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Movie Review

Archive Review: 3 Dev Adam [Dir: T. Fikret Uçak – 1973]

Well, to kick things off around here I figured i’d post an old review of an old classic, quite possibly one of the most surreal “bad movies” ever made…Ever thought Spider-Man would be cooler as a serial killer with massive eyebrows? Or have you ever hoped that El Santo and Captain America would team up and fight crime together? Or have you ever sat through a scene of passionate love making in a movie and thought “You know…this could really do with a puppet show”?

If you answered yes to any of those questions then ‘3 Dev Adam’ (aka 3 Mighty Men) will not dissapoint.

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1973 eh? What a fantastic year for cinema. We had William Friedkins horror masterpiece ‘The Exorcist’, with it’s groundbreaking effects work and amazing performance from a young Linda Blair…We had Bruce Lee exploding onto American screens, making his Hollywood debut with ‘Enter The Dragon’, making him a star literally overnight…And we had ‘3 Dev Adam’…with it’s bad hair do’s, random series of events to make up a story…and Spider-Man, knifing people willy-nilly and laughing maniacally.

For those who are unaware, Turkish cinema is somewhat infamous due to the way it has blatantly plagiarised or unofficially remade various Hollywood classics in the past. Whether it be ‘The Man Who Saves the World’ (More commonly known as ‘Turkish Star Wars’) which borrows music from the Raiders Of The Lost Ark (among others) uses whole scenes from the original Star Wars. Or ‘Seytan’…a remake/rip-off (you choose) of the aforementioned classic, ‘The Exorcist’. There are many more examples…

3 Dev Adam doesn’t quite fall into the trappings of being labelled a rip off, but it does capture perfectly that slyness that Turkish cinema is so well known for. Using Marvel Comics characters Spider-Man and Captain America without any permission whatsoever from Marvel…And bringing in Mexican cult figure Santo…I think i can safely assume that this would be considered an unofficial entry in the beloved wrestlers massive catalogue of adventures.

The basic story is Spider-Man and his goons (yes, he’s the villain) are going around Istanbul stealing various antiques…Spidey is also killing plenty of people in outlandish ways (boat propeller to the face anyone?). “Why?” You ask…I’m not sure, maybe Jameson fired him one too many times from the Bugle, maybe Mary Jane left him for another bloke…Maybe he’s just a fucking psycho. There were no subtitles on the version I watched…and to be honest, I doubt they even explain it in the movie anyway.

So anyway, the Turkish police call in the help of two super heroes to help them in their quest to quash Spider-Mans dastardly tomfoolery…in steps Captain America and Santo.

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And that’s pretty much it, the rest of the movie is basically Spider-Man robbing and murdering people in daft ways, and Cappy and Santo kicking the shite out of various goons. There are probably some other little sub plots in the movie, like the purpose of the female characters, I have no clue what they were doing half the time…I think one of them was undercover or something, I dunno…

So that’s the set up and story out of the way, let’s move on to Spider-Man aka homicidal maniac in a Spider-Man costume. He’s a bit mental folks…the opening scene has Spidey and his sharply dressed goons bury a woman up to her neck in sand and then slowly shove a boats propeller into her face…As Spidey looks on approvingly (as does his girlfriend…wonder if it’s meant to be Gwen Stacey or MJ?).

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He also seems to have some sort of fetish for killing people whilst they wash themselves; during the course of the film he kills 3 people whilst they are taking a shower. The first with the cord from a shower head…and the other two are a couple, canoodling like wrongn’s until Spidey waltz’s in and impales them both together, Friday The 13th Part 2 style, with what looks like a car radio aerial.

But by far the most bizarre of Spideys murders is the death by guinea pigs…He ties the poor bastard to a pole, places a giant tube on his face and chucks in two guinea pigs which make there way down the tube and begin eating the guys face. The scene was made all the more comical by the fact that the guy being eaten reminded me a hell of a lot of Len “Uncle Leo” Lesser from Seinfeld…Poor Leo…In fact, there’s quite a few people in this movie that look like Uncle Leo…And one guy who reminded me of Manuel from ‘Fawlty Towers’

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Amidst all the bizarre murders and violence from Spider-Man’s camp, there are also plenty of fight sequences…Captain America and Santo whoop a fair amount of arse during the movie, and every battle is either side splittingly hilarious or cringe inducing, not because its so bad it’s beyond comedic, but because most of these fights don’t even looks rehearsed, especially the group fights…it’s like the director just told everyone to go at it and windmill each other. So for the majority of the time you keep expecting someone to really get hurt, and i’m sure a lot of the “stunt performers” did. If you’ve ever seen that excellent Paul Kaye sketch, where he teaches a martial arts class and then gives a demonstration…then imagine Paul wearing a superhero outfit and that should give you an idea of the type of fight scenes we’re dealing with here; Messy, chaotic and funny as hell.

I know this probably cost less than a snack sized Mars Bar to make, but they could’ve at least spent a bit of time on the sound effects…There’s this one punching sound effect that is used countless times (no doubt nicked from another movie) you’re probably thinking this is normal, but when the sound effect is coupled with a “ooof” noise from the recipient, and you hear it constantly, it starts to get ridiculous…I would’ve counted the amount of times it was used to emphasis this, but I was too busy pissing my pants.

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I shall stop here with the descriptions of the lunacy, it may ruin your viewing experience if i tell you everything…It’s better that i leave some things for you to discover on your own if you ever get to see this masterpiece. As much as I’d like to, I won’t tell you about the super power no-one knew Spider-Man had…You’ll be scratching your head I’m telling ya.

I’d waited a long time to see this piece of lunacy; did it live up to my expectations? How could it not, everything I’ve read about it was true, and there wasn’t one moment where a scene wasn’t as bizzare as it sounded.

But here’s the difficult part of my review…does this get a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Honestly, it’s a really badly made movie…but as you well know dear reader, sometimes heaps of shit are just as entertaining as the classics.

It’s not really a film i can give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to, because while this may be a bad movie, it’s an entertaining bad movie…yes, yes…It’s a one for the “so bad-it’s good” archives. Almost every review I’ve read of ‘3 Dev Adam’ seems to point out that it’s perfect film to watch with a group of friends and some alcohol…They’re right.

“Addios Mafia!!!” – Spider-Man

Discussion

One thought on “Archive Review: 3 Dev Adam [Dir: T. Fikret Uçak – 1973]

  1. I don’t think there are enough thumbs in the entire world to convey the degree to which I love this movie! Turkish Spider Man is one of my favorite screen characters ever: his maniacal laugh, his emotive eyebrows, his puppet-filled love scenes… Really, there’s such an embarrassment of trashfilm joy in this movie, it’s hard for me to explain. Good thing you’ve done such a wonderful job of articulating some measure of the excellence of “The Three Mighty Men!”

    Posted by Tenebrous Kate | February 2, 2010, 5:02 pm

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