Seytan aka Turkish Exorcist (Review)
|Canan Perver as Gul|
|Agah Hun as The exorcist (Father Amish here)|
|Meral Taygun as Gul’s mother Ayten|
Another Turkish rip-off in the fine tradition of Turkish rip-offs. This time it’s a scene for scene remake of The Exorcist, except since the Turkish people are Muslims a few changes were made, and it’s not that scene for scene. Because it follows the American version closely it doesn’t delve into plotical weirdness that other Turkish greats such as Turkish Star Wars and 3 Dev Adam do. But fear not, this is an effort in pain. I managed to get a subtitled version so I have actual character’s names (for the most part) and a vague memory of seeing The Exorcist 15 years ago as a point of comparison. As we can’t get to the end unless I get started, off we go!
The familiar strains of the Exorcist Theme play as the credits roll on a painting of Satan’s head as a background (or Seytan I guess he’s called in Turkish). Opens in the desert as an Amish looking guy is amid an archeological dig. Some skeletons are unearthed and Father Amish finds a pendant that has the Seytan’s face design from the painting in the opening credits sculpted on it. Then Father Amish goes to look at a statue of what I guess is Seytan that just happens to be in the desert at that site. The statue looks more like a green Martian from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books, but I digress.
Cut to a blonde lady at her home named Ayten (Ayten…Sayten…hmmmmm…), who hears noises. She checks in on her sleeping daughter, Gul, but nothing is found. Before Gul gets possessed by Seytan, we have to deal with her unfortunate name, which besides sounding like a family of birds, is also the name of a rank in the Cardassian military equal to Captain. So in essence, Seytan is an alegory representing Cardassia’s joining of the Dominion (Seytan) and eventual rejection via war thanks to outside help (Father Amish here, the Federation in Deep Space Nine). Ignoring the fact DS9 was made twenty years later, of course! Those Turkish people are always planning ahead!
The next day Gul is playing Tennis with her mom when two guys stroll up to talk to mom, all while the spooky Exorcist music plays, as scenes of daily life ARE spooky. Gul is later shown to be a sculpter because pacing was slower back in the seventies where as nowadays we’d have action already. Meanwhile Tugrul, who is nephew to some old guy and was one of the people talking to Gul’s Mom, visits his uncle, laments his mom’s sickness, then goes to visit her.
Gul’s mom finds a Ouija Board, and Gul shows her how she plays with it, and mentions a Captain Lersen who answers her questions, but Captain Lersen won’t talk that night. Later Gul’s mom is trying to track down her ex-husband to find out why he won’t come to Gul’s birthday, and yells on the phone, all while Gul overhears. Next morning, Gul’s mom hears new noises and goes to the attic to investigate, finding a book on Soul Abduction written by Tugrul (interestingly enough, called Seytan)
Tugrul’s Uncle has put Tugrul’s mom in the Loony Bin. The extras ham up the crazy in the Loony Bin scenes as he goes to see her (actually somewhat entertaining, those extras.) Later she dies. Back at the Gul house, no one knows where the book came from. At Gul’s birthday party, a man called Ekram is there. He wants to marry Gul’s mother, and is dressed like Satan would dress in his seventies disco best. This must have been Turkish stylish at the time, but if I ever make a movie and the Devil is in it, he will look exactly like this character. Tugrul and Ekram are friends as well. Gul goes to sleep but later returns to the party and pees green soup. Gul is cleaned up and put back to bed (and child peeing green soup=party’s over, so the guests leave). But seconds later Gul’s screams alert her mom to a new danger: Gul’s bed is bouncing all by itself! What monstrosity but the unbridled horror of Satan (Seytan) himself could unleash such terror upon an innocent child! And the bed is definitely not a few guys underneath pushing it up but definitely top notch special effects.
Enough of things happening, we journey back to Tugrul who is feeling guilty his mother suffered so he could get a good education and he paid her back by not becoming a millionaire. Who cares, right?
Gul is going crazy, telling people God will curse them, and is in a hospital. It looks like they actually stick a needle in the actress when they inject her with sedatives (no cutaways or makeup, well done if fact especially considering it’s a Turkish movie). The doctors say she’s sick, and take some X-Rays via some bloody bloody way and see nothing. They go back to Gul’s home (where she is now instead of the hospital) where Gul is now uncontrollably headbanging. Instead of doing the obvious (taking out the Metallica CD she must have bought) they watch as she flips back, and her throat puffs out like a bullfrog. Then she is completely possessed and smacks around the doctor before she’s sedated. She also begins emitting screeching cries that sound like a mix of baboon and Sand People.
