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Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde (Review)

Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde

aka Kilink vs Mandrake

1967
Written by Vecdi Uygun
Directed by Oksal Pekmezoglu

Kilink vs Mandrake
The smoke breaks never stop when you’re Kilink. Until the cancer comes…

It’s time once again for TarsTarkas.NET and Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill to hit you with a double dose of long-lost film action! This time, we travel all the way to the wild shores of Turkey to dig up a buried treasure featuring a guy in a skeleton suit and a magician battling it out for the heart (and money!) of a Princess from India. Yes, it is the lost classic, Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde (aka Kilink vs. Mandrake!)

Kilink finds his origin with Killing, and Italian photo comic anti-hero who dressed in a skeleton costume and did evil things and evil women. The series was published in many countries, including France where it was known as Satanik. Killing became Kilink in Turkey, and Kiling in Argentina, which continued to make their own photo comics far after the originals stopped production.

Kilink vs Mandrake
The Tony Stark of the Magician world…

Killing was the type of character that became very popular in Turkey because he was a type of ultimate male, and it was natural that they would make their own home-grown version. And thanks to the way the Turkish alphabet is structured, Killing became Kilink. Kilink Istanbul’da was originally reviewed here based off of a vcd, since then DVD releases have given us the first three films (including one film partially recreated from surviving stills.) After the Original Trilogy of Kilink films, Turkish cinema went wild (well, wilder) and a who batch of Kilink films were made from various companies, most of which were not connected to each other in any way, and they couldn’t even keep their spellings straight!

Director Yılmaz Atadeniz brought us four films – Kilink Istanbul’da (1967 – reviewed off of vcd, film is missing a steambath scene), Kilink uçan adama karsi (1967 – largely lost and restored on DVD by Onar films largely through surviving stills), Kilink Soy ve Öldür (1967), and Kilink Caniler Krali (Kilink King of Criminals – 1967 – believed lost). Yavuz Figenli gave us Kilink Oluler Konusmaz (Kilink The Dead Don’t Talk – 1967 – believed lost) and Kiling Sarışın Tehlike (Killing Blond Danger – 1967 – believed lost and possibly just a retitle of Kilink The Dead Don’t Talk).

Oksal Pekmezoğlu’s sole entry was this film, Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde (1967). Nuri Akıncı gave us the long-wanted to be seen Kilink Frankestayn ve Dr no’ya karsi (Kilink vs. Frankenstein – 1967 – believed lost). Natuk Baytan directed Saskin Hafiye Kilink’e karsi (Silly Detective vs Kilink – 1967 – believed lost). Çetin İnanç gave us Kilink Canilere Karşı (1967 – believed lost). Aram Gülyüz directed the only known female Kilink film – Dişi Kilink (1967 – believed lost)! That rounds out the 1960s.

The first 1970s Kilink was Birsen Kaya’s Kilink Olum Saciyor (Kilink Spreads Death – 1971 – believed lost). We then jump ahead a few years for Müjdat Saylav’s Killing Kolsuz Kahraman’a Karsi (Kilink vs. the One-Armed Warrior – 1975 – believed lost). And finally, the Kilink legacy continues with 2008’s tv movie Kilink-Kayıp Altınlar! I am pretty sure this is a comedy and has now entered my top ten list of movies to get.

Kilink vs Mandrake
Not racist!

As you just saw, so many were considered lost…until suddenly Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde was found! Crazy how that works. Originally, a copy was given to Onar films for an eventual DVD release, but Bill Barounis fell ill, and as he was Onar films, the film was never released and sadly Bill passed on. But you can never keep a cult film down, and Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde found its way into another person’s hands, who both subtitled the film and released a copy to the public via the usual method for lost rare films – carrier pigeon! And now it’s being force-fed to your brain thanks to this review!

One theory for the scant availability for Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde is that it was made for only a smaller region of Turkey, the city of Adana and the surrounding area. That would also explain some of the Kilink and other pop cinema films that are hard to find beyond the usually used explanations about the Turkish military destroying prints and the destruction of prints to get the silver iodide.

Director Oksal Pekmezoğlu was trained as an illustrator, began making opening credit sequences in films, and then moved from that to directing. He continued to make films until his death in 2004, though his output had slowed considerably by the end of the 80s.

Lee Falk’s Mandrake premiered in newspapers in 1934, and predates his creation of The Phantom (which also got Turkey films such as Kizil Maske and Kizil Maske!) Mandrake is a magician who specializes in hypnotism, and has all sorts of adventures you would expect magicians to have. Aside from a Mandrake serial in 1939, there are no Mandrake films. Mandrake did have a pilot filmed for an unproduced tv series in 1954, and showed up in several cartoons, most notably Defenders of the Earth. This film is the only actual Mandrake movie, even if it isn’t authorized. Turkey is like that, putting out the only known or first film version of many properties, even if they didn’t bother to get anyone’s permission.

Kilink vs Mandrake
The Amazing Jonathan’s done a few drive-bys…

Mandrake (Güven Erte) – The magician man with the plan, and that plan is to tease Indian Princesses until they like him. Those plans usually work.
Lothar (Mustafa Dik) – Holy Blackface, Batman! Mandrake’s partner is Lothar (though called Abdullah in the subtitles!) He is an African Prince who follows Mandrake around on his adventures. I am guessing that the actor is Mustafa Dik based on the title billing.
Kilink (Sadettin Düzgün) – Kilink is once again up to no good, being evil and doing evil things, like owning a brothel and whipping people. Including himself, as he has whipping scars all down his back. All his goons have scars, from the K’s carved into them to whipping scars of their own, giving a weird S&M feel. I bet his nickname is Special K!
Princess Neslihan (Mine Mutlu) – A Princess from India who spends her time hanging out in hotels in Turkey. And Mandrake puts the moves on her! But Kilink is eager to steal her crown and her money and her body!
Mustapha (???) – Blonde Kilink goon with a big K scar on his face. He kinda looks like an albino Joaquim Phoenix! I am not sure who played him.
Salma (Tansu Sayın) – Kilink’s blonde girl who wants to be his lady. Doesn’t she know there is no future in that? Tansu Sayın is in some other Turkish Pop Cinema classics like Demir Pençe Casuslar Savaşı, Zorro Dişi Fantoma’ya Karşı, and Zorro’nun Kara Kamçısı.
Kilink vs Mandrake
I got my jam-jams on!

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4 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm

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