A few years back I was introduced to Mehmet Aslan’s Tarkan Versus the Vikings (1971) in the best way possible – at Fantastic Fest in an auditorium full of like minded genre film fans that were ready to have their minds blown. That is exactly what this movie did. The audience I first saw this with could barely stay in their seats. We were bombarded with so many stunts, sword fights, inflatable octopi, and fearless canine companions that some would have signed up to ride with Atilla the Hun right then and there. It left us slavering for more. Unfortunately, our access to these films from the golden age of Turkish cinema is woefully inadequate. If Tarkan Versus the Vikings is any indication, we are missing out on a lot. There’s a lot of top notch Turkish action and adventure that has been lost to the landfill. Who knows what’s been left to decay in neglected film canisters?
So, thank our lucky stars for companies like Mondo Macabro! They have been out there scouring the globe to bring us the best versions of these films available, including Tarkan, for almost two decades now. And not just the films, but bonus material to help contextualize and understand it all better. When you see that distinctive red DVD case, you know you’re in good hands. You know you’re going to be treated to a mind blowing excursion into the wild side of world cinema. Whether it’s Turkey, Indonesia, Argentina, the Philippines, or some other far flung corner of the globe, Mondo Macabro will guide you safely through whatever cinematic insanity there is to encounter.
What you’ll find in this episode: crash courses in Turkish pop cinema history and how Mondo Macabro came to be, our individual top five lists of Mondo Macabro releases, the real MVP of the Tarkan series, and no respect for international copyright law whatsoever.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out Tarkan Versus the Vikings on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Hulk.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Remake, Remix, Rip-Off: About Copy Culture & Turkish Pop Cinema.
Mondo Macabro’s storefront, where you can get some of the greatest cinema ever made.
A brief history of Turkish cinema and some recommendations about where to start from prominent Turkish film critic, Atilla Dorsay.