Tarkan Versus the Vikings (1971)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Superhero Film  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - Turkey   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Even viewers familiar with sword and sorcery fare have probably never seen anything like Tarkan vs. the Vikings. Sure, this adventure tale has got its problems from a conventional critical viewpoint: it frequently goes overboard on melodrama and it was obviously shot on a shoestring, resulting in some laughable special effects (the worst offender is a rubbery, half-deflated monster octopus). However, B-movie fans will find these quibbles to be minor issues because Tarkan vs. the Vikings truly feels like a comic book brought to life. Its short running is packed to the gills with everything a schlock fan could want from a low-budget, Conan-like flick: there are larger-than-life heroes and villains, tons of great fight scenes, a new cliffhanger-style plot twist every reel, and a few generous lashings of skin and gruesomeness. Mehmet Aslan's direction is far from slick, but it makes up for this problem with snappy pacing, plenty of raw enthusiasm, and by keeping its action front and center. Tarkan vs. the Vikings also boasts a memorable hero in Kartal Tibet, who provides a charismatic focal point for the audience as he swashbuckles his way through the crazed plotline. In short, this Turkish mini-epic might be low-budget and quite rough around the edges, but it is a fantastic expression of the comic-book aesthetic that every B-movie fan should see.