Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Turkish Star Wars- The Definition of "So Bad It's Good"

            Where to begin here? The Turkish Star Wars is notorious in some circles for its unauthorized use of Star Wars footage (often it is rear projected while the actors perform in front) and swiping bits from the sound tracks to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Flash Gordon, Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes, The Black Hole among several others.
            The actual name of the film is Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam translated as “The Man Who Saved the World.” It was made in 1982 on a, presumably, low budget. But due to the very sketchy Turkish laws surrounding copyrights made up for it by stealing all of its space combat scenes from Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.
            The action sequences are the most laughable scenes. Often our heroes fight large pink furry creatures, obviously inspired from Chewbacca, but they come across more like Gossamer from Looney Tunes. They effortless rip off arms and decapitate them all without shedding blood. Also there are a number of mummy creatures, who look as if they are wrapped in toilet paper, and can kill a man with one flick of the wet end. These also cause our heroes no significant problem.  

            My particular favorite part however has to be the training montage. To prepare for his final battle our hero rips off Rocky and begins exercising to build himself up to superhuman proportions.  He does this by pounding the flats of his palms onto mounds of dirt, punching boulders, and hopping around with rocks tied to his legs. This last exercise allows him the power to bounce off trampolines when the camera angle is low.

No copyright infringement here.
The plot, from what I can tell, follows Murat and Ali, whose spaceships crash on a desert planet following a battle, shown by using footage from Star Wars as well as clips from the space shuttle launch. While hiking across the desert, with absolutely no evidence they guess that the planet is inhabited solely by women. Ali demonstrates the whistles he uses on women. However, he blows the wrong note or something and they are attacked by skeletons on horseback, which they defeat in hand-to-hand combat. The main villain soon shows up and captures the heroes, bringing them to his gladiatorial arena. The villain tells them he is actually from Earth and is a 1,000-year-old wizard. He tried to defeat Earth, but was always repelled by a shield of concentrated human brain molecules (shown as the Death Star). The only way he can bypass this is to use a human brain against it.
The heroes escape by beating everyone up and hide in a cave full of refugees. Murat develops a romantic connection with the only woman there, who looks after the children. (The romance is shown through many long eye-contacts and smiles from the girl, but nothing more. In fact, I don’t believe she has any lines). The wizard’s creatures attack and turn several of the children into monsters, their blood used to renew the evil wizard's immortality. The three then flee the cave and find a local bar, an obvious Mos Eisley Cantina rip off. The two men quickly get into a bar brawl, but the villain suddenly appears and captures them again.
The wizard separates the men and tries to convince them to join him. He sends his queen to seduce Ali, while he orders Murat to be brought before him. He offers Murat the chance to rule over the earth and stars if he joins him. He possesses the power of Earth's ancestry in the form of a golden brain, and all he needs to conquer Earth is a real human brain. After Murat refuses to give up his brain, the wizard shows that he has captured the woman and child. Meanwhile, monsters attack Ali when he is about to kiss the queen. They are both disabled by guards and then unproductively tortured by the wizard. Finally, the wizard pits Murat against a laugh inducing giant monster in the arena. Murat kills the monster and flees, taking the woman and the child with him. Ali is left behind.
Murat finds out about a sword made by the 13th clan, who melted a mountain thousands of "space years" ago to forge the weapon. Murat later finds this sword in a cave defended by two golden ninjas. He gains his light sabre equivalent- a golden sword shaped like a lightning bolt, which is obviously just made from wood and painted gold.  The hero runs around awkwardly with it, touching his enemies and killing them instantly. Murat goes to free his friend from a dungeon. However, Ali becomes envious of the sword, knocks out Murat and takes both the sword and the golden brain. The wizard tricks Ali into giving him the items. Now possessing them, the wizard has increased powers of some kind. He kills Ali and traps Murat, the woman, and the child, who then escape again 
Murat decides to melt down the golden sword and the golden human brain and forge them into a pair of gauntlets and boots. Equipped with magical gloves and super-jumping boots, he searches for the sorcerer to avenge his friend's death. After fighting monsters and skeletons, he comes face-to-face with his nemesis and karate chops him in half. He then leaves the planet for Earth in the Millennium Falcon.
            The film, as you have read, is astoundingly insane. I first found it on sale (long before Youtube) at a little video store in Buffalo that specialized in out of the ordinary films, and bought it on a whim. Some friends and I sat down, cracked open a few beers (every bad film is made better with beer) and watched. There were no subtitles in my copy, so we made up a plot as we went along, laughing our asses off the whole time. From what I saw it had bad editing, grainy film stock, odd choices of music, laughably cheap props, and amazingly bad action sequences. We had no idea what was happening, but loved every minute of it. Now that’s the definition of so bad its good.

Full film here