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Film / The Man Who Saves the World

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"Yes, the movie explicitly lists out two Turkish dudes as Earth's greatest warriors...and a bunch of other guys. I love how the movie refers to them as 'Turkish,' especially since it just got through telling us that notions such as race, religion, and nationality were outmoded concepts. Or maybe it's just telling us that in the future everyone's Turkish. Could happen."
Noah Antwiler on "Turkish Star Wars"

Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves The World) is an otherwise obscure Turkish Science Fantasy Martial Arts film from 1982 directed by Çetin İnanç and written by and starring Cüneyt Arkın, that's better known in certain Internet circles for being So Bad, It's Good. It's more commonly known in these circles as "Turkish Star Wars", because it lifts much of its Stock Footage directly from Star Wars.

Very little is actually known about this film's history. Some believe it was just a local drive-in film, others think it was just shown in a few theaters, or maybe television — we may never know. But we do know that it was very likely not shown throughout Turkey, because of the whole plagiarism thing. (And also because you could watch the real Star Wars dubbed in Turkish.)

It definitely does not have fight scenes comparable to anything by Jackie Chan, but it does have guys jumping around and punching the stuffing out of overgrown stuffed animals. And it may not have special effects as good as Star Wars, but... wait, yes it does, it stole the footage.

The plot, as best anyone can tell, is this: It's the far future, and humanity has colonized space, and Earth has been destroyed multiple times. Two TIE fighter pilots, Murat (Arkın) and Ali (Aytekin Akkaya), get shot down after some kind of space battle, and crash land on a desert planet. They then get attacked by guys dressed as skeletons, but fight them off with their mad kung fu skills. Then they get attacked by other guys and get captured. The other guys work for an evil wizard, simply known as "The Wizard", who has some kind of nefarious scheme to conquer Earth, by using human brains. These other guys try to press the pilots into gladiatorial combat, but they fight back. They're forced to retreat when robots with guns show up. Along with the other prisoners, the pilots join some kind of underground resistance against the evil wizard. They get attacked by mummies and holy crap we're not even halfway through the movie and we haven't even mentioned the force field made from human brains yet.

You know what, the creators obviously didn't give this movie much thought, so why should we? Just bask in the film's mindless glory on YouTube, here. Or just download the entire movie here. A sequel, Son Of The Man Who Saves The World, was made decades later with many of the same actors.

Contrast with Ömer the Tourist in Star Trek, another Turkish film which similarly takes stock effects shots from Star Trek: The Original Series, though also copies the plots of several episodes from that show.

Provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: The Wizard attempts a Class 5 once he gets the power of the BFS and the golden brain. It's only after he dies that the Earth goes back to normal.
  • Back Story: There's more going on in the prologue's Infodump than in most movies' entire plot. And none of it makes any damn sense. For example, we're told that Earth is destroyed at least twice, yet the planet later seems to be okay. As best anyone can tell, Earth got blown up into pieces, which somehow became their own planets (not that this makes any more sense). And there's a second infodump halfway through the movie that suggests that Jesus Christ fought aliens and formed his own superpowered group called the "13th tribe".
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Murat does this a couple of times.
  • BFS: The sword may not look very impressive, but at least it's big.
  • B-Movie: This is a pretty obscure movie even within Turkey, let alone the global cinematic scene, and it shows.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Ali claims to have an irresistible charm, but he doesn't get any women in the entire movie other than the queen.
  • Conflict Ball: Ali gets an egregious one and gives the Wizard in disguise the BFS and golden brain, which gives him enough power to destroy Earth.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Being buried in dirt. Not even enough dirt that the heroes couldn't just sit up. And also pressing styrofoam blocks to their chest and wrapping phone cords around them.
  • Creator Provincialism: Best described by the line "Two Turkish pilots and some other people went off to battle." The sequel went way overboard with this, to the point where it becomes unintentionally hilarious.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Murat
    (Ali whistles the sound no woman can resist. Mooks arrive to attack them.)
    Murat: You played the wrong tune.
    Ali: Why?
    Murat: We got skeletons instead of women.
  • Driving a Desk: In the opening space battle, Ali and Murat pretend to pilot starfighters while Stock Footage from Star Wars is projected onto the wall behind them.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Shown a couple of times using the destruction of Alderaan clip.
  • Fuuma Shuriken: The main villain attempts to kill the protagonist with large paper ninja stars. However, he misses with most of them and the rest get reflected back and go boom.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: The protagonist can chop his enemies in half both horizontally and vertically with his hands.
  • Death of a Child:The monsters attack and kill civilian children.
  • Infodump: This movie is the Infodump Truck. As noted, there's more Backstory in the film than plot in most films.
  • Jump Cut: Many, and very conspicuous.
    Spoony: The transitions in this movie are so abrupt that I'm getting whiplash.
  • Leitmotif: How many times can they play the Indiana Jones theme? Guess. Nope, more than that. The opening also contains very brief segments of the music from Battlestar Galactica and Flash Gordon.
  • Life Drinker: The Wizard maintains his immortality by drinking the blood and consuming the brains of human beings he captures.
  • Love at First Sight: Between Murat and his love interest.
  • Made of Iron: Murat and Ali crash-land on the desert planet and they are still able to walk fine with no scratches or bruises.
  • Made of Plasticine: Murat and Ali can punch through their monster foes or tear their limbs right off, all with their bare hands.
  • Made of Explodium: Rocks. Paper ninja stars. Enemy mooks' heads.
  • Mood Whiplash: Because of the very poor editing, many scenes unintentionally end up doing this.
  • Mook Chivalry: Seen in several fight sequences.
  • Oddly Shaped Sword: The magic gold sword is shaped like some kind of lighting bolt.
  • Plot Hole: You could say this movie has a few.
    • It's never alluded to that Murat planned for Ali to get caught so that he could get the BFS.
    • Murat apparently leaves the desert planet on the Millennium Falcon, but it's never shown how he even got it.
  • Power Fist: For the final showdown, the protagonist melts down his magic BFS and a magic golden brain and turns them into a pair of magic gloves and magic boots.
  • Public Domain Feature Films: The movie never obtained a copyright in America for obvious legal reasons. In his synopsis/review, Seanbaby noted that with all the stolen footage and music, the filmmakers could have saved a lot of time and been open to just as much legal trouble by simply distributing bootleg copies of the original Star Wars.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Even though the Earth has been destroyed several times over the course of thousands of years, the Egyptian Pyramids and the inside of a church are still in pristine condition.
  • Random Events Plot: This is a movie where things just happen. The rough cut of the movie did by all reports have more exposition, but it clocked in at around 2-and-a-half hours, and eventually an hour of footage was cut out from the final product, which is probably why it is somewhat disjointed at times.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The film's score is composed entirely of music stolen from other productions, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Moonraker, Ben-Hur, Flash Gordon, Planet of the Apes, Silent Running, Moses the Lawgiver, and The Black Hole.
  • Scenery Porn: It may not be impressive, but the mountains of the desert setting are pretty nice to look at. For those religiously or artistically inclined, the frescoes from the ancient Christian church are also gorgeous.
  • Spoiler Title: If the world's under threat, naturally the Man Who Saves the World is going to end up saving it.
  • Stock Footage: Lifted from Star Wars, of course, as well as from the less recognizable films Sodom and Gomorrah and The Magic Sword. Made even worse (or better) by frequently being shown in the wrong aspect ratio, with results like an egg-shaped Death Star. There are also a couple of shots from 1980's Flash Gordon and music from Indiana Jones. None of it is used in any sort of context. According to the behind-the-scenes story, director İnanç got access to the footage by bribing a movie operator at a local cinema, and was then able to "borrow" the negative reels for their copy of Star Wars (he did return them undamaged afterwards), from which he copied as much as he needed.
  • Styrofoam Rocks: Evident when Murat ties these to his legs for training and manages to jump like he's on the moon.
  • Theme Music Powerup: The Battlestar Galactica main theme.
  • Tin-Can Robot: The main villain's servant is one, although made of rubber. It doubles as a Shout-Out to Robbie The Robot in Forbidden Planet.
  • Title Drop
    Ali: Do you think you're the man who saved the world?
    Murat: No more than you think yourself to be flirty.
  • Training Montage: Possibly the most unintentionally hilarious one ever.
  • The Voiceless: Murat's love interest, who forbade herself to speak at all to keep the secret of the BFS safe until someone mortal holds it.
  • Wuxia: When you look at it, it's pretty much a kung fu movie IN SPACE!
  • You Have Failed Me: The Wizard turns his queen into a zombie and then a spider when she fails to seduce Ali.
  • Your Head A-Splode: In fact, your head makes a good grenade.