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Sihirbazlar Krali Mandrake Kiling'in Pesinde

Killing vs. Mandrake
Mandrake Killing'e Karsi / Mandrake the King of the Magicians After Kiling

Turkey 1967
produced by
Kemal Hakbilir for Mutlu Film
directed by Oksal Pekmezoglu
starring Güven Erte, Mine Mutlu, Sadettin Düzgün, Hilal Esen, Cemil Sayin, Meltem Mete, Derya Tanyeli, Mustafa Dik, Tansu Sayin, Semra Sine, Bircan Bingül, Dilek Adadan, Ayla Kaya, Nevzat Akben, Natilda Daner, Nadya Daner
screenplay by Oksal Pekmezoglu, Mandrakea created by Lee Falk

Mandrake the Magician, Killing

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A princesss (Mine Mutlu) is in town, and with her she carries a priceless crown - which she handles rather negligent though, like keeping it on her bedstand over night instead of locking it away.

Mandrake the Magician (Güven Erte) is in town as well, and even though they seem to meet each other on the wrong foot at first, they almost immediately feel drawn to each other, too. So to break the ice, Mandrake steals the princess's crown, but leaves a signed note on her bedstand where to find it. On the next day though, when the princess comes fetching the crown, it is gone. Killing the supercriminal in skeletondisguise  has stolen it from Mandrake's bedstand that night, after not having found it on the princess's bedstand. However, he has also left a signed note on the bedstand, just so Mandrake will not have too much difficulties coming after him. Mandrakle of course accepts the challenge.

Killing, it should be noted here, is not only a crown thief, he also runs a white slavery ring, loves to torture women, and loves to be whipped (?). However, one of the girls he has captured to become part of his white slavery ring escapes. Sure, he manages to catch up with her and run her over in his car, but before she dies, she is found by Mandrake and his black sidekick Abdullah, and with her dying breath, she gives away Killing's address. Mandrake and Abdullah arrive at Killing's place, clobber all of his henchmen, but are ultimately captured, tied up and whipped. But when nobody's looking, Mandrake replaces himself and Abdullah with their torturers, then fetches the crown from Killing's safe (which is of course no challenge for a magician) and turns Killing into a dog for a day.

Killing of course isn't one to give up the princess's crown easily, so he next kidnaps the princess - much to the dismay of his female companions, one of whom even threatens to shoot him. He is however stupid enough to drag her to his place, so Mandrake already knows where to look for him. So Mandrake and Abdullah magically steal two motorbikes, race to Killing's place (while doing a few totally pointless stunts on their motorbikes), beat the living shit out of everybody on site (except the princess of course), then get hold of Killing - just when the police arrives to arrest everyone ...

 

With copyright laws as lax as in Turkey during the late 1960's, it was probably inevitable that Lee Falk's comicbook magician Mandrake would meet Italian photonovel supercriminal Killing (well, maybe not inevitable, but you catch my drift). The concept sounds like lots of fun in a pulpy way, the result however is only mildly amusing and sure as hell falls short of expectations. Basically, there is too little excitement in this film, it's way too formulaic, and the formula is too easily recognizable to create much interest, and it's simplistic even for a formula movie. On top of that, all of the characters are given too little space to develop, even when assuming that both Mandrake and Killing were popular in Turkey in the late 1960's. Plus Mandrake's magic is used in a very unimaginative way, mainly for comic effect or when the story is hitting a dead end. That black Abdullah is played by a man in blackface doing a bad impression of "the funny black guy" might look like a racial insult today, but that's probably a sign of the changing times and mores.

In all, not a good film even by Turkish pulp standards ... but probably one that every fan of Turkish pulp cinema will want to see anyways, and I can't blame them. And in fact, there are worse pieces of Turkish pulp out there ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD