Did you know they made a Turkish Superman??? Oh yes they did! SUPERMEN DÖNÜYOR (The Return of Superman) is a 1979 superhero movie starring Tayfun Demir, Güngör Bayrak, Yildirim Gencer, and Esref Kolçak. It was directed Kunt Tulgar, and yes that name made me smile. This film is, in my opinion, the perfect palate cleanser to all that depressing negativity surrounding modern superhero movies. I may not personally be a big fan of the genre, but I hate seeing people fight, and so I wrote this as a way to bring something positive to the discussion. I had originally included a bit of a rant about how people who watch this sort of stuff should watch different kinds of movies, but you know what? You all do you. It’s not my place to tell you how to live your lives. Maybe I’ll write something about this later, but just enjoy this review for now.

This film came into existence because copyright laws in Turkey seemed to be non-existent at the time, and so a LOT of western films and TV shows were “remade” with no budget and a Turkish cast. Often splicing in actual footage or music from the movies that they were ripping off. It wasn’t a subtle thing, trust me. However, it was also kind of wonderful in it’s own weird thieving way.

So what’s the story, Jeremy?

Where do I even begin to begin? Superman, who comes from an alien race of people called “Supermen” and whose father is also called Superman, fights the Turkish mafia who want to use Kryptonite to make gold. This movie was actually based on an old Captain Marvel serial from 1941. Copying much of the plot, a lot of the dialogue, and even ripping off some scenes completely right down to the camera angles. So we’re in good hands! I would describe more, but I think you all should know what to expect from a Superman movie. They take a lot of weird detours in this movie, but they go in the same general direction as the movies you know and love.


#1 – We open on a star field made of Christmas ornaments and then, almost comically, cut to THE most crap version of the Superman logo I have ever seen in my damn life. Kunt Tulgar, you son of a bitch, I’M IN!

#2 – Seriously, I’m not even through the credits at this point and I’ve roared with laughter more often than I have throughout entire Wayan Brothers comedies. I really lost it at “KUNT FILM”

#3 – There’s a scene where Clark Kent (NOTE: Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s names in this is Tayfun and Alev, but I’m just going to call them Clark Kent and Lois Lane for simplicity’s sake) is preparing to leave his adoptive parent’s home in “super speed” and the only reason I know this is because of the thrilling music, because they forgot to speed up the film. So instead we watch the single most epic luggage packing scene ever recorded.

#4 – The guy who was hired to play Superman probably got the job because he could borrow his mom’s glasses to play Clark Kent. Seriously, those glasses are so thick and huge that Superman doesn’t need to have X-Ray vision to see through things.

#5 – The fortress of solitude in this film seems to have been filmed at an actual ancient historical site, and thus is actually kind of epic.

#6 – The Superman outfit looks so good that it’s sort of shocking.

#7 – The flying scenes however. Oh sweet merciful Jesus they look awful. They’re using a Superman DOLL. Like, not a prop they made for the movie, but one of those action figures they released for the Christopher Reeves movie.

#8 – Not only does this movie use actual clips directly lifted from the John Williams soundtrack for Superman, but it also uses music from Midnight Express. If you’ve seen that one, you’ll understand why I think it’s REALLY wrong to put that in a Turkish Superman movie.

#9 – Lois Lane is incredibly cute in this film. I don’t know if I could ever love her more than Margot Kidder, but she is lovely and appropriately full of spit and vinegar.

#10 – Despite some of what I’ve said, I think this was made with some amount of sincere love for Superman.

Was it really bad?

Uh… no. Kind of. This whole movie comes off like a 1940s superhero serial, right down to the off kilter pacing. One minute people are lulling you to sleep with the endless talking, and the next minute Lois Lane has been kidnapped twice by bad guys. It all depends on your patience for bad movies and their quirks. I totally recommend this, but I think this is one of those bad movies that you have to slowly work your way up to. I’d say watch Action USA or Hard Ticket to Hawaii long before tackling this particular gem. I think there’s a lot fun to be had with this turd, but you need to be ready for it.