Deep within Turkey..... a woman's purse, Captain America, flag on the moon.
One of the most auspicious movie starts in history, yet a walk in the park for movies coming out of Turkey. I thought I had seen everything Turkey had to offer. From Turkish Star Trek and Star Wars to Turkish Superman to Turkish Young Frankenstein. I was not prepared for a mostly green Spiderman, with a red hood and giant, untrimmed eyebrows.
This isn't your Marvel Spiderman though. Turkish Spiderman is leader of a gang. His whole racket involves smuggling artifacts from Turkey to the US, selling them cheaply to dealers and then buying them back with fake money. The opening scene is of Spidey and his gang building a hole in the sand, dropping some woman in a night gown into it and then pushing a boat (the motor is on, propeller spinning) into her face. The Spider (as he is called in Turkey) has no powers whatsoever. He knows movie martial arts, is quite the escape artist and tends to sneak up on people. His primary weapons include a 2-inch knife, a shower head, shish-kabobing people and a complicated torture device involving hamsters. Welcome to Turkey !!
Aytekin Akkaya is Turkish Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America (minus a shield which would have cost extra). You may remember him from Turkish Star Wars. Sadly I cannot forget seeing his shirtless performance as he bounced around on the screen. His partners include a luchidore who stores everything in the crotch of his tights and a female secretarial assistant (who does most of the undercover work). Their mission is to stop the Green menace (thank you Jonas).
This is truly an exercise in Turkish 70's film making. Turkish movies often remind me of the old movie serials (Flash Gordon, Batman and Robin,etc). They seem to be made on the cheap, poorly edited, poorly acted and done very quickly, often with little regard for intellectual property (the music seems to be from a James Bond movie). It is as if this is Turkey's attempt at mimicking the exploitation movies coming out of the US and/or the martial arts movies coming out of Asia. Exploitation is definitely what this movie is going for. It has all the elements for grind-house: a striptease (with pasties), graphic violence, shower scenes in underwear, crappy disco music, sex and alcohol. Well what did you expect, Turkey is a much different place? What was tame for us was probably raunchy for them. Context people, context.
As with all the 70's Turkish movies I have seen, I cannot take them seriously. I find them quite amusing along with the lingering misogynistic undertones (seems like more women died in this movie than men). There also seems to be a lot of time spent in showing running, driving and chasing. If you have never seen a Turkish movie, try to get one with the appropriate subtitles. Understanding the dialog will only help you slightly, as the plots and edits are "complicated" (not to mention the cultural differences). I have seen Turkish movies without the subtitles and I can tell you it gets pretty confusing (Turkish Star Wars, I'm looking at you).
These movies would have been prime candidates for MST3k. If only that were still possible. Maybe in an alternate universe. Until then, make mine a double whiskey. It's for the pain.
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