Thursday, November 17, 2005

More Wild Cinema

Mondo Macabro DVD is a label that you have to admire.

These guys took their love of the wild world of weird cinema and wrote a book about it. Then they decided to launch a DVD line. The western world may never be the same.

Now, Mondo Macabro has come out with a double feature DVD featuring two films from the hallucinogenic cinema of Turkey: Deathless Devil and Tarkan Vs. The Vikings. Both weird features are in the original turkish language with english subtitles along with a great documentary on the history of Turkish cinema.

DD is a feature version of the 40's serial Mysterious Doctor Satan. By 'version' I mean complete and utter ripoff. The turks stole the story, the robot, the heroic masked lead (The Copperhead) and added healthy does of pseudo-martial arts, 60's style, sex and a healthy dose of sadism.
Tarkan, on the other hand is a pseudo-Conan who had his own comic book series in Turkey. This was a barbarian who was raised by wolves and now travels the turkish countryside as a soldier-of-fortune meeting all sorts of other barbarians and supernatural menaces. In this episode (yes, the turks did a whole series of very successful Tarkan adventures) , Tarkan goes up against a belly-dancing witch and a giant octopus!

These are movies that make little-to-no sense until you watch the documentary on the disc. It's a real eye-opener in terms of the lengths a producer (read: crook) would go to get a film made and distributed in Turkey. It's a crying shame that many of the films' negatives were later destroyed for their silver content. I hope that Mondo macabro is able to bring more of these films to western audiences.


s.warren said...

I love Mondo Macabro, too. From what I gather MM issued this double feature to test the waters and see how well it does. If the sales warrant it, they'll release more Turkish double features in the near future.

Bill Cunningham said...

Then go out and buy it. Then send MM an email telling them how much you love it.

These double features are great for parties or just those moments when you want to stare at the screen and shake your head in amazement.

I desperately want them to release the KILLING series on DVD - even if it were just a documentary on the series.