Iron Fist: The Giants Are Coming

Demir yumruk: Devler Geliyor

aka Iron Fist: The Giants Are Coming
Demir yumruk Devler geliyor Iron Fist Giants are Coming
1970 or 1973
Written and directed by Tunç Basaran

Demir yumruk Devler geliyor Iron Fist Giants are Coming

It’s me! Super-Bat-Other Man!

Iron Fist – Giants are Coming 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.

Demir yumruk Devler geliyor Iron Fist Giants are Coming

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 Iron Fist Giants are Coming

The Hamburger Helper glove has gone evil!

Demir yumruk: Devler geliyor 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.

Demir yumruk Devler geliyor Iron Fist Giants are Coming

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!

Demir yumruk Devler geliyor Iron Fist Giants are Coming

Now this is art!

Continue reading

The Girl from B.I.K.I.N.I.

The Girl from B.I.K.I.N.I.

Written and directed by Fred Olen Ray (as Nicholas Medina)

The Girl from Bikini
I keep mine next to my Merry Marvel Marching Society card!

In TarsTarkas.NET’s quest to eventually get around to things, several Fred Olen Ray Bikini flicks are on the bucket list. So let’s begin to empty said bucket(which sadly had been buried beneath a pile of thousands of buckets filled with thousands of lists since 2004!) The Girl from B.I.K.I.N.I. is the first of the Tanya X movies (so first that she’s called Tania X here!), which went on to have two sequels (Bikini Royale and Bikini Royale 2) and a webseries that I believe was edited into another film. But this is the one that started it all.

The Girl from Bikini
Attica! Attica!

The Girl from B.I.K.I.N.I.‘s biggest problem is the date rape sequence. I’ve watched enough of these types of films that I know that slipping a woman some drugs that makes her super-horny is occasionally a thing, but here it’s done in an ultra-sleazy manner and Tanya wakes up with memory loss the next day. It’s disturbing.

Something that is interesting is the scene where Mong Lee (played by white actor Evan Stone), a sort of white warrior servant who wears mixed Asian combat garb, dresses in yellowface as a super stereotypical Asian person, right down to greasy black hair, ridiculous Coke-bottle glasses, and buck teeth. He wears the disguise over his own clothes, which bulge out from underneath, and it is insanely obvious that he is not what he appears to be. Needless to say, the disguise works. The thing is, is this disguise racist, or is the character using Asian stereotypes that the heroes fall for to his advantage to do his job, despite not being Asian? And if so, would that make the heroes racist, and Mong Lee someone who takes advantage of the ignorance of the masses? These are the questions asked by so many people watching these Skinimax flicks at 2am!

The Girl from Bikini
Mission: Impossible 5 was almost as bad as Mission: Impossible 2!

While the problems all go away by the next Tanya X adventure, we must discuss them, because them’s the rules. The spy genre’s campy nature makes it a ripe ground for parodies, allowing the adding of fantastic elements in addition to the expected hot babes in little clothing. The genre’s mainstream acceptance also means there will be spy erotic parodies for decades to come. Heh-heh-heh, I said “come!”

Tania X (Beverly Lynne) – Secret agent of B.I.K.I.N.I., put on the case to track down who is interfering with the Sensible Satellite Radio signals.
Mr. Whatley (Brad Bartram) – The boss of B.I.K.I.N.I., at least until the next film…
Mark Ten (Voodoo/Alexandre Boisvert) – Agent of the CIA who becomes part of the case as he’s tangentially related with his bodyguard duties.
Samantha Rhinehart (Rebecca Love) – Heir to the Rhineheart family that owns Sensible Satellite Radio, is a nymphomaniac (the best kind of maniac!) Was being guarded by Mark Ten, who brought her along when he teamed up with Tania X to find out what’s going on.
Patty Mercury (Nicole Sheridan) – Stripper who knows of information concerning the jamming of agent satellite feed. All strippers are well versed in satellite communications information. That and clear high heels.
Mong Lee (Evan Stone) – Fay Wong’s servant Evan Stone’s wacky costume this movie is vaguely Japanese warrior garb. How did this warrior come into service of Fay Wong? That is a tale that is for you to write!
Fay Wong (Gianna Lynn) – Tong warlord and secret mastermind behind the plot to control agent radio signals. Not sure why, because this plan won’t make any money and will just put a target on her back from every spy agency in the world.
Randolph Davis (Randy Spears) – Rich businessman who is up to nefarious deeds for cash. He’s also a date rapist, so fuck this guy!
Kim Chee (Lacie Heart) – Fay Wong’s lady friend that she does lady friendly things with, those lady friendly things being sexual in nature.
Nikita (Anthony Hardwood) – That show Nikita is pretty good, and the other, earlier show was also good. And the movies are various levels of good. This Nikita isn’t a show or movie, but is a Russian agent who gets caught in Tania X’s web of seduction. And then caught in her right hook.
The Girl from Bikini
The Mime from BIKINI!

