When her husband Cemal is arrested in Romania, Emine is left alone with their child who needs immediate surgery. She takes a job as a needle worker at a garment workshop where she comes ... See full summary »
Ali and Zuhal take their first step into this big world committing a crime and it becomes impossible for them to live among people. A boy and a girl that were thrown out of the civilized ... See full summary »
In the absence of his father, a little boy and his mother live by themselves on a poor suburb for years. Boy impatiently waits his father's return, till the day a wounded outlaw takes refuge in their home.
Mahsun is homeless and unemployed. He lives in Rumelihisari (one of the most picturesque and oldest quarters of Istanbul), and tries to stay alive with the help of local fishermen. Mahsun ... See full summary »
Despite the relocation and the update to a contemporary setting (cars and neon signs are seen), Dracula IN ISTANBUL seems to be a fairly faithful retelling of the famous Bram Stoker story, albeit with the addition of a few new characters - namely a creepy hunchbacked servant who appears to be based on the Renfield character. Horror fans are familiar with Universal's Dracula (and, to a lesser degree, the Spanish version filmed at night on its sets) and the sequels that followed, and then Hammer's Dracula in 1958. But Dracula IN ISTANBUL is a film which seems to have slipped from public scrutiny, like most Turkish movies, and can only now be evaluated in an international, Internet-using world.
The movie has a stagy feel to it, due to the fact that it was basically the first genre movie ever made in Turkey at the time and the budget meant the movie was set-bound at all stages. However, the settings and occasional matte shots of a spooky castle are more than enough to give the movie an appropriate and authentic feel to it. The contemporary setting is a bit jarring at first but makes for some fun changes. For instance, the fragile Mina in the book - the main thrust of Dracula's attractions - here becomes a nightclub dancer played by Euro-beauty Annie Ball (I love the bathtub scene in which the camera shyly zooms into her legs at an appropriate moment). The acting appears stilted at times but is adequate for the production, with kudos going to Atif Kaptan who makes for an eerie, alien-looking Dracula. The extreme close-ups of Drac's madly staring eyes are a highly effective portrait of evil.
Speaking of eerie, horror-wise the movie succeeds in working up a few gentle chills, as is the norm for movies made in that period and watched in today's light. Favourite scenes include a hollow-eyed painting from which smoke weirdly billows, a graveyard exhumation, and a midnight walk through a creepy wood (day-for-night filming always looks better in black and white). The music is appropriate and helps to contribute to the atmosphere of the piece. My only complaint is that the lighting is far too dark in some sequences, and combined with the typically poor quality of Turkish movies in today's world, some bits are impossible to fathom.
The special effects used are simplistic in the extreme, with simple tricks like levitating coffin lids, offscreen howls, jump-cuts to make Dracula seem like he appears from nowhere, and fog billowing on to the screen (allegedly the result of a number of crew members frantically smoking just offscreen due to there being no budget for a dry ice machine!). The fact that Dracula has fangs here and walks down the outside of his castle wall, as per Stoker's novel, is a fine touch. This isn't brilliant by any means - it's badly dated and there are one-too-many nightclub dancing interludes. However there are enough elements to make this of interest to intrepid genre buffs and a minor classic of Turkish fantasy cinema.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?