Kizil Maske (1968 Dir. – Tolgay Ziyal)
aka The Red Mask aka Turkish Phantom
Directed by Tolgay Ziyal
Written by Alpay Ziyal
Another Turkish version of the Phantom, and another film called Kizil Maske! It looks like Turkey was so busy ripping off intellectual property that they started double-dipping! A different movie means everything changes, so now Kizil Maske is actually in Africa like the comic. We know this thanks to the very racist African natives who beat drums. Kizil Maske’s costume is completely different, and now he has a loyal dog companion instead of several employees. Kizil Maske changes into three costumes through the course of the film, which is two more than the other Kizil Maske.
As I mentioned in the last Turkish Phantom review, there are three Turkish versions of the Phantom, two of which are entitled Kizil Maske and were released in 1968, the third is KIZIL MASKE’NIN INTIKAMI, which came out in 1971. As the third movie has little to no information about it, I cannot say if it is directly related to either of the originals. As this is the second Kizil Maske, it is sometimes designated Kizil Maske 2 or Kizil Maske (2) when both are listed. We live to be confusing, so we won’t. Nyeh! Director Tolgay Ziyal also directed the Turkish version of Captain America called Binbasi Tayfun (1968). His sister Tora Ziyal was Gul Dukat’s daughter, but was killed by Damar during the Dominion retreat from Terok Nor. And now you know the rest of the story.
If you want to learn more about the real Phantom comics, go to Google or something, we have better things to do than be your personal information specialists. Okay, maybe we don’t, but we still ain’t gonna do your work for you! Just kidding. Time for some more patented Phantom Phacts: The Phantom’s Skull cave is guarded by members of the Bandar tribe, who shoot people with poisoned arrows. Totally not racist. The Phantom’s costume is colored blue in Scandinavia, red in Italy, Turkey, and formerly in Brazil, and brown in New Zealand. Celebrate diversity. Kit Walker is the given name of the current Phantom (Number 21). One more Phantom and they go bust, so the Dealer will win. There is a Phantom TV series that was produced in India in 1997 called Betaal Pachisi. Okay, that’s enough Phantom Phacts. Thank goodness.
With a whole new cast, we get a whole new plot, in which Kizil Maske is recruited to help after something gets stolen and it turns out to be a conspiracy. What is stolen? I have no idea. It is very hard to tell, and the lack of subtitles kept the plot from being explained. So my theory is they stole the MySQL database for TarsTarkas.NET, because that is very valuable and worth hiring a super hero from another continent to sort out the mess. I remember when The Jokester stole our database in 2005, luckily we hired Starman to kick his butt!
So the plot explanation will be filled with conjecture, speculation, and outright lies due to the lack of subtitles. Just like usual! At TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!
There are many jumpy cuts throughout the film, which are due to pieces missing due to film deterioration, and possibly pieces chopped out due to censoring. The opening title is obviously spliced in from new film stock as it is in completely different background and font that suddenly switches to a different style that lasts the rest of the credits (and is largely unreadable thanks to white letters on a photo with a giant white flare in the middle.) I don’t think anyone could have read any of the names had the film been digitally restored by experts.
These credits are the most legible ever!
In Africa, an African dude is playing the drums, because he’s African! The drum and his shield have the skull logo that The Phantom uses, because this African native is like Kizil Maske’s secretary or something. Enough of that, some guys are in a room somewhere discussing things. Men in the room include Semih Bey and Gulgun, whose conversation includes Kizil Maske. This scene is so poorly lit I had to break it down later to find out who was in it. The men get a call from Diana who mentions Africa, and we all know that is where Kizil Maske is. Things are confusing because of their speaking Turkish with no subtitles. Bastards! Don’t they know their target audience is Americans 40 years later? So our best guess is they are discussing the importance of keeping the TarsTarkas.NET MySQL database safe from those who would harm it. We have many enemies due to our awesomeness, as it causes jealously and despair. And enemies. Who are evil.
Some dudes charge on a house, and grab the guard outside (who screams very loudly yet isn’t heard by anyone!) They put on masks and head inside, shoot other guards, and steal something from the safe, but a dying guard kills one of the intruders. The rest escape, because this was a daring robbery. Semih Bey and Gulgun run in and discover the theft. It is so shocking that Diana sends a message to Kizil Maske. Thanks to AT&T not having cell phone coverage in the middle of the African forest (should have gone with Sprint…), they deliver a message to a native drummer. Who drums. The drumming continues drummer to drummer (sort of like the lighting of the beacons in Lord of the Rings, except with racist native imagery.) The last drummer (and the one we saw in the beginning) just gets up and runs to Kizil Maske’s cave (we don’t actually see him enter a cave, he is just suddenly in a cave) and tells Kizil Maske this. Kizil Maske was just chillin’ in the cave doing nothing except waiting for excited drummers to run in and tell him where to go next. It is a very boring life hanging out in a cave. Our hero leaps into action and vanishes (though that may just be a bad edit due to destroyed filmstock.)
