Captain Swing

Captain Swing is the latest offering from Onar Films. The movie is a Turkish adaptation of an Italian comic based on the adventures of an American rebel. Well, I say American, I mean “French-American” living with Indian tribes. Did I just manage to include every country in the world in two sentences? Anyway, are you prepared for 90 minutes of Turkish actors pretending to be French, American, British and (heaven forbid) Indian? Let’s review Kaptan Swing (or Captain Swing)…

In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, Kaptan Swing is daft. Well, there’s a Turkish fellow trying to pass as an Indian (which basically means he walks around semi-clothed, has a couple of lines on his face and mentions the great gods in the sky in nearly every sentence)… of course it’s daft. Then again, American movies made in the fifties with similar themes are no less silly (even if directed by heavyweights like Jacques Tourneur). One has to assume it comes with the theme.

Anyway, Kaptan Swing is a rebel sought after by the English (read: Turkish actors in silly red outfits). His love is the ample bosomed Betty, his friends are the slightly overweight Mister Bluff and Sad Owl, the Indian who’s always hungry (and who’s in charge of the film’s comedy elements – which are quite annoying).
The thing is: Sad Owl’s comedy may be a bit annoying, but bear in mind this film doesn’t take itself serious. The addition of comedy characters in Turkish thrillers and horror movies is disturbing, but here you allow yourself to let it pass. Because the film is silly. Let’s face it, the genre is silly: comparable American movies from the 50s were no less cardboard than this feature.

After watching the trailer for this movie, I had a lot of reservations for this film, but to be honest, Kaptan Swing isn’t all that bad. You won’t believe for one second the film is set in North America, but if you look at it as a rogue movie, it’s okay. The film is quite faithful to the Italian comic it was based on, Il Comandante Mark.

As for the picture quality, it must definitely be mentioned this movie looks incredibly good. Often these Turkish movies look in such a bad shape the word “abysmal” would be considered as a compliment, but Captain Swing is one of Onar’s best looking movies so far. Apparently not all was lost.

Onar Films included the second part of its history of Turkish fantastic cinema (focusing on adventure movies) on this DVD, so on top of Kaptan Swing you’ll learn more about this movie and its likes. And what a shame that documentary isn’t longer.

Other extras include a poster insert, a couple of filmographies and biographies, a photogallery and a reel of upcoming trailers. Make sure you watch those trailers, there’s one of a Turkish Bond adaptation, the Turkish version of Death Wish (which will be released later this year) and a couple of other mouth-watering sleaze goodies. Treats ahead, ladies and gentlemen, treats ahead.

P.S. Do you know your one Captain Swing from another? Read the Wikipedia entry for more info, but bear in mind the Turkish movie isn’t included there.

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