The ‘CITIZEN KANE’ of Rip-offs: 35mm Print of ‘THE TURKISH STAR WARS’ Discovered

By  · Published on July 11th, 2016

If you’ve never seen the film most commonly referred to as “The Turkish STAR WARS,” you’re missing out on one of the campiest cult films ever made, a sheer laugh-fest from the first frame to the final, and a spectacular low-budget send-up of American science-fiction films.

Made in 1982, DVD copies of the film – technically called DUNYAYI KURTARAN ADAM, or THE MAN WHO SAVES THE WORLD – can be tough to find, expensive, and are typically of terrible quality because there aren’t any surviving prints of the film.

Until now.

Weird film aficionados Neon Harbor recently announced that they discovered what is assumed to be the only existing 35mm print of DUNYAYI… in the private collection of a Turkish projectionist. I don’t know about you, but the whole scenario sounds like Martin Scorsese directing and INDIANA JONES movie to me.

Company President Ed Glaser put the historical find into perspective as only a film geek could: “A 35mm print of ‘Turkish Star Wars’ is the holy grail, not just of rip-off films, but all cult film. There are no negatives, and the few other prints of the film ever struck have been destroyed. My goal is to get this one scanned to preserve it for posterity – and hopefully screened in a theater for other fans like me.”

For the unfamiliar, The Turkish STAR WARS is exactly what it sounds like: a total rip-off of George Lucas’ film that steals actual footage as well as segments of the score, and other scores as well, including RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, FLASH GORDON, PLANET OF THE APES, SILENT RUNNING, and THE BLACK HOLE. I’ve seen the film a handful of times – there’s an entire section of Turkish rip-offs at the video store where I used to work, Movie Madness in Portland, OR – and can personally attest that it is a huge piece of shit, but at the same time a pretty entertaining piece of shit. “So bad it’s good” doesn’t even begin to express the absurd thievery that’s going on with this film, and I have to admit the thought of seeing it on a big screen sounds like an excellent opportunity to sneak my vape pen into a theater.

However, film preservation is a tricky thing, so who’s to say Neon Harbor will be able to successfully scan it? In that instance, you always have the internet to fall back on. Spark up something tasty and check out the film in its entirety on YouTube, embedded below.

You’re welcome.

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