Yarasa Adam Bedmen (1973)
On one the most recent comic podcasts (see Episode 55), we were discussing an interview with David Hine that was reported, when I happened to bring up the fact that Batman has had other incarnations in other countries besides the United States over the years. So I thought with the recent release of Batman Incorporated, it might be a nice history lesson and a bit of fun to do some further research and discover these "Batmen of All Nations". So I am going to start a new series of editorials entitled, "Batman Across the Globe", where every other week I will be looking at a foreign, yet unsanctioned version of Batman.
First up, is arguably the most famous and most explicit foreign interpretation, Yarasa Adam Bedmen, the Turkish version of Batman, which was released in 1973.
Now, this would generally be considered by American audiences to be an exploitation film. The film is basically Batman and Robin who are fighting a "James-Bond" like villain who has decided that he wants to kill all of the remaining beautiful women in the area. So he sends his henchmen to do his dirty work. However, Batman doesn't take to kindly to this, not only because he is trying to kill these women, but Batman is portrayed as a bit of a womanizer in this interpretation, so with each woman's death, Batman's chance of "scoring" decreases also. So Batman and Robin are racing against the clock to discover the identity of the evil mastermind, and protect their booty calls.
Most of this film can be found on YouTube, and from what I have watched the film is rather interesting to say the least. The most humorous thing I found about it was how Batman really is the James Bond archetype, and it's absolutely hilarious that the women in the film can't keep their clothes off as soon as he walks in the room. And as soon as Batman believes things are going to get "hot and heavy", he is sure to send the young Boy Wonder outside the room.
Another thing this film has going for it is the extremely entertaining, but rather horrifically edited fight scenes. Really, this is probably one of the most "kick ass" versions of Robin ever! Both, Batman and Robin are very acrobatic and skill in martial arts, which leaves the villain's henchmen in the film never stand a chance against the dynamic duo. I mean seriously, check out the videos, Batman and Robin basically run through them like an assembly line. Batman beats them up, and then passes the remains on to Robin to get his fix. Take a look.
This version also does not deal with the "secret identity" aspect of the Batman character. Neither, Batman or Robin are afraid to take off their masks at any given time and reveal their identities whenever they feel like it.
I must admit, I am someone who LOVES film, and when I say LOVES, I would say that is an understatement, but exploitation and grindhouse cinema is one of my favorite genres, so did I enjoy what I watched? Yes. However, rating this film on the technical and story aspects, it is really terrible. The plot makes absolutely no sense what so ever, and I was consistently laughing throughout, which in other incarnations as we will see later was the idea, but this was trying to be 100 percent serious. This film is also very dark and graphic so I would strongly warn younger fans or fans with children, this is not family-friendly fun. As mentioned earlier, the women in the film spend almost the entire film naked. One thing I found interesting was that Yasara Adam Bedmen's soundtrack was a mash-up of many American and English composer's tracks along with a couple rock tunes, which I recognized for the most part. Actually the opening theme is John Barry's, “On Her Majesty's Secret Service", from the film of the same title.
In closing, the Turkish take on Batman was part of a craze in Turkish cinema at the time, where franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, Wizard of Oz, and other superheroes found themselves reincarnated. And in a film where we see Batman and Robin hang out in a strip club, it is definitely a unique experience. I don't want to spoil the film because I think the people that are intrigued by this article should really seek this out and watch it. It is like no Batman that has ever come before, this really is a hidden gem that, while not making a lick of sense is very amusing to watch. Git onu incele! (That's "Go check it out!" in Turkish).
Posted by Zach