Turkish Star Wars (1982)

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the release of Star Wars. And any dickhead could mark the occasion by watching that. It takes a special dickhead to watch Turkish Star Wars instead. And I need to apologise to Jess Franco. Though I criticised him, and I still think rightly, for using b/w stock footage in his colour production The Castle of Fu Manchu, the cack-handed deployment of stock footage in this film makes Franco look like Sergei Eisenstein by comparison. The Man Who Saved the World (as the film’s Turkish title more properly translates) got the Turkish Star Wars tag for its… bold use of footage from that George Lucas epic, although in truth it’s a mild misnomer as the film has bugger all to do with Star Wars really; with its liberal use of music from another film, it might as easily have been called Raiders of the Lost Brain. This would actually tie in with at least one aspect of the plot, as well as describing the overall feeling of watching the damn thing. I found it on archive.org here, and though the print is unsubtitled it actually doesn’t matter; I didn’t think it’d make any more sense were it in a language I actually speak, and I was probably right. This poor bastard (who got a subtitled copy) goes through the entire thing so I at least know what’s happening in the film, which, I hasten to add, is not the same as actually understanding it. There are still debates over whether it was deliberately bad or the seriously intended work of someone who had no idea what they were doing, and I suspect the latter is more likely. I’m sure it’s something you need to see once if you claim to be interested in cult movies, though I’m not sure if my sense of irony just didn’t extend far enough or whether I just needed to be fucked up on drugs/alcohol in a way I can’t manage any more…

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