Pembe Panter Gangsterlere Karşı (Review)

Pembe Panter Gangsterlere Karşı

aka Pembe Panter \ Temel Reis: Gangsterlere Karşı aka Pink Panther and Popeye Against Gangsters
Pembe Panter Gangsterlere Karşı Pink Panther Popeye
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!
Pembe Panter Gangsterlere Karşı Pink Panther Popeye
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!

Pembe Panter (Ahmet Sendil) – Pink Panther is a guy in a Pink Panther Onesie, and is actually Pink Panther, not a detective or a diamond. He loves hanging out and doing goofy stuff, but is also girl crazy like every character in every Turkish movie ever made. Unlike the cartoon, he talks, but as he’s played by a comedian being funny, he’s also often shrieking or making other weird noises.
Temel Reis (Muzaffer Hepgüler) – Popeye is the least Popeye looking Popeye I’ve seen in a live action film, and I’ve seen the Popeye in Dragon Lives Again! Don’t worry, it is all planned, as actor Muzaffer Hepgüler also wrote this film, so he obviously loves these characters and made this goofy tribute film.

Pembe Panter Gangsterlere Karşı Pink Panther Popeye
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Süpermen Dönüyor

Süpermen Dönüyor

aka Superman Returns aka Turkish Superman
Süpermen Dönüyor Turkish Superman
Written by Necdet Tok
Directed by Kunt Tulgar

Superman may have returned once again this past summer, but now he won’t leave, and he’s picking a fight with Batman! What a jerk! I guess we’ll just have to deal with his Turkish twin brother, who was more of a precursor to the most recent adaptation of Superman than we ever could have guessed! Be prepared for amazement, because Süpermen dönüyor is amazing. It’s pure pop culture reappropriation, done with less money that would buy a gallon of gas. And that is at 1979 gas prices! But enthusiasm for Superman is evident, and Superman fully fits in with Turkish pop cinema’s love of superior manly men who punch the crap out of dozens of evil doers without getting a scratch. You could argue that Superman is weaker, having gained his powers via his alien birthright. But the Turkish men are all awesome while being Turkish, and Superman’s ease of fit into the role shows that immigration and assimilation works just as well for Turkish Superman’s origins as it does for the American one. The subconscious parallel is strong, and speaks of Superman’s universal appeal across the globe.

Confession time, this review was originally written over 9 years ago, back before TarsTarkas.NET even used a CMS and I hand-coded every page in (awful) html. The review was terrible (even for then) and I never got around to fixing it fully, returning to it every two years or so, and rewatching Süpermen dönüyor in the process. I’ve seen it unsubtitled on VHS tape, unsubtitled on a DVDR I made of said tape, and subtitled on the amazing DVD from Omar Films. I watched it before there was an American film called Superman Returns, and I’ve watched it after Man of Steel came and left theaters. This review has been rewritten so much that none of the original version remains. The most interesting change was the reaction to Turkish Superman killing people in the wake of what happens in Man of Steel. I’m still against it, but now we know that Zach Snyder stole everything from Turkish Superman! It is time for this pigeon to take flight, time for the review to show the world that it is a super being! Time for Superman to return!

Süpermen Dönüyor Turkish Superman

I told you this would happen if you didn’t stop wanking!

Superman is a member of the proud club of US properties that got their very own Turkish productions that were “inspired” by the originals. In this case, “inspired” means “directly copied”. Superman is among the most-copied foriegn properties by Turkey. While Turkey is not the only country to use Superman in unauthorized ways, it was the most prolific, with an impressive output of films both easily found and missing and presumed destroyed.

There was a series of “Superman” films where he is called Super Adam, and only occasionally wore a costume loosely (and I mean loosely!) based on the US costume. 1971’s Süper Adam, and 1972’s Süper Adam Kadınlar Arasında and Süper Adam İstanbul’da. The 1972 film Süpermen Geliyor (Superman Is Coming) and the 1976 film Süpermen Fantoma’ya Karsi (Superman vs. The Phantom) both appear to be lost, though lost Turkish films have resurfaced before.

