Tuesday, April 01, 2008
DVD Review: DEMIR PENCE KORSAN ADAM
Directed by Cetin Inanc
Starring Demir Karahan and Yildirim Gencer
This new DVD, another jewel in Onar’s crown, wins us over mostly as a love letter to prodigious Turkish Trash director Cetin Inanc. For me, there is no more underappreciated international auteur than Inanc. Like most, I know his work primarily for his 80s psychedelic action epics with the legendary Cuneyt Arkin. Films which haphazardly mix kung-fu, hair monsters, big-bummed girls and unrelated footage from whatever films they could get their hands on to plunder. The resulting mix is explosive and ridiculous. This DVD is a portal into his early work as it represents one of his first films, one which bares the unmistakable imprint of his mentor, Anatolian auteur Yilmaz Atadeniz. It isn’t quite up to the insanity of his later films, but is a solid winner nonetheless.
DEMIR PENCE is another warped superhero yarn not unlike previous Onar released films such as DEMIR YUMRUK or CASUS KIRAN. Like those, DEMIR blends U.S. style serial adventures with the more mature Italian fumetti but in a particularly Turkish mindset (and budget). If DEMIR suffers a bit in comparison to those previous wonders it may only be due to a case of embarrassment of riches. If we hadn’t been privy to those excellent previous DVDs, then DEMIR might not have seemed so … well, repetitive. The story is nearly identical to the Atadeniz flicks with a masked avenger fighting foreign criminal organization out to destroy Turkey and all it righteous citizens. Kidnapped Professors and their hot daughters, state secrets that will reap destruction if revealed, girls tied down and whipped and an episodic nature indebted to the serials and comics which inspired it: sound familiar? That it works is down to the manic nature of the action, the performers and of course, Mr. Inanc.
One thing definitely going for it is the presence of European pulp villain Fantomas and he makes for one hell of a villain. Cruel and sadistic criminal masterminds are part and parcel of Turkish Trash Cinema and this version of Fantomas lives up to the challenge laid down by others with this genre. He is nothing less throughout the film than an unhinged and deranged fucker who doesn’t hesitate to kill anyone who gets in his way, including his hot-ass girlfriends. Bastard. Mostly the movie gets by on this violent spirit, which it contains in greater abundance than others of its ilk. The blood flows quickly and easily in the various shootouts and fisticuffs which permeate the frame. Much more so than in the more reserved efforts by Atadeniz, et al. Another positive aspect of the movie is its many, many scenes of extremely comely girlies in many various states of undress doing sexy dances for the benefit of heroes and villains alike. Really, like every other scene is blessed in such a manner! Hott! But really, the success of the film comes down to the wild vision of Inanc, who litters the screen with many of the visual tics which would become more pronounced later in his career. Off kilter camera angles, uncomfortable close-ups and an ability to actually move his camera between cuts makes this little number unique among it counterparts, if not entirely more entertaining.
This DVD presentation is where we really take off. The movie looks damned good for a black and white Turkish film of the late 60s. The image is clear and we get tape flutters only every once and awhile and only for a few seconds. Said it before, I’ll say it again – Onar does it right, every time. The extras give you something special too. We get the usual Onar trailers and excellent bios by Turkfilm historian Ayman Kole but the biggest and most impressive extras by far is a new half hour documentary highlighting the crazy career of Cetin Inanc. Produced by CIKO, an Inanc/Cuneyt Arkin fan group, the featurette gives a quick overview of his career, covering the many genres the maestro has worked in through the years, and best of all, laying a heavy dose of wild, wild clips from the various movies on us. This is great stuff folks. It is a little maddening as most of the flicks featured are extremely rare, and therefore very hard to track down. But if you love and are excited by Turkish Pulp Cinema of the 60s-70s-80s this little docu will blow you already crazed minds. This DVD should take you no consideration as whether or not to buy it. If you dig this kind of thing, you’re all over it. For the more skeptical or just Turk-curious, let the fact that this is EXTREMELY LIMITED do your considering for you. Only 500 copies of this beauty are in existence so all you collector scum out there better get on the ball!
Available from Onar Films!