Continue reading

King Kong (1962 – Review)

King Kong

Written by Vishwanath Panday, Pandit Mathur, Mastji, and Majrooh Sultanpuri (lyrics)
Directed by Babubhai Mistry

Not that King Kong, there are no giant apes in this movie, though there are guys who sort of look like giant apes when you squint, or at least fat blogs. Nope, this is 1962s Indian epic King Kong, starring the great Dara Singh in his first starring role. You remember Dara Singh from Samson right? The Infernal Brains Podcast about Dara Singh? Well, if not, you now have a bunch of extra listening and reading to do! For the rest of us, this is an entry in the MOSS (Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit) Conspiracy Big Muscle Tussle, featuring dudes and chicks with muscles doing muscular things in muscular ways. Said muscular ways usually means punching many things. Click on the MOSS Page to see many more entries, as long as your roid rage is low enough you won’t Hulk Smash all our webpages. As for King Kong, let’s just say that there is a giant monster in the beginning of the film, but it’s all downhill from there!

Dara Singh was born in 1928 in the Punjab village of Dharmuchak. He wrestled in local tournaments while growing up, but went to Singapore to seek employment as a laborer. He ended up learning East Asian wrestling techniques – in addition to the Indian (and surrounding regions) technique called Pehlwani – and returned to India. With his brother Randhawa, the two became professional wrestlers and soared through the ranks. By the 1970s, Dara and his brother were the highest paid wrestlers in India, earning 30-40 times the going rate for bouts. Dara was also the “world champion” in the local circuits.
King Kong 1962
Prior to his lead role here, Dara Singh had been relegated to stunt work in films like Sangdil (1952), Pehli Jhalak (First Sight) (1955), and Jagga Daku (1959). In King Kong and many of his later films, Dara helped do the fight choreography, as he thought the usual Indian choreography didn’t look real enough. As Dara Singh comes from a lower caste, there was often trouble finding leading women who would appear with him. Besides Kum Kum from this film, his usual partner was Mumtaz (seen here in Samson) Dara’s lower caste status helped instill him as a hero of the common man, though his films usually had him suddenly discover his noble roots (as this one does.) After his movie career slowed down, Dara Singh gained a new generation of fans when he appeared in the 1980s tv series Ramayana playing Hanuman.

The movie’s title King Kong is even taken from wrestling. Though a reference to the giant ape, King Kong became a wrestling title, one which Dara Singh soon claimed, winning it off of stocky Hungarian wrestler Emile Czaja – who often went billed as King Kong (including his appearance in this film!) Dara winning the King Kong title gave him enough fame that director Babubhai Mistri decided he would be bankable as a leading man. The added fact that it was cheaper for people to buy movie tickets than to pay for wrestling tickets was just gravy. Due to distribution politics/drama, low-budget stunt films like King Kong were usually exhibited in rural areas, often with the director or star in attendance presenting the film.

Director Babubhai Mistri did effects work at Wadia Movietone, and directed many mythologicals in the 1950s (mythologicals being a genre of Indian cinema that does stories from the religious texts.) by by the 60s was unable to direct big picture films, thus he turned to the B movie circuit and making Dara Singh a star.

Like most surviving Dara Singh films, King Kong is available on badly encoded unsubtitled vcd with the craptastic video quality you expect. And the vcd has commercials on the middle of the film! Luckily, a few Dara films have started to migrate to DVD, so maybe, just maybe, we’ll get some of his awesome stunt films on DVD soon…

As this is the inaugural Dara Singh starring flick, they didn’t trust him to headline the picture by his lonesome, so they threw in another character, the handsome swashbuckler type Badal (played by Chandrashekhar) There is also a comic relief sidekick for Badal. Comic relief sidekicks were so in vogue at this time, the evil warrior character Evil Guy also has his own comic relief sidekick. As you have probably noticed by some of the names, I haven’t figured them all out yet.

