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Turkish Exploitation Film Proves Budget Isn’t Everything

MOVIE REVIEW
The Sword and the Claw (Kiliç Aslan)

    

Genre: Action, Adventure, War
Year Released: 1975, 2023 101 Films/AGFA Blu-ray
Runtime: 1h 49m
Director(s): Natuk Baytan
Writer(s): Duygu Sagiroglu
Cast: Cüneyt Arkin, Bahar Erdeniz, Yildirim Gencer, Cemil Sahbaz, Reha Yurdakul, Defne Toppare
Where To Watch: available to purchase
US - www.americangenrefilm.com
UK - www.101-films-store.com


RAVING REVIEW: Prepare to embark on a mesmerizing journey into a realm of mystique and vengeance, featuring the acclaimed Turkish actor Cüneyt Arkin in a role that helped define his career. THE SWORD AND THE CLAW is a delightful blend of action and intrigue, filled with budget-friendly yet impactful action, vivid visuals, and delightfully quirky dubbing that defies conventional boundaries. Is this a good movie? Nope, but is this a fun movie? Absolutely!


This crazy gem keeps its audience entertained with relentless nonstop action. You’ll never look at a carpet the same way again; gifted to the king by the antagonist and exposed as a lethal trap. This unique twist is just the start of the crazy that this film showcases and lets us see the creators' dedication to their craft. THE SWORD AND THE CLAW exemplify how low-budget productions can successfully entertain audiences.

The film's heart-thumping soundtrack (although repeated a little too much) plays a vital role, especially during the numerous combat scenes. The music's distinctive quality enhances the overall experience and highlights the filmmakers' aspiration to create something meant to be enjoyed despite budgetary constraints.

Surprisingly, the narrative examines some more profound themes of despotism, uprising, and the significance of familial ties. The story follows the adventures of a child raised by lions who grows up to become a mythical hero, with the fabled lion man's existence shrouded in uncertainty. As the story unfolds, the characters encounter physical and mental battles, including the surprising bond between two siblings marked by a peculiar birthmark.

Cüneyt Arkin's portrayal of the lion man infuses energy into the film, making the most of its limited budget and campy special effects. The movie's unyielding pace and action sequences, with fuh acrobatics, teleportation, and gruesome battles, captivate viewers and solidify its status as a true cult classic, appealing to fans of offbeat, budget-conscious cinema. There may not ultimately be a lot of substance to the story, but if you blink, you’re likely to miss some of the over-the-top action!

Director Natuk Baytan creates an awe-inducing spectacle with natural landscapes, and castle sets that grant the movie a majestic atmosphere, transcending its low-budget origins. This Turkish exploitation film delights its audience with well-done English dubbing, demonstrating that an engaging and visually striking experience can be achieved even with a limited budget.

In conclusion, THE SWORD AND THE CLAW is a rollercoaster of action, adventure, and mystery that rises above low-budget constraints. Again, it’s not a good movie, but if that’s what you’re looking for, you wouldn’t be checking out a film like this. This film will entertain most with a distinctive blend of genres and constant action.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
4K scan from the only 35mm print in existence!
Face-smashing action trailers from the AGFA vault!
Reversible cover art with illustration by Alexis Ziritt (SPACE RIDERS)!
Bonus movie: BRAWL BUSTERS (1981), 2K scan from an original theatrical print

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[photo courtesy of 101 FILMS/AGFA]