They took his money. They took his family. And now, they’ve taken his hands. But they can never take his revenge! Exploding from the same hallucinogenic netherworld as “Turkish Star Wars”, THE SWORD AND THE CLAW (original title: “Kiliç Aslan) stars Turkish genre legend Cüneyt Arkin in his most iconic role. It’s “Conan the Barbarian” meets “The Three Stooges” meets “Tarzan” with more lo-fi bloodshed, pop-art visuals, and bizarro dubbing than the boundaries of reality can handle.
When the wise and beloved ruler King Solomon and his queen are betrayed and slain, their baby son is hidden in the forest where he is raised by a pride of lions. Fast-forward many years and Solomon Jr, while unable to speak, is a ferocious fighter with beastly strength and claw-like hands. The resistance that has been growing since the death of Solomon hopes “Lionman” will lead them to victory against Antoine, the traitor who has ruled the land ever since…but there is a spy in their midst! Can this small, ragtag group of heroes overcome adversity and free the people? Will Altar, Lionman’s secret half-brother, embrace his destiny and join his brother in the fight? And perhaps most importantly, how did everyone learn to jump so high?!
If all that sounds intriguing then you might be ready for the astonishingly mind-melting world of Turkish rip-off cinema. Better known to aficionados as “Turksploitation,” this bizarre wave of jaw-droppingly cheap movies have become holy relics of bad filmmaking, sporting such (colloquial) titles as Turkish Star Wars, Turkish E.T., and Turkish Exorcist. These movies have a reputation for taking everything that isn’t nailed down from other films and The Sword and the Claw is no exception. It feels like a feverish collision of swashbucklers, spaghetti westerns and kung-fu flicks, mashing elements together with little regard for whether or not the final product makes any sense, and topping it off with uproariously clumsy action sequences, wall-to-wall fights seemingly choreographed by schoolboys, and a hysterically awful English dub.
So swallow your pride, gather up a pack of crap-hungry pals and bounce your way to The Book Club to devour the film described as “every bit as obscure and batshit as one could hope for.” (The Digital Bits). We’ll have two special guests joining us – Remakesploitation founder and Turkish cinema expert Dr. Ian Robert Smith will talk us through the colourful and prolific career of Cüneyt Arkin, and Bad Movie Bible author (and Arkin fanatic) Rob Hill will be discussing and selling signed copies of his new book “The A to Z of Superhero Movies”. We ain’t lion – this might be the best worst CFC yet – so get your paws on some tickets pronto!
“The Sword and the Claw is unlike anything else you are likely to witness. It’s a perfect film to enjoy in the company of drinks and friends.” – Cinema Sentries
“Having seen it, I’m still not certain just what it was I saw. Highly recommended to fans of outré fringe cinema.” – DVD Talk
“If you’re into gonzo, bonkers epic sword and sorcery movies from Turkey, here’s your holy grail!” – The Movie Elite