Pembe Panter Gangsterlere Karşı
aka Pembe Panter \ Temel Reis: Gangsterlere Karşı aka Pink Panther and Popeye Against Gangsters
Written by Muzaffer Hepgüler
Directed by Oguz Gözen
One of the joys of watching weird and obscure movies from around the globe is finding things that not only make no logical sense but also make perfect sense. Pembe Panter \ Temel Reis: Gangsterlere Karşı is one such beast, because the concept of Pink Panther and Popeye teaming up to rescue a woman kidnapped by the mob not only seems like low tier fanfic but also seems completely acceptable as a live-action movie coming out of Turkey! If you wanted to see a live-action Pink Panther which is basically a guy in a Pink Panther onesie wandering around with a guy in a saior’s costume who looks way closer to Bluto than Popeye, then this is the perfect movie for you, person who doesn’t exist! Pembe Panter is basically a live-action cartoon, in fact it is pretty close to a children’s movie except for a few examples, like the nude photos in the background, some risque jokes that cause a female character to sound like she’s having an orgasm, and both of our heroes trying to look up her skirt. But that’s probably perfectly acceptable in a world that regularly produces movies like Pembe Panter in the first place!
The copy we have is recorded off of a television broadcast, appears to be missing a bit near the end, and has most of the major instances of smoking blurred out. It’s probably the best copy we are going to get without a major miracle happening, as I probably don’t have to tell you this isn’t exactly a 100% legal use of the characters. Or even 1% legal use! There is also no subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! And it helps that the film is low on dialogue in the first place. I guess the Pink Panther theme song also has lyrics? Or at least this Turkish version does during the opening credits, which play over a slideshow featuring a stuffed Pink Panther toy being posed. Poor Popeye isn’t even even acknowledged in stuffed slideshow or music form. Sometimes the title I see in articles/databases about the film is listed Pembe Panter Gangsterlere Karşı, and sometimes it is Pembe Panter \ Temel Reis: Gangsterlere Karşı (it is the latter on this print!), I’m not sure if they just renamed the film later or what is the deal.
But enough talk, let’s get to the magic that is Pink Panther….and Popeye….teaming up and taking down the mob!
Panter meets Popeye on the street and they spend the rest of the day goofing off, eating food, going fishing (and catching a chicken!), sleep in the park, read the newspaper, and annoy a random guy who is probably the Inspector. Meanwhile the mob is up to no good, trying to make some trouble in their Turkish neighborhood. They hang out gambling while a lady in a miniskirt slinks out on the fireplace while drinking. This is a kid’s movie, after all! The mob laughs at their evil plot to kidnap a lady.
Panter and Popeye got a job to look for that very specific lady which results in them going up to every lady in Turkey to see if she matches the photo and they all get upset. Hijinks ensue, our heroes are beaten with bags, all that jazz. By now the mob have tricked her by having one of them fake date her until they can grab her (he’s really dating the fireplace lady, who also rubs it in the face of the kidnap victim. Way to stand up for the sisterhood!)
Her only hope is our bumbling heroes, who at least manage to figure out that she’s being held captive inside. They first attempt to get inside by posing as door-to-door salesmen, but that ends in failure (and with a real salesman getting punched into a tree!)
Next they pretend to be exterminators and start spraying everywhere inside, having managed to walk past the only person home at the time, the fireplace moll girlfriend. Things get a bit beyond PG ratings including both of our heroes trying to look up her skirt and the noises she makes while things are getting sprayed. They manage to force their way inside the room where the captive is being held and let her know they are here to save her. But that’s the easy part!
Things don’t go as planned as the main mobster returns with a gun, but beyond the firearm, he’s strong enough to overpower both Popeye and Pink Panther in physical combat, even spanking Pink Panther with his own tail. If you are wondering if Popeye will ever eat some spinach and beat up these goons, he never does. The mob tie up the two heroes and light some dynamite, leaving them to be exploded to death. Luckily Panter has the power of spitting and spits out the burning fuse (which thankfully was really, really long!) These mob guys want to be James Bond-level villains of leaving heroes to die and not watching, but they can’t even defeat cartoon crew here!
The next we see them both are dressed up as ladies and strutting down the street, and also smacking the Inspector guy they were annoying earlier when he hits on them, aggressive catcall style! Some of the print must be missing (or the tv station just cut it out!) because suddenly the main gangster is chasing the two lady-clad heroes around and around some trees again and again like a cartoon, which this is, because it is totally a cartoon. The mob guy tires himself out and is crawling on the ground, and is promptly arrested along with the bad lady. Where these cops were this whole time is a total mystery, but it is good to know that cops in Turkey respond promptly when people are crawling in the street.
Panter and Popeye get their reward, and they all live happily ever after. Also it might have all been a dream, and after they wake up (due to Panter molesting Popeye in his sleep!!!! Kid’s movies were never like this!), they bump into the Inspector but he’s just a guy with a suitcase full of axes and knives. So they run away before they get axed, and…
This movie was very very dumb, and some of the humorous antics were just annoying screeching, mainly from the guy in the Panter costume. But it was also supposed to be as corny as it was, was obviously made on a shoestring budget and let the comedians playing the heroes riff and goof off enough that the whole effect was sort of charming. It isn’t the typical macho Turkish ripoff, but the uniqueness works in its favor, and it is often hard for foreign comedic children’s films to translate in any sort of meaningful way. Pembe Panter \ Temel Reis: Gangsterlere Karşı is a delight, a Turkish Delight if you will, and while totally not a mainstream cup of tea, it is definitely the type of weird and wonderful we love at TarsTarkas.NET!
Rated 8/10 (Eight panthers have adventures!)
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