Turkish Cult Cinema

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Today I ordered two DVDs from Onar Films: Kilink in Istanbul (1067) and a Turkish horror double bill of The Dead Don’t Talk (1970) and Thirsty for Love Sex and Murder (1972). I have never seen a Turkish film before and after reading about the Turkish film industry in a back issue of Video Watchdog and the book Mondo Macabro by Pete Toombs I decided to seek out some examples.

Turkish1970s/80s cinema was wild. In order to fill the public demand for films enterprising producers decided to remake Hollywood films, using footage from the original film and finding actors/actresses who had some minor resemblance to Hollywood stars. The film Seytan (1974) is a close copy, albeit a poor one, of The Exorcist (1973) and there were also copies of Superman, Wizard of Oz and Star Trek amongst numerous others. Was this legal? Not in the slightest but since copyright laws are different in Turkey no one cared. Some films would be churned out in a matter of weeks, one director even claimed to have made a film (shot and edited) in less than twenty-four hours. Not that this assures quality, from some of the trailers I have seen of these films I am under no impression that these are masterpieces, but they appear to have a charm of their own.

Thirsty for Love Sex and Murder is a rehash of Sergio Martino’s giallo The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh (1970) and Kilink in Istanbul features a hero similar in appearance to the character in Kriminal and a Captain Marvel-esque character. They certainly sound like fun and I will post my thoughts once I have watched them. Further information on Turkish cult cinema can be found here.

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