Friday 22 April 2011

"...there's a blacksmith who knows a little about medicine..."

LION MAN (Turkey, 1975)
Original title: KILIC ASLAN
NB: IMDb has this film listed as "Aslan Adam"! This is wrong info!!!

VHS / UK / fullscreen / English dub / no subs
(click scan for bigger size)

This afternoon I watched Natuk Baytan's Turkish film LION MAN (aka Kiliç Aslan) from 1975 and it's without a doubt one of the most entertaining Cüneyt Arkin films I've seen! This really needs a DVD release that's for damn sure!! Oh, and don't get fooled by this "Steve" Arkin, haha. It is indeed good ol' Cüneyt Arkin. Actually, the last of his movies I watched, KARA MURAT SEYH GAFFAR'A KARSI (aka Der Rächer des Khan) had him credited as yet something else, "George" Arkin, I think.

The version I got hold of is an NTSC video tape that was released in the US back in 1983 - so obviously it's totally obscure and difficult to get hold of these days. But try and see if you can get a copy somewhere, it's totally worth it. The tape is dubbed into English and fullscreen. LION MAN was also released in Canada and the UK but needless to say those tapes are just as difficult to find.

The plot is like this; We're back in the days of the Byzantine Empire. The proud Turks have been overrun by nasty and cruel Christian crusaders. Yes, that's right! In this film the Christians (which are easily recognised by their big crosses on their chests) are bloodthirsty savages and the proud Turks are the heroes.

VHS / US / fullscreen / English dub / no subs

When you're someone who's born and raised on bloody Hollywood movies this is quite different. But never the less very entertaining and makes perfectly sense in my book. Just like you always root for the Chinese hero against the nasty Gwailos in a HK movie no matter how white you are. LOL.

Anyhoo, the Turkish emperor is killed by slimy Europeans (probably French people, or ze Englisch) but somehow his wife escapes and isn't killed until their son is stolen by a lion! (I didn't know they actually had lions in Turkey but maybe they did in the olden days).

Anyway, much confusion later and the introduction of a dark-haired fair maiden (the same babatious chick who's name escapes me but who was also in THE BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH aka LITTLE EYEWITNES), and eventually the lion-boy becomes a mix of Robin Hood/Tarzan/Barry Prima !

VHS / France / fullscreen / French dub
(click scan for proper size)

This is really entertaining cinema if I ever saw any. Totally! And the film is quite gory too! The only down-point is the ANNOYING orchestral elevator music score! But I can live with that and I plan on watching this again. You should do the same. Apparently, the dubbed print is slightly different to the Turkish version (don't worry it's not cut) I haven't watched it but reportedly it's nothing serious.

By the way, the Turkish title for LION MAN is indeed Kiliç Aslan. Don't believe this "ASLAN ADAM" that the bloody IMDb will tell you! Thanks to Ayman Kole for pointing out the IMDb screw-up.

PS: The headline is a quotation of some of the rad dialogue! I mean you have this scene where Cüneyt Arkin's character has been truly and severely fucked up by the bad guys, and some guy suggests they go to the blacksmith of the nearest village because he knows a little about medicine, hahaha.

Thanks to Gokay of Ciko for the UK scan. Much appreciated!

Added French VHS scan (5/8/09): I love how the characters on the front cover look nothing like in the film, LOL. Thanks to Lurker of Cinehound forum for the French scan.

Yet another damn re-post from my other blog! This one is from 2009.


  1. i was watching the cuneyt arkin biography documentary hosted by cuneyt himself the other day and it has some information and behind the scenes footage in it that i haven't seen anywhere else. he recounts the search for a new james bond story in the the doco. in it he says that someone involved with the james bond films came over to istanbul to meet arkin and ask him to try out for the 007 role. apparently as soon as cuneyt opened his mouth the person realised cuneyt wasn't from an english speaking background and was devestated that he couldn't use him as the new bond. for some reason the bond production crew member had seen cuneyt in those european versions of those lion man,ninja killers et al films billed as george and lee arkin and thought that arkin was from an anglo/celtic background. cuneyt also says that to this day that some people don't believe him but that he has the newspaper articles etc to prove it.

    joe the fearless warrior

  2. Wauw, if they had just dubbed him we could have had Cuneyt be James Bond!! I wonder why they didn't just make him play a bad guy (but he would probably have said no to that).

  3. yeah they could've done that. like henry fonda as the bad guy in once upon a time in the west. cuneyt has played a couple of bad guy roles but 99% of the time he is the good guy or at the very least a lovable anti hero/vigilante. yeah they could've dubbed him like they do in the turkish movies. hahaha.

  4. I thought maybe he didn't want to play a bad guy character in order not to ruin his hero image. Fred Williamson always says his condition for saying yes to being in a movie is:
    1) to be the hero.
    2) not to get killed at the end.
    3) and to get the girl. Haha.

  5. yeah you're probably right. he probably has a hero clause in his contract like altan gunbay and his chrome dome agreement. if my memory serves me right arkin was using real swords in his films early on and got stabbed several times once above one of his eyelids. his also broken heaps of bones in his body doing all those crazy stunts. when i was in istanbul i actually went to one of those ottoman castles used in those sword epics man those guys were nuts somersaulting and jumping off those castle walls. i got a head spin just looking down from one of those castle turrets.



  7. Hello Turk Trash from Turkish Cult, Do you plan to sell those films you've got on your site. Are they subtitled in English ???

    Mack Attack

  8. Hmm, I'm not so sure I'm all that happy about providing a platform for people to advertise their own sites when they can't even be bothered to make a simple reply when other readers ask them about the sites they advertise. What's the point! o_O

  9. Yeah, I tried to contact them also (after they commented on my blog) - but no reply. I see no point in supporting them at all.