Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde (Review)

Sihirbazlar Kralı Mandrake Kiling’in Peşinde

aka Kilink vs Mandrake

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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Baytekin Fezada Carpisanlar (Review)

Baytekin Fezada Carpisanlar

aka Flash Gordon’s Battle in Space

Directed and written by Sinasi Özonuk

So Turkey is the land to go to for awesome pop films from the 1960s and 1970s that skirt the boundaries of copyright infringement. Okay, they cross the boundaries and then moon the boarder guards. The tragedy is for every awesome Turkish film like Turist Omer Uzay Yolunda, the Kilink films, and Aysecik and the Bewitched Dwarfs in Dreamland, there are many lost Turkish films like Fantoma Istanbulda Bulusalim (Fantomas: Appointment in Istanbul), Binbasi Tayfun, and Ucan Kiz. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is lost Turkish films, and that light is…MTV Turkey. Yes, MTV Turkey. MTV Turkey has taken to showing a fantastic Turkish film every week, and somehow they keep playing films considered lost forever! It’s amazing, it’s awesome, it’s crazy that MTV is actually worth watching for the first time since they canceled Sifl and Olly! Even if it is the Turkish MTV, it still rules.

Baytekin fezada carpisanlar (Flash Gordon’s Battle in Space) is a 1967 film that cult movie lovers like me who don’t speak a lick of Turkish only knew through gritty photos from magazines from 1967 and had written it off as something we’d never see. Boy, I love being wrong! This film is totally awesome! Just don’t expect the special effects to be up to par with Hollywood, this is Turkey we’re talking about! Everything in the film is either cardboard or a dirty rag! Even the actors! The ray guns blasts are scratches on the films, the vessels are flying saucers hanging from strings, and backgrounds are paintings. Lots of sparklers, smoke, and repeated shots let us know when space battles are happening. Guys on a viewscreen are really in the next room talking through a window.

Hey, this film si so recently rediscovered, no one has made fan subs yet! But at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! The names in the roll call are guesses combined with what little information there was about the film.

Baytekin (Hasan Demirtag) – Baytekin is Flash Gordon! He’s just a mild mannered guy who has giant temper tantrums, gets tossed in jail, kidnapped by space thugs, and leads a revolution against a space tyrant. Hasan Demirtag was also in Fantoma Istanbulda Bulusalim, Zorro disi Fantoma’ya karsi, and played Tarkan in a film that came out before the more famous Tarkan films with Kartal Tibet.
Dale (Meltem Mete) – A rebel spy who helps Baytekin escape and becomes his love interest. Meltem Mete was also in Kadin dusmani and Mandrake Killing’e karsi.
Taranta (???) – A big bald dude who kidnaps Baytekin from jail and forces him to become a space hero. Not immune to rocks.
Ming the Guy Who May or May Not Have Mercy (???) – The evil guy who is evil and thus everyone fights against him. Take that, evil guy!
Rock Men (various) – The rockiest guys you ever did see! Did you know rocks are made of cloth and have zippers? Now you do. Use your newfound knowledge for good, not evil.
Wolf Cave Dudes (various) – A triumph of special effects.
Giant Muppet Carnivore (a Puppet) – The best thing ever filmed. Ever.

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