Jingu (Dara Singh) – A local warrior who lives with his mom, who has nicknamed him King Kong. His father is the disposed king, and he has a missing brother.
Radhi (Kum Kum) – The Princess’s maid and Jengu’s love interest. She does almost all the singing. This is Kum Kum’s lone Dara Singh co-starrer that I know about, she starred in B films and used that to get starring roles in big budget pictures.
Badal (Chandrashekhar as Chandra Shekhar) – Badal is the local handsome guy who hangs out with a Goofy Guy and crushes on the princess. He’s also the secret lost brother of Jingu.
Princess Rajkumari (Parveen Choudhary) – The Princess who falls for Badal when he saves her from slavers.
King Kong (Emile Czaja as King Kong) – The prior King Kong who is tossed out of the roll when Jingu proves himself the better man. Seeks revenge for his failure.
King Hingoo (Uma Dutt) – The evil king who disposed the prior king and now does evil stuff which is totally evil. Of course, we don’t actually see him doing much evil stuff, he just has some jerks working for him. But the dialogue probably mentions evil things that we don’t see…
Smoke Monster (Men in suit!) – YES!! The Smoke Monster is awesome, we demand more Smoke Monster! Too bad he dies five minutes into the film and the rest is people running around not fighting monsters. BOOOO!!

Continue reading

Kizil Maske (1968 Dir. – Çetin Inanç)

Kizil Maske

aka The Red Mask aka Turkish Phantom

1968 SinemaTurk Link
Directed by Çetin Inanç

The Phantom was pretty much the first costumed super hero to have a daily strip in the newspapers. Created by Lee Falk in 1936, the strip continues yet today. The Phantom’s base of operations is the Skull Cave located in the African nation of Bangalla. The Phantom passes down his mantel from father to son for several generations. There is a 1943 serial, which is probably the inspiration for these films, as well as an unofficial follow-up The Adventures of Captain Africa, which was originally going to be a Phantom serial until it was discovered they didn’t have the rights anymore! Check your contracts before you pour money into a project. This is your tip of the day. More information on The Phantom can be found on the internet, maybe you should Google it or something. This isn’t a website that gives you stuff on a silver platter, it is TarsTarkas.NET!

Okay, fine, here is some more Phantom Phacts for you: The Phantom was created by Lee Falk after the success of Mandrake the Magician (who also appeared unauthorized in a Turkish film where he fought Kilink: Mandrake Killing’e Karsi), Falk continued to work on the strip (with brief interruptions) until his death in 1999. The Phantom was the first superhero to not have his pupils show up when wearing a mask. The Phantom operates out of the Skull Cave, and all the previous Phantoms are buried there. Never leave a Phantom behind is their motto. Semper Phantom. The Phantom has three helpers, a mountain wolf called Devil, a horse named Hero, and a trained falcon named Fraka, who must love Battlestar Galactica. He also has dolphins, but dolphins are only good as bonus meat in tuna cans. The current Phantom is #21. The Phantom has two rings, one on each hand. One ring is used to mark his friends, while the second marks his enemies (marks made by punching the enemy in the face!) I am not sure how the friend ring marks work, but I am guessing not the same way.

There are three Turkish versions of the Phantom, two of which are entitled Kizil Maske and came out in 1968. If you think that is confusing, just remember that most of this information I had to decipher from articles written in Turkish! This is the first Kizil Maske, and the other 1968 one is sometimes designated Kizil Maske 2 or Kizil Maske (2). The second film seems to be made to try to bite off the first one, in some sort of Antz/A Bug’s Life or Deep Impact/Armageddon contest. The third Kizil Maske movie is KIZIL MASKE’NIN INTIKAMI (The Phantom’s Revenge), which came out in 1971. As the third movie has little to no information about it anywhere, I cannot say if it is directly related to either of the originals. If you have a copy, send it to me, because that will save me a lot of time looking for it. We are all about being lazy here at TarsTarkas.NET.

This entry was produced, directed, and written by Çetin Inanç, the protege of Yilmaz Atadeniz (who gave world the Kilink films.) Inanc went on to produce a whole ton of Turkish films, both craptacularly awesome superhero fair like this, and more modern stuff that includes violent action films. Kizil Maske translates to Red Mask, in case you were wondering. Remember how in old serials fights would break out all the time randomly, and last like five minutes? That’s pretty much this film. Long fights, lots of manly action, and Turkish men being men. No subtitles, either, because who needs those? At TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinkin’ subtitles! It is not like you need a flow chart to follow the plot: The bad dudes are bad, and the Phantom punches them for an hour or so. The end.