Supermen Fantoma Ya Karsi

These posters are all you’re going to get for Süpermen Fantoma’ya Karsi unless someone finds reels in their garage

Let us not forget 1979’s other Turkish Superman film, the softcore comedy Süper Selami. But in non-smut Supermanish films, the Superman-inspired (and Three Fantastic Supermen-inspired) Çılgın Kız ve Üç Süper Adam (3 Supermen and a Mad Girl) also came from Turkey in 1973. Turkey producers (and Cüneyt Arkın for one entry!) were also involved in two of the Three Fantastic Supermen films – Three Supermen vs The Godfather and 3 Supermen at the Olympics. The most recent Superman-ish Turkish film is 2012’s SuperTurk!

This was the second film directed by Kunt Tulgar (the first was 1974’s Tarzan Korkusuz AdamTarzan the Mighty Man ) Another notable film in his resume is the Turkish martial arts flick Ejderin İntikamı (Revenge of the Dragon) Kunt Tulgar has gained fame in the West due to his name having an unfortunate other meaning in English.

Süpermen dönüyor is an amazing film, and while not being the best Turkish pop cinema entry (that would be Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam!), it is definitely top 5, and is essential viewing for cult cinema fans.

Süpermen Dönüyor Turkish Superman

Until you get rebooted in 3 years…

Tayfun (Tayfun Demir) – Tayfun Demir stars at Superman (and thus Clark Kent), he looks 7 feet tall and wears some of the goofiest glasses ever during his Clark Kent scenes. His character is named Tayfun (such originality!) but we’re just going to call him Clark Kent and Superman, as it’s much easier for all involved. Tayfun Demir seems to have been plucked out of obscurity to star as Clark Kenty and Superman, but then jumped right back in, as all we’ve been able to dig up was a date of death in 2003. Fun fact: his name translates to Typhoon Iron, which is a real superhero name if I’ve heard one!
Süpermen (Tayfun Demir) – Superman came to Earth and is now Turkish. Turkish Superman powers: When he flies, he turns into a doll! Flying Superman can rear project backgrounds! Superman can use his mental powers to type at normal speed without touching the typewriter! Super x-ray vision that sees through clothes but not underwear! Guillotine-proof head! Superman can see back in time! Superman can see long distances, but not while he’s flying!
Alev (Güngör Bayrak) – The Lois Lane character is played by Güngör Bayrak. She does the traditional roles of being the damsel in distress that Superman has to save, falling in love with Superman but not Clark, as well as constantly getting in the way of the villain. As seems to be the case with most Turkish actresses in the 60s and 70s, Güngör Bayrak posed for some risque pictures, thus equivilencing herself with Margot Kidder, who was in Playboy in 1975.
Ekrem (Yildirim Gencer) – The Lex Luthor character wants kryptonite to use in a ray that will transform metal into other metals, so he can make lots of gold! Also, the ray will create a weapon against Superman, just for kicks. Ekrem is a reputable scientist, and you’d think he could easily get a hold of the formula from his friend without all sorts of evil schemes, but you’d be wrong! Ekrem is played by Yildirim Gencer, who starred in at least 197 films and died in 2005. We’ve seen him here before, but not his face. For he was…Kilink!!!
Professor Çetinel (Esref Kolçak) – Professor Çetinel (Hetin in the subtitles) is that famous scientist who discovered the formula for Kryptonite after finding a meteor containing it, thus becoming a target of mysterious villains lead by his trusted scientific colleague, Ekrim. He wants to use Kryptonite as an unlimited power supply. Is the father of Alev.
Haydar (Nejat Özbek) – Ekrem’s most prominent henchman, causes trouble for Alev and Superman on more than one occasion before he meets his untimely demise. Don’t be a henchman, folks!

