Demir yumruk: Devler Geliyor
Iron Fist – Giants are Coming is an interesting fantastic Turkish film, because it uses super hero tropes, but isn’t really a super hero film. There is a diabolical villain ripped straight from pulp novels, disguises, and people punching people like they’re in those cliffhanger serials. But the actual masked hero is just a disguise used by the heroes after they fake their deaths. It is very common in these pulp Turkish cinema films for the heroes to essentially be super heroes already, with incredible fighting powers and brains. Often the heroes barely get into their costumes, because they don’t need them. Demir yumruk is a nice bridge of the two groups, and I certainly didn’t think that what transpired was how the super heroics was to be involved.
Our hero Enver is a typical Turkish film hero male, in that he regularly cheats on his girlfriend (who sees it as an amusing quirk – when she’s not violently kicking the other woman out of the house!), spends much of his time hanging out with his bros and at the gym, and gets into long long long physical fights will many many villains without even the slightest of bruises. His girlfriend Meral is a tough undercover woman who can fight just as well as the men while still looking like a fashion model. She is capable of infiltrating all sorts of locations and can dazzle the minds of villains with her belly dancing skills. She even saves Enver, though later he has to save her.
Beyond the ganking of pulp culture iconography and characters, Turkish cinema also features songs ripped from other films, and Demir yumruk is no exception. Surf rock aficionados will find something strangely familiar from the cool tune blasting over the opening credits, and fans of all film will recognize scores of all flavors mixmashed with scenes of completely different tones and movements. Turkey had those YouTube fan videos down pat decades before YouTube.
The influence from serials is especially prevalent, there are multiple long punching fights, and almost every one of the frequent fights has the hero or villain barely escape to menace again in a few minutes. Characters are captured and subsequently rescued, while villains disappear with magic tricks or use gimmick weapons.
Demir yumruk: Devler geliyor features actors in yellowface, and this isn’t the first time we’ve encountered Turkish Yellowface (or even Turkish characters named after Fu Man Chu!) But there is more on display now than I’ve seen before. Besides the Asian gang lead by Fumancu, there is another evil gang of Russians lead by a guy named Zagof. The heroic heroes try to use the enmity of the gangs to their advantage, but it just as often plays to their folly. It certainly ramps up the suspense, we don’t know which gang will become the dominant one until events play out.
Tunç Basaran has been a prolific writer and director in Turkish cinema, with many filmns in the fantasy action genres. In the West he would be best known for his cult cinema work like Iron Fist, the first Tarkan film, and Ayşecik Ve Sihirli Cüceler Rüyalar Ülkesinde, better known as Turkish Wizard of Oz.
At stake is a stash of uranium, hidden away with the only clue being a dagger that has a map to the location engraved on it. The diabolical Fumancu is after it, and not only wants to beat the cops, but also has competition, Cold War Style, from Russian villain Zagof. Fumancu is in a wheelchair and is shockingly effeminate. He’s got a honor guard of machine gun babes and has several assistant dudes standing over him. Speaking of Zagof, he’s also scheming to locate the uranium. He just arrived in Turkey to be briefed by his chief goon Doublehook, and his new secretary Meral. Meral look the part, complete with huge glasses.
Fumancu has divers bringing a coffin to the surface from the sewers (he then machine guns the divers!) But the coffin is empty! Fumancu has been led astray by the professor he’s torturing, who Fumansu now leaves to die as punishment.
Enver just spent the night with a random naked woman, and is doing the dance of trying to get her to leave in the morning. She refuses, and declares he’s now hers, and will have words with the women in all his photos (who Enver dismisses as his cousin!) The woman is his fiance Meral, who barges in right then and tosses the girl out (Enver dismisses the naked girl as his cousin!) The couple’s yelling soon turns into passionate kisses, and Meral is sad because her new undercover job is putting off their honeymoon.
