From the Dust-Bins: Turkish Star Wars

It's actually much worse than this, but the numbers only go so low.

1982, Turkey; 91 Minutes; Directed by: Çetin Inanç; Produced by: Mehmet Karahafiz. No studio listed for apparent reasons: no company wants to fess up to this abomination.

YouTube seems to be the leading site in plagiarized video materials in our modern age. There are many arguments for and against the use of copyright materials for educational or entertainment purposes, but I’m not going to debate that in this article. I’m merely bringing this up to compare it to the similar breaches of copyright committed by the Turkish back in the 1980s. Particularly, the use within 1982 film Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, translated into English as The Man Who Saves The World.

Star Wars has had many rip-offs since it’s release in 1977. My film instructor personally knew a man who was cast to play a gold-plated version of Darth Vader in a space odyssey film that was supposed to be better than anything Star Wars had to offer. Odd that I can’t remember the film’s title, huh?

But none of the rip offs made by the States can top the stupidity of downright plagiarism portrayed in The Man Who Save The World. This film has been the black sheep of any film group since the day of it’s birth, and it’s popularity as laughter fodder has only been growing in light of its availability on the internet. In fact, you can find the Turkish film right here. And seeing that it actually uses the special effect shots from the original Star Wars movie, it has been called by many “The Turkish Star Wars”.

The movie starts off, not by telling us of a long ago, far away galaxy, but by placing this story in the future. Nuclear wars gains strength, and our world is fragmented into trillions of pieces by giant lasers from a giant, moon-shaped weapon built by a mysterious enemy. Now, despite the fact that there is no Earth anymore, and even though the entire world was united as one nation, the film announces that two of the strongest and greatest Turkish warriors as the main characters, with “other humans” helping them along.

So, Turkey is the one giant country on Earth? But then, why did the film discriminate between the Turkish warriors and the “other humans”? If there were humans that weren’t Turkish, does that mean that Turkey didn’t take over the whole world? But what about all the nations becoming one? Oh, never mind! I’m not even 5 minutes into the movie and I’m already falling into plot holes.

Yes, the camera is following both the pilot flying left and the X-Wing Fighter flying right AT THE SAME TIME. Don't ask me how.

The film shows horribly edited footage of these two guys piloting whatever ships are in the Star Wars shots they felt like using. They pilot X-Wings, Tai Fighters, I think even an Imperial Cruiser one time, firing at the Millennium Falcon to the Indiana Jones theme song, all within a span of 30 seconds of Star Wars effects footage edited so fast that it may give seizures to those who aren’t prone to any to begin with. Then, for some reason of which I can’t figure out, the two crash land onto planet Earth and wander around for a while.

It was at this point I realized that all of that jumbled exposition at the beginning was just an introduction to what was supposed to happen in the movie, and that the men were supposed to keep the Earth from blowing up. This means that none of the rest of the film will be able to establish any of the facts well if they needed narration explaining all of this at the beginning. But then, if the narration was that confusing, I don’t want the writers to try and integrate the exposition with the story.

After wandering around for a bit, the two men decide the best way to spend their time on this doomed planet is to wander around whistling for women. Our mighty Turkish heroes are trying to pimp their way into Armageddon! Ladies and gentlemen, give them a hand!

But instead of women, the evil cloaked skeleton bad guys enter the plot on their horses! (That’s what you get for your lustful intentions, guys.) The two Turkish men knock them off their horses to poorly re-edited Star Wars and Indiana Jones musical themes in the vein hope that you wouldn’t recognize the music from somewhere else. Then they steal the horses and ride off in glory. But the Indiana Jones theme is cut off by grungy rock music as a bunch of robots in a cave start firing at them, capture them, and take them to their leaders: the evil skeleton horse riders. The Turkish heroes bounce around some playful small talk before their execution before watching horrendous gladiator games killing off the innocent.

You know what? I’m not even gonna bother. I’m just gonna sum up the rest of this film. The Turkish heroes are captured, the filmmakers don’t care about location continuity,our heroes are tended to by a mute beautiful blond lady while in prison (I guess the Turkish prefer quiet girls?), and most of the movie revolves around them trying to get out of prison and train for their mighty fight at the end of the film with the skeleton bad guy’s leader who’s trying to destroy the world for some unexplained reason.

The training montages are full of 80’s pop, the filmmakers use the Indiana Jones theme more than John Williams, and boulders explode when they are kicked into cliff walls. The relationship with the mute blond hooker develops only through the love theme from music from Star Wars that seems to emanate from her body somewhere. And they even rip off the Cantina Bar scene from Star Wars, as the filmmakers try to match the lighting on George Lucas’ cheap costumes with their fluorescent lighting and whatever the Turkish were ever able to find at their local Party City.

The film as a whole looks like the over-ambitious, first short films of a lot of the film students I was subjected to see in my early days at college. The movie is full of giant Sesame Street rejects getting karate-chopped in half and some lazy visual effects works original to the makers of the film. But the majority of the “cool” special effects simply come from the Star Wars space ships, as our only surviving hero flies off into space in the Millennium Falcon to the tune of Indiana Jones. Never mind the fact that the hero was flying five different ships and firing at the Falcon in the beginning of the movie. At least, I think that’s what was happening. Most of the special effects shots are cut so fast and are so poorly integrated with the Turkish actors that I can’t get a real sense of anything that’s going on in outer space in this movie. And for a space fantasy film, that in it of itself is a major flaw.

But there’s enough stupidity in this movie to keep one entertained enough to actually watch this lazy plagiarized production. If you want to watch a die-hard, over-zealous Star Wars fan shrivel up and die in his seat, show him this movie.

Of course, it's not a "proper" Turkish B-movie unless Sesame Street rejects get Karate-chopped in half.

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About Stefan D. Byerley
Stefan D. Byerley is an independent filmmaker and freelance visual artist currently residing in North Carolina. He likes detailed storytelling, intriguing imagery, massive bloody violence, crying at the movies, and long walks in the park during the Autumn season.

3 Responses to From the Dust-Bins: Turkish Star Wars

  1. Mac Colestock says:

    I watched a chunk of this not too long ago, actually. I think it was because you’d mentioned it just before drawing up & posting this review.

    It was incredible. It gives about 3/4 of the all the art films I’ve seen in my life a good run for their money in terms of entertainment value and profundity. I mean, “The Man Who Saves The World”! Hollywood can’t even come up with better titles!

    • Stefan D. Byerley says:

      Yeah, this is actually a very fun film to watch. The star rating is just there to reflect the professional quality of the film and to just jab the crap out of the film. But I never thought of rating this film as an art film.

      Though while I was watching this movie, I WAS reminded of an art film I saw in college. I can’t remember the name of it though. It had the techno remix of “Sail Away” playing in a woman’s attic or something like that in the film. I can’t tell you why I was reminded of it, though.

  2. Pingback: Turkish Turkeys « bijoupalace

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