Whether you watch this under its true title or the translation Death’s Last Step or Last Step to Death or just prefer to call it Turkish Mad Max, I have to tell you, this is one of the greatest movies that I’ve ever seen. It somehow has everything I want in one movie — blood, brawls, black-haired thick thighed women kicking ass, stunts, stabbings and so much more. It’s as if the Turkish folks knew that someday I’d claim that Willy Milan’s W Is War and Mad Warrior rivaled even the most incredible Italian post-apocalyptic shenanigans and decided to raise the stakes. 1983, you were more than a good year. You were the best year.
Actually. the only thing making this like Mad Max is the leather jacket that Kaan (Cüneyt Arkin) wears. You may have seen Cüneyt in movies like Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam, which is referred to as The Man Who Saved the World and Turkish Star Wars. Then again, maybe you don’t sit around and watch ten Turkish movies a day for several days in a row like I do.
A doctor of medicine, Cüneyt does all of his own stunts and has never played a villain in his entire career. He’s been in a ton of films obviously, but the best title of his films that I could find was 1981’s Zombi 65: The Water That Killed Everyone. He was also in Çöl, which some call Turkish Jaws, and 1984’s Ölüm savasçisi (Death Warrior), another mind destroyer that is pretty much a Turkish Sho Kosugi movie.
Emel Tümer, who was also in Çöl and Vahsi Kan (Turkish First Blood) is also in this as Leyla and she’s spectacular, outdrinking an entire bar full of men, fighting nearly every single one of them and even driving a huge truck while someone stabs her. She shows up at the end of the movie in a suit and fedora that stopped my heart cold. Seriously, Emel, where have you been all of our lives?
This is the kind of movie where the main good guy force feeds a bag of heroin to a drug dealer while the bad guy’s underage bikini-wearing girlfriend watched in horror. A movie with more butt shots and upskirts than a John Stagliano movie.
Anyways, Kaan (or Kagan, no one can agree on the web), Leyla and Ali set out to rescue a professor who has discovered the cure to leukemia. That means that lots of people are going to get killed in spectacular ways, ways that look legitimately painful and shocking in the world of unions, CGI and people trying not to die on film.
This is the kind of movie that will ruin all other movies for you. It made my head hurt in the best of ways, because it’s just too astounding. It never lets you get bored, throwing literally hundreds of bad guys at our heroes, who shrug off all manner of damage as if they are the living embodiment of the Contra Code.
You can watch the whole thing right here on YouTube.