Demir yumruk: Devler Geliyor
aka Iron Fist: The Giants Are Coming
1970 or 1973
Written and directed by Tunç Basaran
Iron Fist – Giants are Coming
It’s me! Super-Bat-Other Man!
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.
I can pick both nostrils at the same time! Can your Iron Fist do that?
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
The Hamburger Helper glove has gone evil!
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.
Dammit, Gandalf, stick with your own franchise!
|Enver (Enver Özer) – The all Turkish hero cop who takes this case. Like all manly Turkish men, he spends much time banging chicks who aren’t the one he’s dating, being shirtless, beating up other Turkish men, and showering with Turkish men. It’s almost as if they want me to write paragraphs and paragraphs about subtext…
|Meral (Feri Cansel) – The undercover investigator bringing down Zagof’s gang from the inside, while also dating Enver, who is bringing down Zagof and Fumancu’s gangs from the outside. Though she doesn’t dress up as the super hero, she does don a mask…when she dresses as a masked bellydancer to gain access to Fumancu’s hideout. Feri Cansel was a Turkish actress and sex symbol who lead a tragic life that ended short and violently, murdered by her fiancé in 1983. The exact number of films she starred in varies, because of the Turkish practice of cutting and pasting scenes into softcore/hardcore film, but she is widely believed to be the most prolific actor of the parça seks filmleri.
|Orhan (Süleyman Turan) – Ally of the heroes who is always chewing gum. He shows up randomly to help the heroes thanks to his many many jobs and connections. You could argue that Orhan is the real hero of Iron Fist, and you would be right! We all need an Orhan in our life.
|Murat (Orgun Alkan) – The son of murdered professor, so he seeks revenge against Fumancu for said murder. Joins up with the heroes because revenge. The chief of police has no problems with a loose cannon civilian joining the investigation to recover missing nuclear material by terrorists.
|Fumancu (Kayhan Yıldızoğlu) – Fumancu, more like Fu Man Chu! Except he’s not like Fu Man Chu, 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. But is he really Wheelchair Andy Warhol?
|Zagof (Altan Günbay) – Famed Russian Communist madman, seeking out the cache of uranium before it’s found by Fumancu (or people who aren’t Bondian supervillains!) He makes himself a steel hand that shoots bullets, because that’s what super villains do. His face was scared by Fumancu. Lusts after his secretaries, who he seems to hire locally, which is really weird for an international supervillain to do.
|Çengel (Tarık Şimşek) – The goon we call Doublehook, he is Zagof’s chief lieutenant. His hand is replaced by a double hook, which leaves an interesting slicing pattern when used for attacks. Doublehook also scratches itches on his face with it, which is just tempting fate. But that’s how Doublehook plays!
|Iron Fist (??? It is a mystery!) – A mysterious Super Hero character who starts helping the heroes right when another hero is declared dead by the enemies, but isn’t really dead. Almost as if that gives away who the hero is. But just when you think you’ve figured it out, another Iron Fist appears! Like the ending of Three Amigos!
Now this is art!