Back in Turkey (I am assuming it all takes place in Turkey, because why wouldn’t it?) a mysterious bad dude with his face in the shadows and a girl in skimpy clothing nearby is not impressed by this Kizil Maske. You and me both, buddy. Speaking of Kizil Maske, he arrives at the airport in costume, with trench coat and hat on, and his dog on a leash. So in the 1960’s, could you travel the world by airplane while wearing a mask? And with your dog just on a leash with no muzzle? I can’t even bring WATER on an airplane anymore! This must be the same airport security that strip-searches grandmas but lets Uma Thurman bring a katana on the plane. He gets in chauffeured car, because when you hire Kizil Maske, you need to provide a driver. There are baddies watching, who follow. There is also a sheik watching all this. This sheik may or may not be evil, and he calls a bunch of other sheiks to report in. It is the Secret Order of Sheiks Who Watch The Airport (SOSWWTA)! Kizil Maske pulls a gun on driver, and orders him to the middle of nowhere, beats him up, demands answers, then driver kills himself with poison (not this again…)
Semih Bey, Gulgun, and Diana all chat with the Chief. Kizil Maske arrives, and everyone introduces themselves. Kizil Maske informs them that someone in the room is a traitor. Everyone is shocked, except me, as it is obvious that Semih Bey is the villain. Spoilers. Kizil Maske leaves to investigate a night club, as a matchbook from there was on one of the bodies. This lets the soundtrack play and instrumental version of Secret Agent Man! Kizil Maske and the bartender stare at each other, and we get a musical interlude as a lounge lady sings her night club act. Afterwards, Kizil Maske chats with her for a second or two, until a phone call rings for him. Diana’s mother has been stabbed! Oh, no! She’s such an important character I forgot to mention her. We also get a note from Ahtapot, he is the bad guy. That name sucks.
Helloooooooooo nurse! The night club singer is in the bathtub covered in bubbles, scrubbing away! Oh, to be Mr. Bubble back in 1968 Turkey… Kizil Maske is in costume and leaps onto the walls to go all voyeur on her. So Kizil Maske is an uncontrollable sex fiend now? He looks around her place, spies on her in the tub and out of it. She isn’t upset in the slightest that he is there. talks to him in a towel as he lies on her bed. This section has some very jumpy cuts….it is possible there was actual nudity at some point, but it is all chopped out, and maybe lost forever. Turkey!!! The lounge singer calls for “Champagne” from “room service,” which we all know is just some goons who come up – Kizil Maske gets the drop on them, but the fight drags on. The 1960’s Batman theme plays! Groovy.
The lounge singer is tied up in a chair during all this action. She escapes, grabs a gun and tries to kill Kizil Maske, only to shoot a goon by mistake. Another goon knifes her dead and then runs for it. Ahtapot is ticked off….and his hot babe plays with — A CAT!!!! All mysterious evil bosses need cats! More proof! All hail the cat!
Kizil Maske gets investigating, and is confronted by lots of goons. So he changes from his spy costume to his normal costume quickly (even changing sunglasses to mask, which makes it look like he showed his face, but it is later revealed his mask is on under his sunglasses.) A fight breaks out, which lasts so long that the song that was playing ends and a new song begins. Kizil Maske defeats them all because he is Kizil Maske, then tosses them all in the ladies’ restroom. He also got a name from one of the goons, and heads right for that person’s house to beat that guy up. However, that new guy is killed by a thrown knife before he can squeal.
The goons decide they need to get proactive, so now Diana captured by goons! The sheiks are following the goons, as spies or something. In addition, Semih Bey is revealed as Ahtapot, a revelation so shocking the one newborn infant who hadn’t figured it out dropped his bottle. Diana is chained up and tortured with a cigarette by Ahtapot’s hot babe. So she is hot and crazy. Go figure! Diana will also get guillotined, but first we have to test the guillotine, and even the test chop has to have the rope burned for the chopping to happen. Oddly enough, the don’t show someone re-attaching rope to replace the burnt rope. It is called editing magic.
Ahtapot calls Kizil Maske on the phone, because why not alert Kizil Maske as to what is going on so he can stop you? Complete idiots. Outside, a bunch of sheiks attack the compound (I have no clue why, except maybe to pump up the body count!) Ahtapot sets up the guillotine to kill Diana, then shoots his hot babe (what the Smurf?) and everyone leaves Diana alone to die. So she can be rescued by Kizil Maske, as she is seconds later.
Ahtapot is trying to escape via the sea. Kizil Maske must fight his way to the dock and fight the guards at the dock. As we know these movies are based on old serials, we know the fights will last several minutes, and they do. Finally, Kizil Maske fights his way to a boat, and gets in, chasing after Ahtapot’s much larger and should be faster boat. The police raid the empty house, by the way, finding only dead goons, dead sheiks, a dead hot girl, and non-dead Diana.
Kizil Maske speeds up to the escaping Ahtapot’s boat, now changed into a third costume, the Diving Kizil Maske costume. Gülgün is on the boat and shoots at him, but Kizil Maske dives and gets on the large yacht. He fights a bunch of goons, then shoots them all dead! Why didn’t you shoot them first? Ahtapot does nothing all this time except look angry and carry a briefcase containing whatever it was he faked the robbery of in the beginning of the movie. I had even forgotten that plot point by now. Kizil Maske then fights and kills Ahtapot, because Ahtapot is a loser. The day is saved, so Kizil Maske flies back to his cave in Africa, as it is more fun than hanging out in Turkey. And a sheik watches him do that.
Who were the frakking sheiks????? I’ve never seen a movie with random sheiks before.
The film doesn’t answer the important question: If both Kizil Maskes got into a fight, which would win? That, my friends, is a debate for the ages. But this guy would totally win, because he doesn’t need a guy dressed as Hercules to watch his back. If you haven’t read the other Kizil Maske movie review, READ IT NOW!!! You don’t want to enrage Turkish Phantoms, or any of the other 1960’s Turkish Pop Cinema heroes who litter the country like empty beer cans.
At least THIS Kizil Maske didn’t go around spanking people…
The Phantom continues in his pursuit of equality for women.
Rated 7/10 (Drummy, Native, Native 2.0, Matchbook, Note, Random Sheik, Random Sheik 2.0)