Long-Lost 35mm Print of Cult Film “Turkish Star Wars” Rediscovered
Infamous for stealing footage from “Star Wars” as well as music from “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Flash Gordon,” “Moonraker,” and more, the sci-fi/fantasy film has not been seen in its original format since its theatrical release in Turkey. Subsequently it has only been available through poor quality copies made from bootleg videotapes.
The 35mm print was discovered in the collection of a retired movie projectionist in northwestern Turkey. After its original exhibition he kept it rather than returning it to the production company, lying that it had been damaged during projection.
The story of “The Man Who Saves the World” revolves around two Turkish space pilots who crash on a desert planet enslaved by an evil wizard. Memorable sequences involve the heroes battling robots inspired by “Battlestar Galactica” and “Forbidden Planet” — plus mummies, skeletons, and multi-colored yetis. Another sees them in starfighter “cockpits,” wearing motorcycle helmets, as footage from the “Star Wars” Death Star battle is projected behind them — edits and all.
A long-time fan of the film, Ed Glaser also produced the English-language DVD release of a Turkish remake of “Rambo” and is the host of Telly Award-winning web series “Deja View.”
In “Deja View,” Glaser spotlights other outlandish, unauthorized foreign remakes of popular big-budget films. Featuring Turkish adaptations of “Star Trek” and “Superman,” Indian versions of “Harry Potter” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and a Nigerian “Titanic,” Glaser compares these movies to their better-known counterparts and explores the context in which they were produced.
“A 35mm print of ‘Turkish Star Wars’ is the holy grail,” says Glaser, “not just of rip-off films, but all cult film. There are no negatives, and the few other prints of the film ever struck have been destroyed. My goal is to get this one scanned to preserve it for posterity — and hopefully screened in a theater for other fans like me.”
Glaser recently returned from Istanbul where he interviewed the film’s director and others involved in its production.
About Neon Harbor Entertainment
Neon Harbor Entertainment is a six-time Telly Award-winning independent studio that has produced a number of films and web series since 2005. Former projects include the videogame comedy movie “Press Start,” the colorful movie-mashing spoof series “Ninja the Mission Force,” and the first and only English language version of the Turkish “Rambo” rip-off, “Rampage.” For more about Neon Harbor Entertainment and ongoing projects such as “Deja View” and the “Turkish Star Wars,” visit neonharbor.com.
Ed Glaser, President
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