Supermen Dönüyor (1979)
By: Devon B. on April 15, 2009  | 
Onar Films (Greece). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. Turkish DD 2.0. Greek, English Subtitles. 68 minutes (Supermen) 70 min (Demir)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Kunt Tulgar
Starring: Tayfun Demir, Yildirim Gencer, Gungor Bayrak
Country: Turkey
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Following the sage of advice of fellow Digital Retribution scribe Mr Intolerance, I ordered a few Turkish turkeys, and this disc was a bit of bonus 'cause it had two films. One was, according to the DVD company responsible, "The most talked-about cult film of all times [sic]." I found that hard to believe, given I'd never heard of it, but my curiosity was piqued by the idea of a Turkish Superman.

The evidently oft-discussed main feature is the first film Supermen Dönüyor, which translates as Superman Returns. Don't ask me where he was before; I have no idea. It was clear from the title card, which looks like it could've been done by a 14 year old of average art abilities, that I was in for something special. The film begins with some footage of either a cheap mobile or Krypton viewed from space. Then we're on to a stepfather explaining to his adopted son Tayfun (Clark) that he's an alien. Tayfun wears glasses even though he should probably already be super. There's a long scene of Tayfun packing up and then he finally goes to meet Marlon Brando's fill in. Tayfun gets warned about the dangers of Krypton Stone (Kryptonite) and then there's a poof of smoke and he's now definitely super and fully dressed in his suit. Superman than demonstrates his remarkable ability to turn into a small toy and flop around in front of a screen. Sometimes he turns back into a man and turns his head slightly. The director must've liked this footage a lot, as it keeps appearing…or Superman is content to just "fly" around in one bit of Turkey. Supermen Dönüyor continues along familiar territory, with Tayfun getting a job as a reporter and having a romantic interest in a co-worker who has a tendency to get kidnapped. Supes never appears too concerned about his secret identity, and is often indiscreet about changing, but "Lois" takes a loooooong time to catch on.

As can be expected, the acting is fan-fucking-tastic. There were some things that I thought were odd in the movie, like when Superman's X-ray vision only allowed him to see a woman in her undies, but then I remembered that Christopher Reeve only guessed the colour of Margot Kidder's panties, not her pubic hair, so there is precedence. Despite his X-ray vision not being any stronger, Turkish Superman does appear to be psychic, so that's one thing he's got over Reeve. However, Turkish Superman seems to have an extra weakness: Electricity.

Supermen Dönüyor is fun, but gets repetitive and you can only laugh at it for so long, and that isn't the film's full 68 minutes. It's certainly worth having a look, but it's not as wacky as some other films…

…Speaking of which, sometimes when the main feature isn't entirely fulfilling, a nice extra feature can make a disc worthwhile. The bonus film on this DVD, Demir Yumruk Devler Geliyor, may have been listed as the b-film, but I found it far more entertaining. Unfortunately, it does take its sweet time to get going. The title translates to Iron Fist: The Giants Are Coming. The "iron fist" is really more of a Styrofoam hand like what you might see at a sporting event, but its fingertips shoot. This is evidently a dangerous new weapon, though I'm not sure why someone wouldn't just use a gun, but it's a moot question as the weapon never actually amounts to anything. The "giants" are the heroes…I assume. No one looked particularly big.

The film begins with a very gay, very non-Asian, Fumancu (guess who he's based on) wanting to rule the world, but there's this dude named Zagof that also wants to rule. They are all hunting for a dagger, and Fumancu kills someone who won't tell him where the dagger is. The son of the dead guy swears to get revenge, and teams up with three spies trying to bring down these supervillains.

Demir Yumruk Devler Geliyor is a bit boring at first, but there're things like Fu's bikini clad henchwomen to distract you. Haphazard attempts at comedy grate, but more serious plot points, like one of the spies getting abducted from a shower but evidently being allowed to put on a bulletproof vest before going to see the boss, offer a few snickers. Not to mention this is one of the most homoerotic buddy pics I've seen in a good while; these guys take every opportunity to put their hands around each other's shoulders. Stick with the film, because it bams up several notches when the superhero turns up and the spy antics become less of a focus. The guy's suit is nothing short of amazing. He sports a cape, a dark suit with lighter coloured shorts, a holster, a Superman "S" on his chest, a belt with a bat on it, and what looks like a masquerade mask. Who the hell put together this outfit? Who cares, 'cause it's so bad it's friggin' awesome! The hero's identity isn't much of a mystery, but for some reason one character is kept in the dark about the situation.

The combined might of the two films makes this an appealing package.
Both movies are presented at 1.33:1. Supermen is in colour, and Demir is black and white. Supermen is the rougher of the two, with spots, lines that don't go away, and a blurry, soft print. Demir is much clearer, but there're still spots and specks and VHS style glitches. Picture perfection isn't really an option with older Turkish films, so can't complain too much here.
Both films are presented in Turkish with optional English or Greek subs. There're a few errors in the English subs, plus some odd translations – or the dialogue was REALLY stilted. The audio is very raw and distorted for both films.
Extra Features
The DVD comes with a trailer gallery of other interesting looking things like a Turkish Zorro movie. There's also an interview with Supermen's director that runs about 46 minutes. Sadly the actor who played Superman is dead, another similarity to Reeve. The interview features some cool clips from the director's career, but oddly he seems proud of his special effects in Supermen. There's also a short bio on the director and a filmography for him. A photo gallery of a few stills rounds things out. The disc also comes with a mini-poster insert for Supermen, but the print quality doesn't make it suitable for framing. The extras for Demir are a bio on the director which includes a filmography, and a small gallery of art and lobby cards.
The Verdict
The DVD is limited to 1,200 discs, so if you're curious act quickly. Both films are worth a watch, but Demir is what sells it for me.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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