Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rare Flix: 3 Dev Adam!

The Turkish are known for many things, but making quality films is not one of them.  Way back in the early days of the site (all 400ish days ago), I wrote about a Mondo Macabro release known as Tarkan vs. The Vikings.  That was one of my first forays into Turkish Pop Cinema, but it was not my last.  I also survived the debacle that was Turkish Exorcist aka Seytan.  This is, of course, not to be confused with the shitty French film called Sheitan.  If you didn't watch the very interesting documentary of the film movement in Turkey, here's what you need to know.  In the 1970s and '80s, action and pop fare became popular in the country.  It was a massive up-surge of productions that ranged from silly to shitty.  Many of these films have gained a cult following in the states, including Turkish Star Wars, Turkish Rambo (thanks, Ed) and others.  This film has gotten famous due to some internet exposure, despite a good printing not existing.  To make a long story short, a good majority of the films were burned for the silver nitrate in the film stock when the boom ended.  Did a beauty survive the event or should it have been mined as well?  Find out in my pop-tastic review of...
The film begins right away with a woman buried up to her neck in sand at the beach.  A crazed criminal is torturing her for information and finally decides to kill her by activating a boat propeller in her face.  That man: Spider-Man.  Despite that Sal Buscema drawing on the international poster, this guy looks like he's wearing a Halloween costume and has his giant eye-brows sticking out of his mask.  He's still better than WCW's Arachna-Man though.  The man's crazy murder/thieving spree drives the international authorities to call in two heroes to save the day: Captain America and El Santo.  Who's in charge of that department exactly?  You couldn't have picked more random characters if you tried!  I guess Matter-Eater Lad and David Arquette were busy!  Anyhow, these men try to get to the bottom of the man's devious plans.  How do they do that?  By getting in fight scenes with the killer and/or his henchman.  Within fifteen minutes, 'Captain America' has gotten in costume and fought 'The Spider.'  If you thought that the fight scenes in the Dolemite films were'd be right.  These ones are equally-silly though and merit their own attention.  After the female agent is captured, Captain America busts through a wall in Kool-Aid Man fashion and does a silly fight routine with a hanging rope.  The high-point for me, however, is when he does a crappy version of Rey Mysterio's 619 around a giant tombstone!  Sacrilegious much?
To call this movie's story 'a plot' would be very generous.  Basically, 'The Spider' does some fiendish things, our hero's look for him and the movie struggles to keep focus.  For example, the movie shows our villain killing women and taking some statues that are apparently worth millions.  One of the women is in the shower when he shows up and he chokes with a phone cord.  Of course, there's no nudity here.  Instead of focusing on that plot, we get the man in charge of the good guys' mission going to a club and seeing an exotic dancer.  The club is important for the plot later, but the five minutes of her dancing are not.  We do get some more great Spider moments though, including the famous bit where he ties up a guy and has hungry rats crawl down a tube towards his eyes, killing him when they reach them.  Creative- yes.  Logical- not so much.  The fight scenes are equally-ridiculous.  One of them has Santo fighting a bunch of karate guys as he's escaping a gym owned by The Spider.  Why are they there?  They came in late to practice- duh!  Fun fact: the real El Santo was incredibly-secretive about his face, even going so far as to get buried with his mask on!  This 'El Santo' spends maybe 1/4 of his scenes with his mask on.  His wrestling is silly, looking more like that guy doing wresting from the end of Road Trip than a famous Luchador.
As the film heads into its final act, things don't get much more sane.  The Spider keeps eluding capture, forcing our heroes to try even harder.  While trying to find his boat, mask-less Santo fights some guys on the beach.  They eventually figure out that the bad guys' thugs are centered around the club and hatch a stupid plan.  They start fighting his henchmen to get The Spider's girlfriend's attention.  The high-point for me is Santo's light fireman's carry slam (which doesn't even dent the table), getting a guy's arm stuck in a chair and awkwardly-power-bombing (read: setting) him on the same table...which still doesn't break.  Anyhow, they 'get caught,' but it's all a set-up to get to The Spider.  They break free and Santo battles the thugs, leaving mask-less Cap to fight The Spider.  They have a long silly fight and The Spider falls to his death...only to appear again somewhere else.  Huh?  This happens again, this time with The Spider crushed by a forklift.  He's around again, this time getting crushed in an industrial press.  The final time seems to finish him off.  Before you try to figure out how this works, bear in mind that the filmmakers show Santo spotting a dead Spider in the press while the last one is still around.  Either way, the day is saved and the movie ends...with a silly joke involving a kid wearing a Spider mask.  Ha ha- lame!
This movie is...well, I don't know how to describe it properly.  There is almost no plot and a good 60-70% of the film is set aside for long fight scenes.  Most of the film reminds me of watching one of those old serials like Batman & Robin- where they fight the evil Japanese J. Caroll Naish- or Captain Marvel.  Mind you, those were made in the '40s.  I guess they succeeded if that's what they were going for there.  The problem here is that very few prints of the film exist due to the previously-mentioned crash and burning of prints.  The one I viewed looks like your worst VHS tape...if you stuck it in a bath...and dried it with a flamethrower.  It also has burned in subtitles, which I usually complain about, but these ones are in English and actually make this watchable.  The whole thing is as ridiculous and the description would lead you to believe.  Behold such wonders as Captain America's bullet-deflecting shirt!  Gaze at El Santo beating one thug up by swinging the leg of another thug at him!  Thrill as you watch Cap awkwardly kick people while hanging from a rope, never really connecting once!  Seriously, this thing is a must watch for all you people who love ridiculous shit.  With that in mind, here's the link:
Next up, I celebrate Memorial Day with a film about a non-existent military group fighting a made-up threat.  God Bless America! Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. My all time favorite moment is definitely the shower choking scene, like, really? Santos was ACTUALLY a villain wrestler when he started, but you are having Spiderman strangle women in the shower??