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Dec 10, 2017

In this edition of Groovy Gory Gruesome Gold, Paul Cardullo gets his first taste of 1970s Turkish Action Cinema with the funky classic The Sword and The Claw (aka Kiliç Aslan and Lionman) (1975). The film is an unusual mix of Tarzan and a sword-and-sandal epic. While Tarzan is raised by apes, Süleyman (Turkish megastar Cüneyt Arkin), the hero of The Sword and The Claw, is raised by lions. This helps him to develop his fighting technique, which mostly consists of slashing as his opponent's faces with his hands. This "Turkish Tarzan" is the long-lost son of King Solomon, who was murdered by an evil prince. Now, Süleyman must team with the resistance to overcome the usurper. Words almost cannot do justice the whacked-out action in this film, which features much acrobatic work choreographed to the repeated strains of the Adagio from Aram Khachaturian's classical ballet Spartacus. There is fun action throughout, but the highlight is the true wackadoodle ten-minute finale wherein good guys and bad guys go flying through the air, presumably propelled by unseen trampolines, and much blood is spilled. Is it a good film? Probably not. Is it an entertaining film? Most definitely. Paul has a ball relating to Doc the experience of watching The Sword and The Claw which is being released on January 23, 2018,  by American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) in a new 4K restoration on Blu-ray made from the only surviving 35-millimeter printListen to his review below and see why you too just may become a fan of 1970s Turkish Action Cinema.

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