Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Turk Trek

Turk Trek
[Aka: Turkish Star Trek, aka; Ömer the Tourist in Star Trek]
Original Title: Tourist Ömer Uzay Yolunda
Directed by: Hulki Saner, Turkey, 1973
Comedy / Sci-fi, 75min
Distributed by: BijouFlix Releases [www.bijouflix.com]

Finding himself in quite a tight spot facing a shotgun wedding, Ömer [Sadri Alisik] is miraculously rescued when he is beamed onboard The Enterprise. Pretty soon he becomes part of an investigatory party consisting of himself, Mr Spak, [Erol Amaç], Doktor McCoy [Ferdi Merter] and two red-sweater-guys (and we all know what happens to the red sweater guys in Star Trek don’t we!) who are beamed down onto a mysterious planet to find out what the sinister Professor Krater [Kayhan Yildizouglu] and his army of femme fatales are up to. Things get pretty crazy for a while until Kapitain Kirk [Chemil Sahbaz] beams down to the planet to help Mr. Spak and Ömer sort things out.

Well if you’re looking for a freaky and hilarious fun filled movie from Turkey, then I’ve got to recommend this one to you. As far as space parodies go this one hit the nail right on the head and makes an impression even if you don’t get much of the Turkish dialogue. Frequently referred to as the Turkish Star Trek rip off, you have to be fair and point out that Ömer the Tourist in Star Trek is in fact the final part in a series of six Ömer the Tourist movies that Hulki Saner directed starring Sadri Alisik in the lead role as the “out of place” but loveable dope Ömer. And even though you probably sit down to laugh at the cheap “rip-off” you will quite soon be blown away by the impressive opening title sequences and the amazing sets that make up the Enterprise Bridge and locations used for the “alien“planet. Loosely based on the first Star Trek “Man-Trap” episode from the first season which aired in 1966 the plot finds Ömer being beamed right into the heart of the action. On the mysterious planet Professor Krater has found a shape shifting alien that sucks the salt out of its victims, and now Ömer is part of the Enterprise gang trying to escape from Professor Krater and at the same time figure out which of the sexy miniskirted dames and loin clothed male androids is the salt monster. Just for good measure Saner throws in a few memorable homage’s to other classic Star Trek episodes like the Kirk vs. Spock fight from the "Amok Time" episode. So if you what to see a rather decent Star Trek parody complete with cast of Turkish look-a-like Star Trek characters , fake pointy ears, scantily clad babes, sinister foes, and an overweight Turkish tourist completely out of place then this movie is definitely something that you want to check out as soon as possible.

A fun note to wrap things up with is that Tourist Ömer Uzay Yolunda shot in 1973 with it’s 75 minute run could actually be considered the first Star Trek Motion Picture as it took another six years before Robert Wise’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture was first seen on the screen in 1979, and apparently the movie did so well in Turkey that it even was sold to Germany with the Turkish communities there in mind.

Full screen 4:3. The material is obviously taken from a VHS source, but just the sheer cult value of this movie makes up for the few disturbances to the film. Unfortunately there are not any subtitles available, but honestly you don’t really need them. If you’ve seen enough Star Trek you’ll easily figure out what they are going on about, and Ömer’s comedy is all visual.

With it’s origins from VHS the audio is only 2.0 Stereo.

The releasers of this movie, BijouFlix could have easily just put the film on a DVD-R and left it at that, but fortunately they have decided to fill out the disc with a few interesting items, that have nothing to do with the main feature, but are enjoyable to watch all the same. Three trailers for other BijouFlix releases, Anton Giulio Majano’s 1960 shocker Atom Age Vampire, Jason Griscom’s low budget Zombie flick Come Get Some! from 2003, and Ishirô Honda’s amazing 1963 Sci-Fi thriller Matango (aka Attack of the Mushroom People). There’s also “The Bulleteers” an almost eight minute episode of Max Fleischer’s 1942 animated Superman series. Finally there are two fifties/sixties drive-in commercials, one for “Tastee Treet” and an infomercial reminding customers to hang their speakers back before leaving the drive in.

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