Let’s meet our exciting cast:

Kizil Maske ‘The Fantom’ (Irfan Atasoy) – Kizil Maske comes to Turkey from Africa to beat the crap out of bad dudes who are up to no good, making trouble in the neighborhood. Kizil Maske gets in fight after fight after fight and Memo gets scared. But Kizil Maske saves the day instead of moving to Bel Air, because that is the coward’s way out. Kizil Maske doesn’t bother to keep his real face hidden, which is pretty weird at times. But you get used to it. Irfan Atasoy was in a lot of the Turkish pulp films including two Kilinks, Casus Kiran, Kara Cellat, and Maskeli Seytan.
Sezer (Sezer Güvenirgil) – Daughter of the Professor, because all wizened old professors have incredibly hot daughters who date heroic super hero types. Thus, she is the love interest! Gets kidnapped, because that’s what happens to women in Turkish films.
Panter (Faruk Panter) – Hercules is alive and working for Kizil Maske. As Robin to Kizil Maske’s Batman, Hercules gets into scrapes and battles along side his friend, beating up countless goons and creeps. I am guessing he is named Panter because he pants like a dog while fighting his foes. Or the fact he doesn’t wear pants. Either one.
Memo (Sami Hazinses) – A comic sidekick/butler character who is like Alfred, except incompetent. Too bad for him. He is our comic relief, but in times like these relief is the last thing you want. I’d prefer Turist Omer over this guy.
The Professor (????) – The Professor who has created a magic formula that makes plants grow o full size with just a drop. Thus evil dudes want to kidnap him, for some reason. Maybe they work for some evil agribusiness. He may be named Professor Bennin, but then may be not, as it is very hard to decipher that crazy moon language the Turks speak in. I am not sure who the actor is.
Danyal (Ahmet Danyal Topatan) – A bad guy who wears a goofy hat most of the time. Helps Al Kapon Arif kidnap and kill all over Turkey. He is secretly a cop who is good, so don’t hate him too much. And spoilers.
Al Kapon Arif (Yildirim Gencer) – Head bad guy. I don’t know if he is supposed to be the real Al Capone or just an admirer. He is evil, and also tries to rape girls on trains. Because he is evil. Yildirim Gencer is in so many films your brain will explode. To prevent damaged craniums I am not listing any here.
Suzi (Suzan Avci) – A bad woman who is bad. Because even the evil dude needs a woman. There is someone for everyone, even has a section for women looking for criminal masterminds. Suzan Avci was in several of the Kilink films and a billion other films, sometimes being the hot evil babe, and sometimes just the hot babe.

Continue reading

The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy (review)

The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy

aka Las Luchadoras contra la momia

Lorena Velázquez as Gloria Venus (Loretta)
Armando Silvestre as Armando Rios
Elizabeth Campbell as Golden Rubi (Ruby)
Ramón Bugarini as Prince Fujiyata
Víctor Velázquez as Dr. Luis Trelles (Prof. Tracy)
Nathanael “Frankenstein” León as Fujiyata’s bald henchman

Mexico has a proud tradition of Los Luchadoros movies, from Santo fighting Martians to Blue Demon fighting Infernal Brains. Even the women get into the act, this is the second film featuring Las Luchadoras Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi, as well as the forth featuring the title villain, the Aztec Mummy (Earlier film Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.) It’s the Mexican version of Aliens vs. Predator, except from the 1960’s and thousands of times better. Like most of the Mexican Wrestling movies, it’s got lots of campy fun. However, this film has a dark side that scars it’s appeal this day. There is a gang of villains in the movie who are an Asian gang. Being that Mexico has like 2 Asian people in the 1960’s, they are all played by Mexicans. So the villains are a yellow-face stereotype similar to anti-Japan films made during World War II. The Yellow-faceness can be argued that they didn’t give the actors false slanted eyes, such as horrible examples on Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice and John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror, but they just had actors who looked vaguely Asian. Very vaguely. If you were drunk. And blind. And high on ‘shrooms. Barring that, the film holds together pretty well. Just view it for what it is, an artifact of the times. Sit back, relax, and pull a half-Nelson on your opponent while your tag-team partner distracts the ref so you can hit them with a chair.

Continue reading