Monday, February 23, 2009

Turkish Superman (aka Supermen Donuyor, The Return of Superman) - Turkey, 1979 (Free Online!)

Tayfun Demir as Turkish Superman in Supermen Donuyor
Turkish Superman (aka The Return of Superman, aka Supermen Donuyor - I don't know how to make those umlaut things) has been written about a lot online, so I already knew its reputation as some kind of craptacular "so bad its good" spectacle of amazing incompetence b-movie before I had the pleasure of watching it for myself. And let me say, that reputation is wholly undeserved. I'll admit that I'm not one of those condescending film-buff douchebags that watches movies just to laugh at how poorly-made they are - that kind of thing annoys me to no end - but this is nowhere near being a "bad" film, nor even a poorly made one. Turkish Superman is a rather faithful adaptation of the story we all have at least a passing knowledge of, but it has the good sense to skim through the backstory and early formulative years of Clark Kent (here referred to as Tayfun, which is also the name of the actor who portrays him - Tayfun Demir in case you cared) and get straight to the point - Superman flying around and punching people.

OK, so it's not mind-blowing or anything, but Turkish Superman has a pleasant, simple charm. Yeah, it's cheap to some degree and the acting isn't the greatest ever, but it's certainly no worse than most American films were at the time, and taken in the context that Turkey was never exactly one of the world leaders in the realm of cinema, it's a pretty damn good effort. I actually thought some of the special effects were fairly impressive, which probably says more about how easily impressed I am than it does about how good they are, but whatever. I've certainly seen worse, and at least Turkish Superman is fun to watch. And isn't that what watching movies is supposed to be about? FUN? Cinema snobs can have their Citizen Kanes and lame-ass Sean Penn Oscar-vehicles - I'll take the simple, childlike joy of watching something like Turkish Superman. It's big and dumb and clunky and I love it! Considering the fact that Kunt Tulgar stated he made this film from start to finish on a budget of only about $250, I'd say it's a phenomenal achievement in the world of filmmaking, and deserves a cult following that appreciates it as a legitimately entertaining movie. To the film-snobs, I ask you - If someone gave you $250 to make a full-length feature film, do you think that you could make a movie even half as good as Turkish Superman? Because I doubt it...

Anyway, Onar released a nice Turkish Superman DVD not too long ago, but it's a PAL Region 0 disc so you'll need the proper hardware to enjoy it. Or, you can just watch the whole thing on Youtube (including English subtitles) for free!

Turkish Superman - Part 1

Here's a preview:

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