A knock at the door results in the knocker being karate chopped so hard he flies through the house, out the patio window, and into a fountain. But it’s their good friend Orhan! Ha ha ha, all in good fun! Orhan tells Enver the chief wants to see him. On his day off! Clerks stole everything from this movie…
Murat is the son of the tortured professor from earlier, who finds his dad right before he expires. The professor tells him to find Priest Moricelli, who will tell him about the dagger. Enver arrives right then, I guess this is on his way to work. Murat and Enver begin to battle as the soundtrack plays some 1950s gang film rumble music. Enver eventually remembers to tell Murat that he’s a cop, and soon they are fast friends.
The Chief declares this the most important case ever, and puts Enver on the case, and is totally eager to have Murat help, and even Orhan. But that’s it, we can’t spare more than two cops and a random person on this most important case ever.
The trio then preceded to dive right into trouble, getting itno the way of both gangs and making enemies of them all. The gangs hate each other more, and soon the heroes are playing them against each other as often as they are getting played by the gangs.
Even Meral gets in on the double play action, ditching her undercover secretary gig for a few hours to become an undercover masked bellydancer as Fumancu entices an Arab guy with the exotic pleasures of Turkey in exchange for a suitcase full of cash and the promise of future misdeeds. (Fumancu plans to betray him immediately!)
Zagof makes himself a styrofoam— I mean, a steal hand that totally doesn’t look like an oven mitt. It shoots bullets, and is his plan to use it to convince an army to join him. Are armies so easily impressed that a guy in an oven mitt will impress them? Maybe in the 1970s, it was a strange era…
Zagof has Enver shot dead and has Meral bury him. Of course, the death is faked by a bullet proof vest, and the burying is faked because Orhan just happens to have a job at the cemetery. But good to know that all you have to do in Turkey to dispose of a dead body is to bribe a gravedigger.
Fumancu and Zagof’s men keep killing each other and capturing Meral and Murat, until a masked man confronts Fumancu’s men.
A super hero! He has Superman’s S symbol on his chest and Batman’s bat symbol on his belt (which also has an S on it!) He beats up people as Fumancu’s goons take Meral and Murat away, hopping on the truck that does so to hitch a ride. No one notices a masked idiot on the roof of the truck the whole way there.
Fumancu instantly recognizes Meral’s body as that of the belly dancer, has her clothes ripped off to prove it! He chains her up, then vanishes in a puff of smoke as Iron Fist appears. Due to some trap doors and gas, Iron Fist manages to save Murat, but not Meral (and Iron Fist is saved by Orhan!)
Despite everyone knowing who the makes hero is, he refuses to say who he is or explain his costume. Poor Murat isn’t too bright and thinks Enver is still dead. Fumancu uses a Freddy Kruegar glove to cut up the chained Meral a bit. Iron Fist bursts in and rescues her as Fumancu disappears in cloud of smoke again.
The heroes get parts of a dagger that leads to the uranium treasure, but Iron Fist is captured by Zagof and his men, who unmask Iron Fist as Enver. But just then, another Iron Fist appears! And Orhan! Fighting and punching and more fighting.
The last part of the dagger map to the treasure is buried in a cave, and as the heroes locate it, Zagof attacks Enver in the cave. Enver impales him in the chest. The cave collapses and Fumancu’s goons capture Enver’s friends, but the tables are soon turned as the friends fight back and all the goons are beaten up. We learn that Fumancu has been faking his wheelchair boundness the entire film as he gets up and runs to a car to escape. Luckily there is a convenient motorcycle for Enver to use to chase him down. Soon the two are battling in the desert (?!?) and Fumancu tries some weird Frankenstein kung fu stance with Freddy Krueger gloves on both hands. That doesn’t work and he is murdered by the hero. Huzzah! Turkey is safe again. But for how long????
Rated 7/10 (Zagof collects medals, Enver collects other women, The Chief, mysterious belly dancer, handsome Romulan, cave walking, desert walking)
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