Süpermen Dönüyor (1979)

The makers of The Return of Superman didn’t have money to create a field of stars. They did not feel like stealing the footage from another film. So instead, they laid several Christmas ornaments on a blanket and just let the camera roll. If seeing that makes you say, “How cheap!” then you aren’t ready for the world of Turkish remixes.

This is 67 minutes of Superman’s origin, except that it’s really Captain Marvel — the Shazam! version — who has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.

Tayfun Demir plays Tayfun, who is our Clark Kent here. Once he learns from his Earth parents that he came from space, he’s given a green Plexiglass paperweight that leads him to the magical cave of Shazam. Or his father. Before you know it, he’s trying to win over Lois Lane when he isn’t using his X-ray vision to check out the other ladies at the Istanbul Planet.

According to director Kunt Tulgar, the budget was so small that Demir had to resew his shirt every time they shot a scene where he pops the buttons off his dress shirt to reveal his Superman shield. After the fourth time, Demir refused to sew any longer.

Richard Donner’s Superman was sold with the idea that you would believe a man could fly. Here, that man is a Ken doll being held by a string in front of photos of Istanbul. The logo at the end of our hero’s shield? A latch hook rug.

Some will be put off by this thrift store level effort. As for me, I found it charming, a film closer to the George Reeves-starring TV version than a big budget Hollywood blockbuster.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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