Monday, November 28, 2011

Superman in Istanbul (Super Adam Istanbulda)


Director: Yavuz Yalinkiliç
Starring: Erdo Vatan, Safiye Yanki, Hayati Hamzaoglu

I've seen my fair share of no budget Turkish extravaganzas in recent years, but even going by the criteria.that these films have laid out, this is a particularly desperate affair. The Superman costume looks as if it will rip apart at the seems at any moment and there is absolutely nothing in the way of production or film technique to be had here. Yeah, I know that can be said about any number of like Turkish Pop films, but for some reason, I really felt it this time. If ever a film looked like it was made on the fly, it was this one. Yet despite my whining, this is a Turkish superhero adventure made at the height of these films' popularity and as such, there is plenty of fun to be had.

Lensed in 1972, Superman in Istanbul portrays the Man of Steel as a secret agent from America who along with his female sidekick, infiltrates a hippy flop house that is actually a front for a human traffic ring (at least I think that's the jist of the story as my dvdr came without English subtitles). The majority of this 63 minute epic consists of fights, tortures, escapes, more fights, more captures, more tortures, more escapes etc.

The opening scene is actually the most memorable segment. After being repeatedly stabbed, an unlucky damsal wanders the streets, blood running down her legs to the point of leaving bloody footprints. As she stumbles about, the film's credits are literally written on the ground beneath her. This seems to be the only part of the film that shows evidence of any real thought or consideration.

One thing noticeable about this Superman is that he doesn't fly. He arrives on the scene via commercial airliner. This undoubtably is due to the fact that there was no budget for any effects whatsoever. To make up for this, our male and female pair do summersaults during combat; LOTS of them. Even when there is no reason for it, they'll just do all sorts of front and back flips. It was an attempt at making a spectacle of the fight scenes, but comes off as more comically awkward than anything else.

Despite the seeming negativity of this review, I actually did kind of enjoy Superman in Istanbul. It can't compare to 3 Dev Adam or Bedmen Yarasa Adam, but it is still an action and sleeze filled Turkish film from the 70s and that alone makes it worth seeking out.

                                                                **1/2 / ****

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