FORGOTTEN HEROES: 3 Giant Men (1973)

In the world of Turkish cinema, Spider-Man leads a gang of counterfeiter who use murders people with outboar dmotors, axes and man-eating guinea pigs. Santo is a secret agent who rarely wears his mask and puts things directly into his pants, pockets by damned. And Captain America doesn’t have a shield, smokes and brings his girlfriend, Julia, along.

Just strap yourself in — 3 Giant Men is a ride into insanity, the kind of world that  Sergeant Joe Friday worried about when kids in the 60’s started doing LSD and jumping out of windows.

Istanbul! The Spider’s Gang — led by Spider-Man — are taking over. They cut the head off of a woman with a boat propeller to start the movie off right.

The film then kicks into the craziest title sequence ever — they basically filmed a board of photographs, pulling out on image after image, with the type for each credit simply vinyl type on a board.

Julia, Captain America’s girlfriend, is captured but is able to send a distress call to Cap, who rescues her but can’t catch Spider-Man after a battle through a graveyard. Captain America is played by Aytekin Akkaya, who was Ali in Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (better known as Turkish Star Wars) and Ukan in Yor, the Hunter from the Future.

I’d like to inform all of you right now that Spider-Man has the biggest eyebrows you’ve ever seen. He can also die and come back to life with no lasting damage, for some reason. He also gets his men to drop off what I can only refer to as mini-tents near mafia bases, emerging from them to kill other gangs.

Meanwhile, Santo infiltrates a dojo known for counterfeiting. Santo’s fight style is to basically no sellkicks to the face and do rolls and judo. So, you know, nothing at all like he real Santo. He also likes to look right at the camera whenever he is film. I could watch Santo fight karate men for hours and hours of my life. Santo gets captured, but escapes with the evidence. He and Cap raid a hideout while Spider-Man kills a woman in the shower.

Spidey calls out the dude who let Santo escape, punishing him by putting a tube over his head and letting two guinea pigs EAT HIS FUCKING FACE. Sorry to scream, this movie…this movie is just one shock after the other. Spidey tops it off  by watching couple shower (!), killing them by stabbing them together ala Jason Vorhees to Jeff and Sandra in Friday the 13th Part 2 (!!) and then stealing a statue that has no importance toward the rest of the movie (!!!).

Yes. If you are keeping score, Spider-Man has two different shower based kill scenes in this movie. If you like your Peter Parker murderous, then this flick is for you. But wait…what would make this movie better? If you answered watching Spider-Man have sex while surrounded by frightening puppets, then you are on the same wavelength as the insane people who made this movie. You should really speak to someone or be on one of this lists where you have to announce yourself to all of your neighbors when you move.

Santo and Captain America then battle Spider-Man again, where we find out that there are four Spideys, several of which die horribly. After some undercover work at a club — the same club we keep seeing with a girl in shadow spinning boob tassles — Spider-Man’s goons kidnap our heroes. They fight one another, but it’s all a clever ruse, as they kill almost all of the gang members, including Spider-Man’s girlfriend (who is not Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Felicia Hardy, Betty Brant, Carlie Cooper or Liz Allen).

There’s a battle that doesn’t stop until every Spider-Man is dead. Spideys get knocked off ladders, their necks broken and crushed by presses. It’s an orgy of Spider destruction, highlighted by Captain America’s trademark offense: one footed dropkicks , face slaps and punches to the belly.

But just as Cap is about to leave town, he sees one more Spidey. However, it’s just a kid in a mask. 

I don’t know if it’s possible to love a movie as much as I love 3 Giant Men. Today’s superhero movies fail to capture the majesty of this film. It answers the big questions, the ones no one had the guts to ask or gave a shit about. Cap punching Spider in the breadbasket? It’s in there. Santo powerbombing goons and then putting them into submission holds in a nightclub? Yes. Wacky asides with comical music? Yes. A Cap that smokes and wears a leisure suit? Evet.

3 Giant Men comes in at 78 minutes of what I can only imagine being in a coma and pumped full of iowaska would feel like. Everyone knows all about Japanese Spider-Man Takuya Yamashiro (they do, right?), but laughing, killing, giant eyebrow having Turkish Spider-Man? He is the greatest villain ever in the best superhero movie ever made.

Play us out, Turkish Spidey!

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