Written by: Nick Frame on February 27th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Turkey 1967
Director: Yilmaz Atadeniz
Cast: Yildiram Gencer, Irfan Atasoy, Pervin Par, Suzan Avci, Muzaffer Tema, Mine Soley
DVD released: December 2005
Approximate running time: 70 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Sound: Turkish Mono (English and Greek Subtitles)
DVD Release: Onar Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL
Retail Price: €18 from Onarfilms.com ($24.95 from Xploited Cinema)
Holy rip-off Batman (or should that be Superman!), where to start with this wild piece of Turkish cinema. Kilink is the Turkish version of Italian photo comic strip hero Killing who in turn is a rip-off of Kriminal (another comic book star) who was a derivative of the great Diabolik, the comic book character that started the whole European fascination with skeleton suited anti-heroes. Got all that? Good, lets move on.
Kilink (Yildirim Gencer) has just been brought back to life by his sultry sidekick Suzy (Suzan Avci) so that he can put his plans for world domination into place. He needs to steal a secret formula from a Professor Houloussi so Kilink disguises himself as the butler and then sneaks into his lab. The old Prof refuses to give it up, so Kilink kills him in cold blood leaving a “Kilink” written beside the body so the police know that the “King of Rogues” has committed this most heinous crime. The Profs son Orhan is devastated and vows to get his revenge on Kilink. It’s at this point that the film gets really wacky (only now I hear you say!), as while Orhan is grieving by his father’s grave, the wizard Shazam appears! Yes, Captain Marvels Shazam turns up and bestows super powers on Orhan so that he can hunt down Kilink. So when Orhan says “Shazam” he changes into Superhero (according to the subtitles) with Batman’s cowl, Superman’s suit and the Phantoms shorts! In addition to this, the director had little time to commission a soundtrack, but he liked what he heard in the James Bond movie of that year “You only live twice” so he used that instead! Kilink is now on the trail of the formula which he needs to complete his weapon of mass destruction but little does he know that Superhero is on his tail.
Despite the crazy plot and copyright theft, Kilink in Istanbul is actually very watchable. Kilink himself is a fantastic character being cool, suave and sadistic all at once. He does not suffer fools who fail him and he always has an eye for the ladies. In whatever guise the Kilink character has appeared in other movies (Danger: Diabolik and Kriminal) he has always been very striking and it would be wonderful to see a modern remake of this great icon. Indeed there was talk of Christopher Gans (Crying Freeman and Brotherhood of the Wolf) remaking Diabolik but this project now seems to be in limbo. Regardless you will be definitely rooting for Kilink rather than the costumed hero trying to put a stop to his evil ways. The film itself was obviously quite cheaply made with poor effects and low AV quality being particularly evident, however the actors throw themselves into their parts with vigour and it’s this that carries the film nicely to its thrilling climax. Cult cinema at its best and with this being a very limited release I would track it down quickly.
The film itself is presented in its original 70 minute full screen black and white image. It’s a special limited edition with Onar only manufacturing 1000 copies. The image quality is very poor with lots of jumps and scratches. It does get slightly better towards the end of the film, but it’s in pretty poor shape overall. The reason for this is simply that the original negatives do not exist anymore and the DVD was put together from the Betacam masters. Films were churned out at a rapid rate in Turkey to make a quick buck and they did not look after the negatives.
The tinny audio is sub par as well, with a lot of sound dropout in evidence but it’s clear for the most part and does not detract too much from the film. There is only one audio option available, Turkish mono with both Greek and slightly dodgy English subtitles, that only add to this films charm.
Onto the extras and we have a filmography for all 10 Kilink features with a synopsis for each one. Hopefully Onar will get round to releasing them all. There is also a filmography for director Yilmaz Atadeniz.
Next up is a photogallery with some really nice clear stills from the film.
Finally we have the trailers section which has to be seen to be believed. I always knew Turkish cinema ripped off films but never realised it was so blatant.
Firstly there is “3 Dev Adam” that seems to star Santo (the Mexican wrestler) and Captain America up against an evil Spiderman (albeit with a green and red costume and awesome eyebrows!) I so need to own this one.
Next we have “Super-Adam Istanbul Da” (Superman in Istanbul) a film from the 1960’s with a Superman character dressed in red and black fighting crime. Mental!
Finally there is “Supermen Donuyor” a Turkish version of the Chris Reeves Superman with the same John Williams soundtrack which seems to have been taken from an 8th generation VHS. Not only that the Superman costume is exactly the same except the guy playing Superman looks constipated. Honestly, the DVD is worth it for these 3 trailers alone.
Despite the poor AV quality, I would still recommend tracking this one down as it’s a fun flick and the DVD itself will become a real collector’s item in the future.