Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saved the World) is a 1982 Turkish science fantasy martial arts superhero adventure filmdirected by Çetin Inanç, starring actor and martial artist Cüneyt Arkın. The film is popularly known abroad as Turkish Star Wars, due to its notorious unauthorized use of footage, music and sound effects from Star Wars and other science fiction films. The film combines science fiction themes with martial arts fantasy film action, having more in common with 1970s Hong Kong martial arts filmsfrom Golden Harvest than with Star Wars. Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam was part of a wave of low-budget Turksploitation superhero filmsproduced during the 1970s to early 1980s’.
The film follows the adventures of Murat (Arkın) and Ali (Akkaya), whose spaceships crash on a alien desert planet following a battle, shown by using footage from Star Wars as well as Soviet and American space program newsreel clips. While hiking across the desert, they speculate that the planet is inhabited only by women. Ali does his wolf whistle, which he uses on attractive women. However, he blows the wrong whistle and they are attacked by skeletons on horseback, which they defeat in hand-to-hand combat.
The main villain soon shows up and captures the heroes, bringing them to his gladiatorial arena so they can fight. The villain tells them he is actually from Earth and is a 1,000-year-old wizard. He tried to defeat Earth, but was always repelled by a “shield of concentrated human brain molecules”, which looks like the Death Star. The only way he can bypass this impenetrable defense is to use a human brain against it.
The heroes escape and hide in a cave full of refugees who already fled the villain’s tyrannical rule. Murat develops a romantic connection with the only woman there (Uçar), who looks after the children. (The implied romance is shown through many long eye-contacts and smiles from the girl, but nothing more.) Zombies of the dark lord attack the cave and turn several of the children into zombies, their blood used to renew the evil wizard’s immortality. The three then flee the cave and find a local bar, lifted directly from Star Wars (the Mos Eisley cantina). The two men quickly get into a bar brawl, but the villain suddenly appears and captures them again.
The wizard separates the men and tries to convince them to join him. He sends his queen to seduce Ali, while he orders Murat to be brought before him. He offers Murat the chance to rule over the earth and stars if he joins him. He possesses the power of Earth’s ancestry in the form of a golden brain, and all he needs to conquer Earth is a real human brain. After Murat declines, the wizard shows that he has the woman and child in captivity. Enraged, Murat fights the wizard’s monsters and skeleton guardians. Meanwhile, monsters attack Ali when he is about to kiss the queen. He defeats the monsters and joins Murat’s fight. They are both disabled by laser-armed guards and then unsuccessfully tortured by the wizard. Finally, the wizard pits Murat against a giant monster in the arena. Murat defeats the monster and flees, taking the woman and the child with him. Ali is left in captivity.
Murat finds out about a sword made by “the 13th clan,” who melted a mountain thousands of “space years” ago. Murat later finds this sword, shaped like a lightning bolt, in a cave defended by two golden ninjas. He takes the sword after dispatching the guards in an uncharacteristically short fight. Renewed by the sword’s power, Murat goes to free his friend from the sorcerer’s dungeon. However, Ali becomes envious of the sword, knocks out Murat and takes both the sword and the golden brain. The wizard then uses trickery and deceit to make Ali hand over the artifacts. Having touched these items, the wizard now has increased powers and traps Murat, Ali, the woman and the child. Ali is killed in a foolish attempt to escape.
Grief-stricken, Murat decides to melt down the golden sword and the golden human brain and forge them into a pair of gauntlets and boots. Equipped with magical gloves and super-jumping boots, he searches for the sorcerer to avenge his friend’s death. After fighting numerous monsters and skeletons, he comes face-to-face with his nemesis and karate chops him in half. He then leaves the planet for Earth in a ship that greatly resembles the Millennium Falcon.
The musical soundtrack is entirely lifted from popular movies. The main theme used is “The Raiders March”, composed by John Williams, from the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Other scenes incorporated the music of Moonraker, Ben-Hur, Flash Gordon, Giorgio Moroder’s version of Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes, Silent Running, Moses and Disney’s Black Hole. In the scene where Cüneyt Arkın and Aytekin Akkaya find the graves of old civilizations, the director selected Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata to play. Music from Star Wars’ Academy Award winning John Williams score appears, but less extensively than footage from the film.
|Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam|
|Directed by||Çetin Inanç|
|Produced by||Mehmet Karahafiz|
|Written by||Cüneyt Arkın (Screenplay)|
Aytekin Akkaya [tr]
|Edited by||Necdet Tok|
|Distributed by||DVD Rulers (worldwide) |
BijouFlix Releasing (USA)
|Release date||November 1982 (Turkey)|
|Running time||91 minutes|
Upon its initial release, the film was negatively reviewed by critics for its incoherent storyline, poor performances, and use of stolen footage and music from other films.
Despite this (or possibly due to this), the film has gained a significant cult following over the years, and is considered to be one of the worst films ever made. Louis Proyect of Rec Arts Movie Reviews called the film “classic midnight movie fun.” Phil Hall of Film Threat gave the film a perfect 5 stars, calling it “jaw-droppingly insane … a film that makes criticism moot.”
David Elroy Goldweber has criticized the “Turkish Star Wars” fan title. He notes that, while the film has science fiction themes, it is more of a martial arts fantasy film that has much more in common with 1970s Hong Kong martial arts films from Golden Harvest than it does with Star Wars. BBC News notes that Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam was part of a wave of low-budgetTurkish superhero films produced during the 1970s to early 1980s.
After many attempts to gather the original actors in the film to create a sequel to The Man Who Saved the World, a follow-up, The Son of the Man Who Saved the World (Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam’ın Oğlu), commonly known as Turks in Space, was shot in 2006.
The sequel was released on 15 December 2006. Some fans expressed their disapproval that the special effects were not similar to the original film, where all the space scenes were ripped directly from science fiction titles of the time, such as Star Wars, the Star Trek series, and Battlestar Galactica. Famous actors from Turkey, such as Mehmet Ali Erbil took part, and Kartal Tibet directed.
Foleyvision, an Austin, Texas-based comedy troupe who showed films replacing the original soundtrack with new dialogue, music, and sound-effects live in the theatre, used Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam as one of their performances in 2004, providing what troupe leader Buzz Moran said was “the first English translation of this film ever in the world.” During the introduction to the show, Moran stated that the translator had told them that “It doesn’t make any more sense in Turkish.”
Filmusik, a Portland, Oregon-based collaborative performance group, similarly screened Turkish Star Wars with live voiceovers, music, and sound effects in late 2012.
- ^ “Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam (1982)”. IMDb.
- ^ Jump up to: a b c Goldweber, David Elroy (2015). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film 1902-1982: A Complete Guide. Lulu Press, Inc. p. 1773. ISBN 978-1-312-28803-4.
- ^ Jump up to: a b c Williams, Nathan (10 August 2012). “The Turk who saved the world”. BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
- ^ “The strange case of Turkish Star Wars: The Ottoman Empire Strikes Back”. Esquire Middle East. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
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- ^ “Hell’s Ground and Turkish Star Wars”. 21 June 2008.
- ^ “Reviews – Film Threat – Part 2341”. http://www.filmthreat.com. Archived from the originalon 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2013-03-14.
- ^ (in Turkish) News article from Sabah newspaper (Last accessed July 29, 2006).
- ^ Austin Chronicle, “There Is No Try … Foleyvision does the Turkish ‘Star Wars'” (February 20, 2004)
- ^ “Filmusik, ‘Turkish Star Wars'”. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24.