December 10, 2015

Movie Review: Turkish Star Wars - Video Vortex Screening

Every so often I see a movie that leaves me absolutely stunned, perhaps even flabbergasted. There are movies that leave me in a state of awe from their greatness, there are movies that leave me in a similar state by how bad they are (regardless of their entertainment value). Then there is Turkish Star Wars, or The Man Who Saves the World, which defies all explanation. I was alternating between hysterical laughter and sitting there with my mouth open and jaw resting on my chest. It is a movie that boggles the senses and melts the mind. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.

I saw this wonder of cinema at the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, NY. It was the latest entry in the Video Vortex screening series, which is hosted by VHS maven Dino and celebrates the oddities that can be found around the world on the format. Movies that are cheap, awful, hilarious, and nearly forgotten (some probably should be). In any case, fortuitous timing brings us this tangentially connected film in anticipation of the the latest entry in the Star Wars saga.

Turkish Star Wars is a rare title (even rare to find with English subtitles) and is not exactly a Star Wars movie. As the story goes, at least the short and not researched version, following a military coup in the country, there was a rush to remake whatever movies they could, ET, Young Frankenstein, anything. It is clear they had no money and the format they shot their footage in does not match that of the Star Wars print (it was an scope print) they had. No matter, the resulting movie is the sort of thing that will have you scrambling for the remote, running for the exit, or trapped, mesmerized by the nonsensical insanity. I was that last group.

Anyway, what was this movie about? I am honestly not sure. There is a long intro with voice over talking about Earth and brain power, space ages, galactic ages. regressive ages, space pilots, nuclear war, planets that would be destroyed and reformed and hide behind brains. I was insane with laughter at this. We were treated to footage of Turkish space pilots, supposedly flying TIE Fighters against X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon.

Once the introduction is done, our two heroes find themselves on a desert planet. They find themselves the focal point of a battle between an evil wizard and a band of cave dwelling humans. Our heroes, Ali and Murat, decide to take the battle to the Wizard. To get ready there is a training sequence where they punch foam rocks, bounce around on hidden trampolines, and smile, lots of smiling.

Seriously, to try and make any sense of this thing is a fool’s errand. It makes no sense. There are people in awful monster costumes getting limbs and heads ripped off, there is some crazy non-fighting, some awful dialogue, a sequence of Islamic propaganda, more bad fighting, a giant lightning bolt shaped sword. Then there is the music, oh, the music. Besides bits of the Star Wars score, there is a lot from Raiders of the Lost Ark, plus bits from The Black Hole, Flash Gordon, The Black Hole, and Moonraker.

I would love to go on describing more of this insane film, but you really need to seek it out and see it for yourself. I promise you, you have never experienced anything like it before. I will not promise you that you will like it, but you need to experience it. It is probably one of the worst things I have ever seen, but it was so mind numbingly amazing that I loved every awful second of it. Trust me when I saw that whatever words I use will not match the level of crazy found here.

Just watch it, you know you want to. It just may the life altering moment you have been waiting for.

Highly Recommended.

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