More tests are run on poor Gul, including the hilarious shock therapy treatment where it looks like jackhammers are pounding into the sides of her head and she has a ridiculous look on her face.
Ekram is DEAD! His bloody corpse gets put into an ambulance and taken away as Gul’s mom arrives home to find Gul home alone, house nanny Suzan explains that Ekran was watching Gul. Hypnosis is tried on Gul to determine what happened. Instead, the hypnotist gets a sock to the balls as the possessor of Gul refuses to participate. Turgul is visited by a homicide detective investigating Ekram’s death. Meanwhile, Ayten finds a devil’s head-handled letter opener in Gul’s room and is mad, this is immediately followed by the homicide detective finding a devil something or other by where Ekram fell. The detective is then talking to Ayten when Ayten hears screams. Gul has turned green and is stabbing her legs. She pushes Ayten away and then moves chairs around, then tops that by the head twisting all the way around scene, hilariously pulled off.
Ayten is feed up with being the mother of the Prince of Darkness and talks to Tugrul about if he knows anything about exorcisms (he wrote the book you found, you idiot!). Oddly enough, Tugrul says not to believe all that junk (because he’s still feeling guilty about not being super rich.) He goes and sees Gul anyway, who tells him about his dead mom. He freaks out and leaves, but come back later and tapes some of what she is ranting, then takes the tape to a linguist. The linguist informs him she is just speaking Turkish backwards (Seytan must be dyslexic.)
After the linguist adventure, we see “Help Me” written on Gul’s stomach, but in Turkish, see, since this movie is Turkish and what not. A Mutual Friend tells Tugrul about Father Amish. Mutual Friend must have been hanging around in the opening credits or something, it’s not like he missed much by skipping the rest of the film so far. So Father Amish arrives. Father Amish immediately gets to work by putting Zemzem water on Gul. Zemzem water is water from the holy well of Zemzem, near the Kabaa in Mecca, and there is also a soft drink brand called Zemzem cola which is popular in the Middle East as a competitor to Coca-Cola. so don’t say you never learn anything from these reviews. Unless you already knew that, in which case I hate you.
After Zemzem water is sprinkled liberally, it just enrages Gul’s possessor. A loogie is hacked onto Father Amish, who then begins some religious sermon. Seytan responds with rapid bed jumping. After more recitations by Father Amish, Seytan begins rising Gul from the bed. By now Father Amish is reminding me of Donald Sutherland and Obi-Wan Kenobi, if they were combined by a horrible transporter accident. More Father Amish talks gets Gul back on the bed. Seytan barfs up a bunch of green goo, then laughs saying he will never give up the girl. Father Amish sprinkles more Zemzem water but Seytan floats up again. Father Amish is undeterred and more chanting eventually gets Seytan to come in for a landing. Father Amish and Tugral tie her up again, but PRANKED!! she escapes, beats both of the men, spins her head around backwards, and laughs. The Satan-Martian statue from the desert shows up in her room and she starts bowing, and I half expected her to bust out chanting “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy” like Wayne and Garth. After that burst she just stops and they tie her down again. Seytan has the endurance of a dead sloth. Father Amish says it’s the Devil and that he’s met him before (In Paris in 1940 when the Germans were rolling in…just kidding about this part!). Father Amish then has heart problems and has to take his pills. Seytan then appears as Tugrul’s dead mother and blames him for putting her in an asylum and making no money. Tugrul has to leave for a bit after that, and Father Amish takes on Seytan alone. Tugrul goes back in, though, and finds Father Amish dead on the floor! Tugrul then fights Seytan himself.
The Police Inspector has re-shown up just in time to see Tugrul go flying from the upstairs window and crash into the ground where Ekram was. Inspector asks him if he was pushed but Tugrul says it was suicide and he dies. That seemed to do it, though, and Gul is now 100% Seytan free, and remembers nothing of the incident. Hooray for Turkeywood! This was better done than some of the rip offs, mostly because it follows the basic plot of the American version. But it was now Turkish Star Wars!
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