Comics-x-aminer Presents: ‘Turkey’ Week Part 2 – Turkish Star Trek!

Here at Comics-x-aminer we are starting a new tradition, in similar vain of Mystery Science Theater’s turkey day, we are doing Turkey Week.  What is Turkey Week, well it’s where we so you the viewer a whole week of movies from the country of Turkey, but not just any movies, rip-off movies.  You see, in the late seventies and early eighties the Turkish film association decided to ban western films from coming into the country and instead, make their own versions of that American film.  So, consider these movies an A-budget version of a sweded film or in better terms, a c-budget film compared to the American classic.

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Turkey Week #2: Omer the Tourist in Star Trek aka Turkish Star Trek (1973)

By Cory Robinson

For our second helping into Turkey Week, we delve face first into the Turkish version of the beloved sci-fi television series known as Star Trek.  Just like every other Turkish movie ripping off an American film, we get the theme music of Star Trek but played so muffled that it is near impossible to make it out at first with footage of the Enterprise flying through space with what looks to be filtered with Nickelodeon orange paint.  Halfway through the opening credits, the music abruptly stops and switches to a 60s go-go beach theme that has no right being played in a space movie, and yes I am even counting the Star Trek episode with the space hippies.

For the first ten minutes of the film, it actually does a very good job copying an episode of Star Trek, the crew actually has all of their original names and positions like the original show and they even rip off the complete story to the pilot episode entitled The Man Trap.  The only minor changes is that red shirt deaths are changed to green lime deaths and Spock now wears a yellow shirt instead of a blue one.

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This Turkish film actually impressed me for a bit especially if you are familiar with the episode The Man Trap.  If you are not, let me explain the plot of the episode, the crew of the enterprise beam down to a planet to deliver supplies to a doctor and his assistant who just happens to be an ex-lover of Dr. McCoy.  Only when the crew gets to the planet, they find that Nancy, Dr. McCoy’s former love interest, is viewed differently to everyone who sees her, including McCoy who views her as when they first met.  The other thing the confuses the crew, is the fact that Nancy only requests for salt and that one of the crew members, named Eugene, dies mysteriously which launches an investigation by Captain Kirk not knowing that Nancy died a year ago and is actually a salt monster who can take to form of anything it pleases.

Now what I just explained was the first 10 minutes of the episode of the tv series and the Turkish film, they are that similar, minus the fact that the budget of the Turkish film is only slightly less that the American TV show.  The first time when the movie strays from the plot is after Eugene dies, the professor decides to use his time machine, yes you heard that right, to pick up a random person from the past and blame him for the crime of killing Eugene.  That person just happens to be Omer the Tourist, and this is when the film starts being unwatchable. Omer is getting ready to have a shotgun wedding with a Mafioso’s daughter because they think that he got her pregnant, but at the last second, he is transported into the future onto the planet so that the USS Enterprise can blame him for the murder.

Now, before I go on and complain about the plot, let me explain who Omer is.  Omer is a comic character who was somewhat popular in Turkey around the 1960s with his main gag being that he is an annoying hobo that gets on people’s nerves.  The character Omer was in eight films with this one being his last and that is no surprise here.  The weird thing about this film is that it still follows the plot to the original pilot episode of Star Trek but now we have this annoying character who follows the characters throughout the whole film while shouting goofy one-liners that make no sense.  The only way I can explain it is if you were watching an episode of Star Trek and the all of a sudden Jim Belushi somehow invaded your television set and then started to talk during the episode.  He would think it’s funny but you the viewer would find it completely annoying, and that’s what the rest of this movie is.

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So if you seen the episode of The Man Trap, then you know how the rest of the plot the film goes so I’m not going to go into great detail, but one thing I do have to give the film credit for is to add some extra memorable scenes from other episodes of Star Trek, such as Spock and Kirk fighting with the weapons similar to the ones found in Amok Time or the scene in which Kirk fights the Gorn as seen in the episode Arena.  But instead of a lizard we get a giant pinkish-orange wookie thing who has a hard time throwing boulders.  The scene makes no sense, but hell anytime someone pays tribute to the Kirk/Gorn fight already gets two thumbs up in my book.

The movie finally ends with Omer being transported back to earth but is ecstatic to find out that Spock has mutated his body so that he too could become a Vulcan, complete with pointy ears and the Vulcan nerve pinch.  So, there you have it, Turkish Star Trek.  If you are a fan of Star Trek in any way shape or form, then I would highly recommend watching this movie.  The people working on the film actually get everything right about their characters and personalities so even a trekkie could actually laugh at some of the in-jokes.  The only problem with this film is the character of  Omer the Tourist, but the film does realize that he is sinking the film down so they kind of cut him out the last fourth of the movie.  So much for letting Omer to live long and prosper.

You can watch Turkish Star Trek below:

Feel free to come back tomorrow for part 3 of the series that celebrates these films from Turkey.

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