Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Intikamci (The Avenger) (aka Turkish Road Warrior)

                                                    Director: Cetin Inanc
                                Starring: Serdar, Eva Tachas, Hussein Existent

By 1986, actor Cuneyt Arkin went into semi retirement leaving director Cetin Inanc without his megastar ringer. For the first half of the decade, this pair were responsible for some of the most breathtakingly nutzoid no budget action pics ever to be seen by human orbs. So began Inanc's search for a new star. He quickly found one in muscle bound body builder, Sedar. Sedar had no prior acting ability (as was quite obvious), but he looked the part and in these films, that was all that was required. With his new "star" in place, Inanc forged ahead with another series of action packed nonsense, often remaking Hollywood productions. Their first collaboration was a remake of Rocky with a Rambo retread soon to follow. The one I chose to review Intikamci, is somewhat atypical as it serves as something of a melodramatic potboiler as much as it is an action/revenge picture.

Serdar plays a drifter who returns to the town of his birth to find the murderer of his father. He discovers the killer to be a rich and powerful gangster who is running the town with an iron fist. Complications arise when Serdar falls for the gangster's defiant daughter (she runs with a biker gang). As word spreads of Serdar's intentions, all manner of assassins are dispatched to finish him.

At first I thought this was going to be an uncharacteristically dull picture as the early scenes tended to drag. But once things got rolling, I found myself fairly absorbed in the story and this served to heighten the sense of tension during the action scenes The action while over the top as always, has a slightly grittier feel that seems to harken back to the 70s style of Turkish filmmaking.

As the lead, Serdar is competent. He is a good screen fighter and does have a kind of stone faced charisma. Unfortunately (and perhaps unfairly) he will be compared to Cuneyt Arkin and  really there is no comparison. Arkin was a professional actor who's talents were actually well above this material. He breathed a near psychotic rage into each and every one of his performances. Serdar on the other hand... he's just sort of there. As cardboard cutout action heroes go, he'll do.

Overall, Intikamci adds up as another no budget Turkish delight and a good bet for fans of this extremely peculiar subgenre (of which I am one).

Incidentally, I have no idea where the Turkish Road Warrior title plays into this except maybe Sedar's vaugely Mad Max like outfit and his slightly souped up car possibly resembling Max's Interceptor (though that could be a stretch).

                                                                **1/2 / ****

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