I’m in the middle of looking at the Harry Potter movies, and don’t worry, the next Harry Potter post is coming, but first I’m participating in fellow blogger Eva-Joy’s Star Wars blogathon.
For those of you who are blissfully unaware, the cinematic rip-off is fairly common for big movies and franchises. Movies like Nukie (a South African rip-off of ET, and a painfully terrible movie). Don’t forget about The Little Panda Fighter, an ultra-low Brazilian knock-off of the Kung Fu Panda series from the infamous, and now defunct studio, Video Brinquedo. There’s Transmorphers, one of many obvious mockbusters from the American film distributor, The Asylum. One particularly famous rip-off is 1982’s “Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam”, which translates to “The Man Who Saved The World”. But it’s more widely known as Turkish Star Wars.
Turkish Star Wars is unique in the world of rip-offs. It doesn’t even come close to ripping off the actual story of Star Wars. There are other rip-offs that do, but we’re not talking about those today. It actually tells its own story about Murat and Ali, whose spaceships crash on a desert planet after a space battle. The way this movie becomes a rip-off is by directly stealing footage from Star Wars and tosses it into the background. Throw in some newsreel footage of both the American and Soviet space programs, and music from Indiana Jones, Moonraker, Ben-Hur, Planet of the Apes and Flash Gordon, and you’ve got a movie that will never be legally released in any first world country. Yeah … wrong George Lucas movie with that Indiana Jones music.
The reception for this movie was overwhelmingly negative, due to an incoherent story, poor acting, and of course all the stolen material. Also, because of all the stolen footage and how it can never be officially released, there’s no information available about the movie’s budget or its profit. Every copy available online is of terrible quality, and it might even take effort to find one with English subtitles. Since the movie’s release, it’s gained quite the cult following. It’s often considered to be among the worst films ever made.
Before you even consider watching this movie, let everyone be warned, there is so much random flashing that it could be legitimately dangerous for people with epilepsy.
Anyway, on the planet the heroes crashed onto, they soon get captured by the villain, who says he’s some sort of 1,000-year-old wizard. He’s apparently tried to conquer Earth on numerous occasions, but was always repelled by a “shield of concentrated human brain molecules”. This concentrated shield looks like the Death Star, and the only way to bypass the defense is to use a human brain against it. Confused yet? Don’t worry, this movie keeps getting weirder. The heroes escape and find a group of refugees, and Murat soon develops a romantic relationship with the only woman among them. The romance is often shown through staring, kind of like the Twilight movies.
After a zombie attack, the heroes start training to defeat the wizard by smashing rocks repeatedly, most likely turning his bones into mashed potatoes in the process. There’s also some powerful sword shaped like a lightning bolt that looks like it’s made of cardboard. There’s a giant monster, zombies, robots with laser guns, pyramid heads (no, not the ones from Silent Hill), magical golden shoes and gloves that make Murat powerful, and … there is no way to make sense of this movie.
The budget is so low that they weren’t able to create some sort of plaster model of the main villain, so in the climax where Murat karate chops the wizard in half, they just black out one half of the screen at a time.
On top of the low budget, footage stealing visuals, the editing in this movie is just terrible. Especially in action scenes, there isn’t any logical pattern to the shots that keep jumping in and out. Action shots are often repeated one after another. The stunt work is lame and repetitive. Murat is so powerful that neither the wizard nor any of his minions feel like any kind of threat to him.
Everything about this movie is a complete mess. But with that said, if you enjoy bad movies and you’re in the right mood, Turkish Star Wars can be a lot of fun. It takes a certain kind of personality to enjoy this kind of bad movie. I’ve sat through it twice now, and for me it’s a bit of a surreal experience. But despite its cult following, I wouldn’t recommend it. Even by bad movie standards, there are movies out there that are far more entertaining.
Oh, and this movie has an official sequel from 2006, with a title that translates to Turks In Space. That movie is legitimately painful to sit through because of how bad it is. Don’t watch.