6 Hilarious Special Effects From Turkish Cinema
The Turkish are cinematic geniuses, able to recreate any Hollywood special effect for less than zero dollars. Turkey's films are vibrant and artistic expressions of previously made American films. If a cultured woman pulls a Turkish movie out of your video cassette recorder, her other hand will instinctively pull her wedding ring and panties off.
For years, moviegoers have wondered how they created all these fantastic visual effects. Puppets? Sorcery? Palsy? Well, for the first time ever, I am about to pull back the curtain on Turkish special effects. I'm going to risk everything by exposing six secrets that the Turkish Film and Sanitation and Textile Manufacturing Council has fought so hard to keep.
Futuristic Technology!Film: Turkish Star Trek
The cover art for Turkish Star Trek is Spock karate chopping a frightened cab driver and Kirk calmly pointing a tube of toothpaste at the Godzilla puking fire all over his face. World travelers will recognize this as the international warning for CONTENTS MAY BE INSANE, so it should come as no surprise that the special effects are exactly that. For example, their transporter:
To create the illusion of star men vanishing into space, four actors stand as still as possible until the cameraman hits pause. Then it's simply a matter of running off frame without anyone bumping the camera. After screwing that up, the footage is handed over to the man in charge of the company penny. This man scrapes clumsy, almost random chunks of the film off until it looks like something has happened to the film in outer space.
Unfortunately, in a country whose leading export is oil wrestling, this process is also going to get a good deal of cloudy lubricant on the film. So we're left with what looks like an out-of-focus VCR accident.
Not to throw around wild accusations, but it's a suspicious coincidence that thousands of children disappear every year and Turkey's special effects look like they were designed by thousands of unwilling third graders. But in fairness to Turkish Star Trek, this example is taken way out of context. Every bad special effect is surrounded by shots of the Turkish Enterprise's female crew, and their regulation mini skirts so short that if they ran into their gynecologist at the grocery store, he'd feel like he was at work.
The Vast Expanse of Deep Space!Film: Turkish Superman
The original Superman opens with a long sequence where the credits fly through deep space to the Superman theme. Turkish Superman, or Supermen Donuyor, works hard to recreate the same sequence. Unfortunately, they think a video toaster is a Betamax machine hollowed out and filled with diesel fuel. Their idea of computer-aided visuals is trading your wife a calculator to shave her mustache.
So instead of a dazzling credit sequence, the film opens with a shaky man holding a camcorder and jogging through a shed filled with Christmas ornamenno wait, holy shit, they think this looks like space! Sometimes Turkish visual effects make you feel like you've solved a puzzle when you realize what they were trying to do. I mean, some of these planets still have glitter snowflakes on them. And those are the ones that look the most realistic since they don't have the fish-eyed reflection of a Turkish camera man bobbing towards them.
It was a pretty ballsy move to include credits. All artistic crimes and copyright issues aside, most of the props and vehicles in Turkish Superman are illegal to touch without a Class 7 Toxic Waste Disposal License. These people drive cars that would give motor oil hepatitis and one of their cameras only films in blue. If the skinny guy wasn't wearing a Superman costume, I'd think I was watching a training video on how employees should hunt junkyard intruders.
Fantastic Settings!Film: Turkish Wizard of Oz
When they remade
"After all this time, has someone finally come for me? Oh god... in Turkey, the prison term for child molestation is so, so long."
Man Takes Flight!Film: Turkish Superman
In America, we traditionally create the illusion of a flying man by filming an actor in front of a blue backdrop. Then we replace that blue backdrop with footage of passing scenery. In Turkey, they figured out a way to combine all that into a single step. They dangle the actor in front of a TV showing blue footage! But it gets even better, because you know what costs and complains less than an actor? A homemade doll on yarn. Seriously. A lot of special effects feel like they're lying to you, but not this one. This doll in front of an old TV looks so much like what it is that it wouldn't take you out of the scene at all if the puppeteer ducked his head in and apologized for the hiring policies of Turkish film unions. Within seconds of seeing what these filmmakers have made, I knew that there was a charity organization somewhere trying to provide them with medicine and helmets.
As sincere as this illusion is, it's about as believable as lesbian pornography. If a deaf guy called your phone and told you he could fly in sign language, it would be more convincing than Turkish Superman's visuals. At one point they actually dangle Superman the wrong way so it looks like he's speeding backwards past a happy tugboat crew. I don't know a ton about Eastern European religions, but here in America, we show the proper respect to darksided omens of doom. If you're flying backwards like some kind of abomination, we don't smile and wave at you even if we are just grainy stock footage.
