The films we reviewed in The Vice Guide To Turkish Hollywood a couple of years ago have now found their way onto YouTube. So, let's revisit the best clips from Turkish New Wave cinema, a genre which was largely a homage to American blockbusters. And by "homage" I mean "blatant rip-off." And by "blatant" I mean hilarious.
TURKISH STAR WARS
" Turkish Star Wars uses not only footage stolen directly from the original film but also the soundtracks to Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Flash Gordon. This is movie making at its most abstract and progressive. I think. It begins with a five-minute montage of sampled shots. We see the Death Star exploding, then the same thing in slo-mo, then in reverse, then a storm trooper, then R2-D2. All with no context and little sense, set to an eerily Big Brother speech delivered in Turkish…"
" This is another one that uses the theme from the American film, and it's really pretty ingenius and disorienting in conjunction with the opening sequence. It's supposed to be a shot of outer space, but it's really just a bunch of old Christmas ornaments hanging against a black sheet. Then it cuts to a crayon drawing of the Superman emblem surrounded by little stars -- it looks like it was drawn by a preschooler."
" This movie fucking scared me TONS more than the American version. It has everything the original had: the spinning head, the pea soup, the vicious little girl, only it is TURKISH. Somehow that made it grosser…"
TURKISH WIZARD OF OZ
"The Turkish Scarecrow is the most appallingly hilarious stereotype of gayness that I've ever seen. He simpers, minces, prances and lisps his way through the entire film, which probably set Turkey's queer rights movement (if there is one) back about 100 years. Turkish Dorothy is actually a little treasure, rocking a kind of goth/farm girl look, and the Turkish Cowardly Lion looks like John Gacy trying out for Cats. …"
" Badi (I like to pronounce it "Batty") is the adorable little name of an extraterrestrial stranded on Earth (this time somewhere near Istanbul) in the Turk version of Spielberg's original pile of mush. But while our alien managed to be brown and wrinkly yet still cute, Badi is the polar opposite: gray and perpetually covered in a sheen of snot. Plus, his voice is just a Turkish guy whispering and rasping into a Vocoder so he sounds like a child molesting robot. All the adults in the movie, when they see Badi, either faint or try to kill him (except for one extended and perplexing scene where the alien goes on all the rides at a local carnival). …"
* Read more in The Vice Guide to Turkish Hollywood