Continuing from last week’s East German Western…

By accounts, Kaptan Swing was a scrupulously faithful adaptation of the original comic, as can clearly be seen in how closely the costumes and the look of the actors match the appearances of the drawn characters. This is most likely a testament to just how popular the book was in Turkey at the time. And while such efforts are both admirable and surprising — especially given that they’re coming from a film industry that usually played pretty fast and loose with its source material, not to mention the copyrights protecting same — that holding sacred of the text here has the unfortunate consequence of insuring the presence of Sad Owl, Mr. Bluff and Puik in all of their pratfalling, compulsively mugging glory (and in the case of Sad Owl, in the person of a disconcerting Sid Ceasar ringer by the name of Suleyman Turan). As a result, Kaptan Swing comes off less like a comic book movie than a live action cartoon. Making matters worse is the fact that the filmmakers seem to regard the mere presence of these familiar characters as comedy in itself, freeing them from the onus of having to give them anything to do that could actually be considered funny. Having one of them greedily gnaw on a turkey leg while making a funny face or being bitten on the ass by the dog seems to have been considered suitably hilarious to comprise a generous portion of the movie’s running time, and if you have a problem with that, you’re probably going to find Kaptan Swing pretty tough going.

Also joining the fun this week: Fantomas vs. Scotland Yard, Judex, Circus of Fear, and Dr. Phibes Rises Again.