Alien Creatures Come to Life!Film: Turkish E.T.
Turkish E.T. is a dystopian piece of cinema that will change the way you hate slimy moon turtles. First, Elliot and the other children go to school in what seems to be a bombed-out prison camp. Their playground is a wasteland of concrete rubble and dog corpses. Actual, no-bullshit dog corpses. I'm not sure if the dead animals have something to do with the plot or if they're some kind of unrelated tragedy of the Turkish school system they couldn't film around. That's how dark Turkish E.T. is-- you think that animal remains might be a blooper reel. You think that somewhere out there, there's a Turkish woman complaining that her deadbeat husband can't even hold down a job kicking dog corpses away from elementary schools.
This movie didn't have the budget of a Steven Spielberg production. In the American version, E.T. was played by a slime-seeping animatronic puppet piloted by a psychic boy genetically grown for only this purpose. They don't have that type of luxury outside Hollywood. When making a Turkish movie, it takes 3 weeks for budget approval to chase a cat through a formation of plastic army men. They had to cut a few corners when building their E.T. prototype and in the end, they went with a child wrapped in a quilt made of villager scrotums. It is fucked. The Turkish E.T. dodges your mind's comprehension in its formless madness. It looks like a dwarf died from hopelessness and someone tried to describe the killer to a police sketch artist.
When it came time to film, the director was stuck with this three foot monstrosity that looked like an image of Jesus that lost interest halfway through manifesting in an ashy elbow. Then inspiration slapped the filmmakers in the face with an elementary school dog corpse-- they could surround their crappy E.T. with an atmospheric yet concealing mist! All they need is a fog machine. The only problem: Turkish fog machines are made in Turkey.
E.T. was all set to make his big reveal in a cloud of spooky evening fog. The tension built as Elliot crept up on the croaking sound outside his door. No doubt there was some sort of alien monster waiting in the mist! The door swings open! And... there's no mist. Only the... what am I looking at, the inside of a teddy bear's septic tank?
E.T. and Elliot awkwardly stare at each other. Then nothing. Then nothing. Then right when you think someone is about to call cut, the broken fog machine clanks on, suddenly and insanely squirting a plume of smoke out of E.T.'s crotch. It's probably in the top five grossest things an alien can do when it enters your house. This honestly would bother me more than the fact that I'm looking at an alien. This scene is such a mystery. Is it the combination of faulty props and a stoic determination to never do a second take? Is E.T. from a race of creatures that think it's polite to blast a fire out with your dick when you're meeting someone? Maybe the stunt toddler picked a bad time to release the gas from the E.T. suit's waste pouch. Do Turkish people always stop for a moment and take a terrifying pee before entering a home? I don't have all the answers!
???????!Film: Turkish Superman
Superman has many of the same abilities in Turkey as he does in America. With the movie magic of pressing play on one VCR and record on the other very quickly, his X-ray vision can turn an ordinary secretary into a Bikini Turkishplosion.
And by dropping one untrained stuntman out of a tree and playing it in reverse, he can superpunch a man onto a tree branch!
Turkey doesn't only copy us, though. They invent some of their own Superman powers like his ability to walk arm-in-arm with another man with his sexuality supersecurity!
In one scene, Clark Kent smugly types with his mind. I think this power is based entirely on how easy it was to film, though. It had nothing to do with the plot, was slower than typing with his hands, and he typed the word "oooo.oojoooj." For a reporter, oooo.oojoooj is "Fuck you, boss," in any language.
My favorite moment in Turkish Superman comes when he storms into Lex Luthor's secret hideout. Without telling you, you've probably guessed that it's a barn with a card table, and it is. After their card game is interrupted, the henchmen punch and shoot him, and it's all as useless as some jackass typing with his mind.
There's been a lot of mention in the film about a certain Krypton Rock being the only thing that can defeat Superman, so one of the thugs instead hits him with a chair. This knocks Superman into a barn explosion. Wait, a barn explosion? Did one of the goats eat a land mine or are Turkish filmmakers completely out of fucks to give?
Superman falls, from the explosion, onto... onto a little conveyor belt? With a guillotine at the end!? Look, I love that they're trying, but there is no application for this invention. There doesn't exist a reason for these guys to have a Conveyatine in their barn. This is either a mistake my eyeballs are making or it's a status symbol in Turkey when it takes you fucking forever to chop your vegetables. Maybe you can solve it while you enjoy this ultimate celebration of all Turkish visual effects and storytelling: