Thursday, October 27, 2005

THE DEATHLESS DEVIL / TARKAN VERSUS THE VIKINGS

One of the best double feature discs of the year is Mondo Macabro's THE DEATHLESS DEVIL/TARKAN VERSUS THE VIKINGS (1972/1971). These deliriously insane films from Turkey's golden age of bizarro pop cinema are hugely entertaining and hysterically funny, with plots, acting and production values that would have made Ed Wood proud. Grab a six pack and some popcorn and dig in!

THE DEATHLESS DEVIL is an unauthorized remake of the 1940 Republic movie serial THE MYSTERIOUS DR. SATAN. It chronicles the adventures of two-fisted costumed super hero Copperhead (the unfortunately named Kunt Tulgar) who pits his formidable sideburns against the evil machinations of the astoundingly moustached Dr Satan and his shiny cardboard robot. Hilarity ensues.

TARKAN VERSUS THE VIKINGS is the fourth in a series of films based on a popular Turkish comic book. Here, the wandering heroic Hun Tarkan (Kartal Tibet) and his dog, Kurt, come into conflict with about a dozen of the goofiest-looking Vikings ever seen on film and their rubber octopus god. Lots of poorly choreographed swordplay, hot barbarian gals, lots of weird facial hair and insanely inappropriate music cribbed from American films all combine to make this my new favorite movie.

Neither film on this disc looks all that great, as the original negatives are long gone, destroyed years ago. They appear to have been culled from tape masters, but they're more than watchable. Both flicks are presented in their original Turkish, with English subtitles, and each film is accompanied by informative on-screen liner notes. The real gem on the disc, though, is another great Mondo Macabro documentary, this time on Turkish pop cinema. Featuring interviews with numerous Turkish matinee idols and packed with clips from some of the weirdest movies imaginable, the disc is worth buying for this documentary alone. It has to be seen to be believed.

For fans of bizarre B-movies, or for those who believe that foreign films are all too highbrow, this is a must-buy disc. Highly recommended.

BUY: Deathless Devil and Tarkan Versus The Vikings (Turkish Pop Cinema Double Bill)