Why are some evil people opening a coffin and giving some serum to a dead body? Because they’re evil and they want to revive the corpse, none other than evil mastermind Kilink. Blimey, it works too! Kilink needs only one second of life before he wants to get his hands on a secret formula, because that formula will help him take over the world (evil laugh). Yes, nothing says ‘overdose of ambition’ quite like an evil mastermind wanting to rule the world and Kilink truly is the embodiment of evil.
And speaking of evil… wonderful suit!
Kilink is the ‘star’ in a series of Turkish crime/superhero series. The film movie, Kilink Istanbul’da (or Kilink in Istanbul, for those of us who don’t speak Turkish) was released in 1967 and has been released on DVD by Onar Films.
In fact, it was the first release by Onar Films, the small Greek label that specializes in bringing incredibly rare movies (from Turkey) out on DVD. So rare that the original sources are often missing or destroyed and that Onar has to work with whatever material they can find to release a movie “as good as it gets”. Kilink in Istanbul is a prime example of this: the original negative masters don’t exist anymore and Onar had to use the only source they could get their hands on: a Betacam master.
This says something about dedication, as a first release often does.
High time for a in-depth review then…
Kilink is the Turkish version of the evil mastermind that popped up in Italy in the comic Killing, which in turn was a lookalike of another Italian comic character, Kriminal. Welcome to another instalment of “Robbing The Robbers”.
Kilink became a popular character in Turkish cinema too: no less than eleven movies were made about this evil mastermind’s plans to rule the world. Quite often, the movies would end on a cliffhanger: Kilink was still loose and planning on new plans… what would happen next? Kilink In Istanbul ends on such a cliffhanger, a story that would be continued in Kilink vs. Superman (also released by Onar Films).
Does that mean you can’t enjoy Kilink in Istanbul? Oh no, by all means can you enjoy this 70-minute action fest of who’s beating up who now and who’ll be kidnapped next. In fact, almost every scene in Kilink in Istanbul seems to feature either a masquerade or a kidnapping. You won’t be bored then.
Kilink tries to get his hands on a secret formula, but the professor who’s responsible for the formula doesn’t want to hand it over and ends up being killed by Kilink. The professor’s son, Orhan, swears revenge and is visited by a godlike creature (slash magician in funny costume) who grants Orhan special powers.
Orhan is now Superhero (according to the translation, but it’s clearly a copy of Superman – that’ll be the first time a Turkish movie tried to avoid legal issues) and, as such, the perfect man to stop Kilink in his quest to rule the world (but not before seventy-odd kidnappings and a sequel). And Kilink is not sitting still either: he’s determined to get his hands on the formula and he’s sure one family member will be able to help him.
Which reminds me, can one speak of hands in the case of Kilink? The movie tries to leave it open for discussion as to whether it’s a costume worn by Kilink or whether the man is truly a walking skeleton. There’s even a trick in the movie to make people believe Kilink can’t be hurt by bullets (evil characters break in first, take the real bullets out of the gun, so Kilink won’t be able to end up shot). Sneaky but handy!
Kilink in Istanbul is a fast-paced movie, you won’t be able to get bored in these 70 minutes. You might get a bit confused from time to time, though: as mentioned earlier, Onar Films had to restore the movie from a Betamax master. One that had been used plenty, it seems: some scenes are incredibly scratched and a couple of times a few bits of seconds are even missing from the movie.
Which is a bit annoying… however, this does enable you to see the movie and it’ll only take a few seconds before your mind has adapted and filled in the blank seconds.
While some scenes are scratched beyond repair, most scenes are neatly cleaned up. Well, “neat”, we’re not talking crisp Blue Underground releases here, but as good as one can restore a Betamax master.
Onar Films tried to restore the sound even more and have done a great job. There are a couple of scenes where the sound still fails (once the sound just drops and one scene sounds as if it was redubbed in an aquarium), but overall the sound got a magnificent treatment, so praise to Onar for that.
As far as extras go, this was the first Onar Films release and it doesn’t have the standards of Onar’s later releases (plenty of interviews as extras). You do get three trailers (for Onar’s later releases 3 Dev Adam, Turkish Spiderman and a so-far unreleased and even unannounced Superman in Istanbul), a filmography of the director and of Kilink (plus a short synopsis of each Kilink movie) and a photogallery.
Yes, that’s definitely fewer extras than later Onar Films DVDs, but then again, you can’t expect too much from a first release, can you?
The menu was beautifully done by the way. You can choose between an English or Greek menu (and subtitles).
Overall a nice welcome from Onar Films to a world of worldwide fans of superrare movies and a gentle reminder that Turkish cinema was more than men in silly costumes (see 3 Dev Adam, Badi, Turkish Superman, Turkish Wizard of Oz, Turk Trek, Turkish Star Wars…). The budget was low and some of the fighting scenes are nowhere near convincing, but overall Kilink can stand proudly next to the evil superheroes of Italian B cinema.