Turkey Has Been Ripping Off American Films For Decades & We’re Not Even Mad
Na na na na na na na na BETMEN!
Is it really stealing if the new version is hilarious?
For decades, Turkish filmmakers have been bumming ideas off of Hollywood blockbusters to create low-budget remakes with a lot of…character. Nicknamed “Turksploitation” films, these B-list knock-offs may have sourced their storylines from some American classics, but their “do a lot with a little” style shows a lot of creativity and heart. These slightly off, so-bad-they’re-good movies seem kind of like a dream you’d have if you watched “Star Wars” and took a couple Ambien. Enjoy!
1. Badi (1983): Turkish E.T.
Why it’s great: Sure, there’s no Drew Barrymore and I don’t think Elliott’s bike ever gets liftoff, but there is Badi—a creature that looks like a small man inside a papier-mâché and nylon body suit. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube but be warned, this E.T. is not a lovable alien but a fearsome monster who will haunt your fucking dreams.
2. Turist Omer Uzay Yolunda (1973):Turkish Star Trek
Why it’s great: It’s basically a beat-for-beat remake of the real “Star Trek” episode “The Man Trap.” The sets look remarkably similar and none of the character names have been changed (although their pronunciations have). The biggest addition is the arrival of Omer the Tourist, a popular Turkish comedy character who plops down right in the middle of the space mission and starts making jokes. Bravo!
3. Yarasa Adam, aka “Betmen” (1973): Turkish Batman
Why it’s great: Inspired by the campy Adam West version of Batman, Turkish Yarasa Adam is a somersaulting goofball. But rather than being a vigilante superhero, this Batman is employed by the police to help figure out why Istanbul’s most stylish fashionistas are being murdered. Holy handbags, Betmen!
4. Süpermen Dönüyor (1979): Turkish Superman
Why it’s great: The planet Krypton is depicted in the opening sequence as one of many Christmas ornaments suspended against a black backdrop. Kryptonite itself looks like a blue plastic cube. And Süpermen? Well, he’s a Turkish beefcake with ill-fitting glasses.
5. Drakula Istanbul’da (1953): Turkish Dracula
Why it’s great: Based on a crappy translation of the Bram Stoker novel, the Turkish Dracula is actually more true to the original work than the American film version. This guy has fangs and scales walls upside down, Spidey-style. Just for fun, they throw in a good deal of Turkish nationalism and connections to Vlad The Impaler.
6. Kader Diyelim (1995): Turkish Psycho
Why it’s great: Um…IT’S A MUSICAL! Basically a line-by-line remake of the Hitchcock classic thriller, the Turkish version of “Psycho” sets itself apart from the crappy 1998 American remake by adding SINGING to this tale of motel murder.
7. Altin Cocuk (1966): Turkish James Bond
Why it’s great: This 007 knockoff has it all: sexy ladies, spies, and a cat-petting villain. The main difference (besides pint-sized budget) is that this James Bond is called “Agent Golden Boy” because of his unusual blond hair.
8. Aysecik ve Sihirli Cüceler Rüyalar Ülkesinde (1971): Turkish Wizard Of Oz
This remake is ratchet. From the dancing cavemen (?) to the murderous Lollipop Guild, the Turkish Wizard of Oz is equal parts shitty costumes, frightening children, and hacking people with an ax. Turkey, thank you for your cinematic contributions to this classic tale.