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  Return of Superman, The Man Of StealBuy this film here.
Year: 1979
Director: Kunt Tulgar
Stars: Tayfun Demir, Güngör Bayrak, Yildirim Gencer, Esref Kolçak, Nejat Özbek, Resit Hazar, Seref Çokseker, Reha Yurdakul, Ekrem Dümer, Renan Fosforoglu, Ahmet Açan, Turgut Özatay, Oktar Durukan, Baki Tamer, Kudret Karadag, Sirri Elitas, Niyazi Gökdere
Genre: Action, Trash, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Out in the depths of space there was a world named Krypton, on which lived an incredibly advanced civilisation; they sent out one of their sons on a craft which ended up landing on planet Earth, in Turkey to be exact. That boy was discovered by a childless couple who adopted him for their own, but when he grew up, now named Tayfun (Tayfun Demir), they had to reveal all. Actually, he had suspected he was not of this earth, and now with the confirmation he got ready to leave and make his way in the world as... Superman!

Yes, really, but not Superman as we knew him from the comics or indeed the 1978 film of then-recent vintage, for this was the Turkish Superman from a film industry which though working with meagre means did not allow this to hold them back. So they snaffled any idea which caught their eye, making their own highly idiosyncratic variations of international hits with which they hoped to cash in with unofficial versions of tried, tested and most importantly recognisable properties. It didn't stop with the visuals, as the soundtracks were a grab bag of anything which might again be recognisable to the audience. Not that Turkey were doing this sort of thing exclusively as many countries offered their own renderings of classic characters.

It was just that in Turkey what they came up with was so barmy that as they began to filter through into other territories, they took on semi-legendary status through viewers who could not believe what they were seeing, and likely were laughing their heads off in the process. Take Superman here, rechristened Supermen somewhat confusingly: the scenes where he takes to the skies and soars above the landscape are absolutely hilarious in comparison to the multimillion dollar care and attention gone into creating the blockbuster it was drawn from. Run a rear projection of some helicopter footage, then suspend a doll in Superman clothes in front of it, switch on the hairdryer and hey presto!

Not to mention the fact that the celebrated John Williams theme is playing over this, which somehow makes it even funnier. The plot, lasting half the time of the Salkinds' epic, sticks to that when it suits, but when a point was outwith its means the filmmakers opted to plonk their hero down in a more traditional spy movie affair, where the kryptonite which could spell his doom doubles as a Macguffin which when enhanced with a special machine looking suspiciously like a slide projector can turn objects to gold - or blow up cats, as a late on twist reveals. No Lex Luthor this time around, however, as we had to counter a corrupt businessman named Mr Ekrem (Yildrim Gencer) who Supes keeps foiling, or beating up his henchmen anyway.

And not only beating them up: while even these fly by nights couldn't descend to have The Man of Steel killing someone, they give into violent temptation by having him "accidentally" force a baddie off a thirty foot drop to his death and "accidentally" flinging a villain onto a spike which kills him, that sort of thing. When he's not unconvincingly doling out the powerful punches, spectacles-sporting Tayfun (who wears the glasses before he knows he's Superman) attempts to romance a fellow reporter in his office, Lois La- sorry, Alev (Güngör Bayrak), but seeing as how his alter ego keeps saving her, she is in love with the bloke in blue. This was brought to you by that Turkish cinematic jack of all trades Kunt Tulgar, and rest assured there's absolutely nothing amusing about that name, it's just your imagination; he had recently made a Tarzan adventure, but it was for this he would be best recalled. Utterly shameless, working farcical wonders on a tiny budget, and entertaining for all the wrong reasons. Plus, where did they get that out of tune James Bond theme?

Aka: Supermen dönüyor
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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