

Turkish Exploitation Cinema from the 1970’s to the late 1980’s  has had a long and varied selection of film remakes and rip-offs which have to be seen to be believed.  They have taken fantastical liberties with these productions. I have watched a selection of Turkish Exploitation films and here are three mini reviews and personal insights into a wilder side of exploitation genres, Turkish style!

A quick historical introduction to Turkish Exploitation Cinema of the 1960’s to 80’s: As copyright was virtually non existent on English language films during these times, many English language films were copied and re-filmed for an exclusive Turkish market. Movies such as Superman, Spider Man, Dracula, Tarzan, The Exorcist, The Wild Geese, Death Wish, all became fair game to the low budget Turkish producers who would churn our dozens of these ‘rip off’ titles to cash in on their market. With the onset of VHS and a flourishing home video market, many of these films found their way onto video tape and a whole new audience. Though, unfortunately, many of the original negatives of these films were destroyed in a warehouse fire many years ago, so only video prints were available and exchanged hands at fanatical prices.

With the arrival of DVD,  small but burgeoning labels such as Onar Films (since closed down due to personal issues) and other companies, these classic’s have had a new lease of life and and an ever growing fan base.

Seytan aka Satan (1974)

Director: Metin Erksan

Starring: Cihan Ünal Erol Amaç Ismail Hakkı Sen, Ahmet Turgutlu

Country: Turkey

Run Time: 1H 41Mins

Ratio: 1:33:1

Colour Language: Turkish with English Subs

Format: DVD-R

This is a shot by shot remake of The Exorcist set in contemporary Turkey during 1974. The Christian tropes have been replaced by Islamic ones, the original exorcist still exit sit as an aged archeologist with the biggest hat in the cinematic world! The psychologist-priest Father Karras, has been replaced by a book writing non-believer in the Devil, Tulrq, while the mother and daughter are played exactly like the American counter-part, though it is not clear what profession the mother has in the Turkish version. The special effects are, well lets say, basic but effective and the whole film is acted with all seriousness, while around the actors, sets wobble and light coloured pea soup vomit erupts. It is competently directed, pretty well acted and as a ‘rip-off’ film, very well produced. If the original copyright holders had seen this version, I guess that we would not of had the chance to marvel at this version at all.  The tennis scene is this film is funny as to not be believable, I guess if you were well off in Istanbul, you’d play tennis to pass the time!

TURKISH-EXORCIST-SEYTAN

Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam aka Turkish Star Wars (1982)

Director: Çetin Inanç

Starring: Cüneyt Arkin Aytekin Akkaya Füsun Uçar Hüseyin Peyda

Country: Turkey

Run Time: 91 Mins

Ratio: 1:33:1 Colour

Language: Turkish with English Subs

Format: DVD-R

This film is a classic example of stealing the band-wagon and trying to re-sell it! The film takes various key scenes from the Star Wars Death Star and the Millennium Falcon flying through space inter cutting it with a tale of two heroic brothers-in-arms who do battle with an evil wizard alien. The film follows the adventures of Murat (Arkın) and Ali (Akkaya), whose spaceships crash on a desert planet following a battle, they then battle to save the planet using an assortment of Wooden Swords, power bracelet and various handy martial arts moves, all the while battling huge furry humanoids in giant costumes! Yes it is as crazy as it sounds.I very much enjoyed this film, though poor quality print did make it difficult to appreciate the special effects.

Turkish Star Wars

Ölüme Son Adim  aka  Last Step To Death  (Turkish Mad Max) (1983)

Director:  Çetin Inanç

Starring: Cüneyt Arkin, Emel Tümer, Yildirim Gencer

Country: Turkey

Run Time: 87 Mins

Ratio: 1:33:1 Colour

Language: Turkish with English Subs

Format: DVD-R

More like a Turkish Wild Geese, this is purported to be a Mad Max rip-off but in fact it is a paired down version of the Wild Geese, with three heroic types instead of the fifty strong mercenary unit, North Turkey covers for Central Africa and the local soldiers are men dressed with huge scarves that chase our heroes through the mountains and foothills. The classic finale of the Wild Geese is played out with a slow moving truck, a please to ‘kill me now’ as our hero has to decide if he should kill his injured friend or not, all the while being chased by eight bad guys! All in all really cheesy. The score is a mish-mash of the Wild Geese and First Blood, with some Bondian cues thrown in for good measure. Again, very enjoyable for what it was and though little to do with it’s origins, still an example of what zero budgets can achieve.

Turkish Mad Max

These three examples are worth tracking down and viewing, though be warned that these films are basic, aimed at a home market and so the production values are cheap and cheerful. I am a enthusiast of films that would watch most anything, but if this mini review sparks an interest, then go ahead and tarck these titles down, you might surprise yourself!

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2 thoughts on “Turkish Exorcist (1974) Turkish Star Wars (1982) Turkish Mad Max (1983)

  1. I’ve seen the first two, as well as the Turkish “E.T.”, the Turkish “Young Frankenstein”, and a movie that didn’t have a discernible plot (it appeared to be a collection of randomly stitched-together scenes).

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