Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Intikam Benim (aka Vengeance is Mine) (aka Big Risk)

                                                   Director: Cetin Inanc
                                       Starring: Cuneyt Arkin, Emel Tumer

First, I have no idea what the correct English translated title should be. My subtitled dvdr says "I Am Vengeance", the sleeve reads "Vengeance is Mine" and the trailer calls it "Big Risk".

Regardless of the English title(s), Intikam Benim is yet another winning (as in bat-shit crazy) teaming of director Cetin Inanc and star Cuneyt Arkin. Both of them were considered on the downside of their respective careers and were apparently slumming it by 1983 (when the film was released). Most local fans and critics consider their best work to be from the 1960s and 70s. For this fan however, their eventual teamings in the first half of the 80s produced many of the most entertaining features that either man has made. I've seen eight or nine of their teamups from this time period and have yet to be anything less than amazed by them. This effort is no exception.

Intikam Benim stars Arkin as Eagle Murat, an ex top cop now a boozer after hearing of the death of his identical twin brother. His brother was an undercover narc who got a little too close to the gang he was investigating. Upon visiting a past informant (covered head to toe in bandages - he got too close as well) Murat learns his brother is alive. Immediately sobering up (that was easy!) Murat goes undercover to learn of his brother's whereabouts. Along the way, he gets help from a goofy "hip" (and James Bond wannabe) cab driver as well as a mega hot hooker who's advances Eagle keeps spurning. This leads to a few comically sped up skirmishes. When Eagle finally does come upon his brother (also Cuneyt Arkin), he finds him as a hopeless addict (forced upon him by the gang he was investigating). The now disgraced brother promptly shoots himself in the head, causing Eagle to turn vigilante and single handedly decimate the gang and it's insane, knife wielding boss.

It is the last half hour where Eagle launches his assault, that the film really comes to life. It is quite simply among the most dizzying no budget spectacles you are ever likely to see. Eagle attacks by car, by motorcycle, by speedboat (in order to infiltrate the baddies island fortress) and by all matter of handheld weapon. Between the riotous editing (including what may be the most sudden and most confusing final shot ever filmed) and the awkward use of stock footage (probably lifted from various Italian action films), I was literally left sitting with a blank stare on my face for several minutes after the word 'Son" appeared.

                                                            ***1/2 / ****

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