Süpermen Dönüyor Turkish Superman

Superman never should have supported the French royalists…

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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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Turkish Wizard of Oz

Turkish Wizard of Oz

aka Aysecik ve sihirli cüceler rüyalar ülkesinde aka Aysecik and the Bewitched Dwarfs in Dreamland

Zeynep Degirmencioglu as Aysecik AKA Dorothy
Suleyman Turan as Korkulu AKA Scarecrow
Metin Serezli as Teneke Koruadam AKA Tin Woodman
Suna Selen as Kotu Cadi AKA Wicked Witch of the West
Ali Sen as Korkak Aslan AKA Cowardly Lion
Cemal Konca as The Great Wizard Keskin Zeka

Another Turkish remake??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aysecik ve sihirli cüceler rüyalar ülkesinde

This time, the land of Turks and Keys has brought us a remake of The Wizard of Oz, which is amazingly more faithful to the book at certain points than the big budget Hollywood version. It still manages to veer off into random directions, and is full of insane dancing, a gay scarecrow, and special effects that can be done better by three year olds. The previous Turkish filmsTurkish Exorcist, Turkish Spiderman, Turkish Star Trek, Turkish Star Wars, and Kilink Istanbul’da, have all been a barrel of laughs, horrors, and monkeys. Okay, no monkeys. No monkeys in here, either. Not even the winged variety. Sigh… This film continues the fine Turkish film tradition of making the audience say “What in the Hell?”
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Turist Omer Uzay Yolunda (Review)

Turist Omer Uzay Yolunda

aka Turist Omer in Star Trek aka Turkish Star Trek

Sadri Alisik as Turist Omer
Erol Amac as Mister Spak (yes, Spak)
Cemil Sahbaz as Kaptan Kirk
Ferdi Merter as Duktur McCoy
Fusun (aka Fusun Olgac) as Uhura
Yilmaz Sahin as Scoty

More Turkish Shenanigans. Actually early Turkish film, from when ripping off American films had not been perfected. Yet this wholesale rip off of Star Trek not only has the honor of being the first Star Trek movie ever made, but features ripped off opening credits, ripped off music, ripped off sound effects. The Director went to the trouble of creating sets that look good enough you know what they are supposed to be despite the fact they probably cost eight cents on a six cents budget. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if an obnoxious dirty greasy Turkish guy was transported into the middle of the Star Trek episode The Man Trap then this is the movie for you. Too bad you are probably trapped in an asylum somewhere instead of free to track down Turkish films. Turist Omer is from a series of films involving said greasy cowboy hatted oaf encountering various wacky scenarios and hijinks ensue. The first Turist Omer dates to 1964, and he’s also been in Turist Omer dumenciler krali (1965 – no clue on the translation), and Turist Omer Almanya’da (1966 – Turist Omer in Germany). This was the last of the series that I am aware of, though I wouldn’t be surprised if there were thirty more entries that will never be seen again due to the state of Turkish film preservation (Which may be doing us a favor, as some of these films could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Imagine Osama bin Laden taking over the airwaves and sending us non-stop Turkish dramas? The horror is too great to imagine. Sadri Alisik is sadly no longer with us, taken before Turist Omer could invade the Star Wars universe.
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Seytan aka Turkish Exorcist (Review)


aka Turkish Exorcist



Canan Perver as Gul
Agah Hun as The exorcist (Father Amish here)
Meral Taygun as Gul’s mother Ayten

Another Turkish rip-off in the fine tradition of Turkish rip-offs. This time it’s a scene for scene remake of The Exorcist, except since the Turkish people are Muslims a few changes were made, and it’s not that scene for scene. Because it follows the American version closely it doesn’t delve into plotical weirdness that other Turkish greats such as Turkish Star Wars and 3 Dev Adam do. But fear not, this is an effort in pain. I managed to get a subtitled version so I have actual character’s names (for the most part) and a vague memory of seeing The Exorcist 15 years ago as a point of comparison. As we can’t get to the end unless I get started, off we go!

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