Sunday, October 3, 2021

Gecenin Katili Ustura (1980)

... aka: Gecenin Katili (Killer of the Night)
... aka: Murderer of the Night, The
... aka: Razor Killer of the Night

Directed by:
Semih Servidal

Sadece korkunç! I've now seen around a dozen pre-1990 Turkish horror films and have yet to stumble across what I'd consider a "good" one. In fact, most of these have been outright terrible! And this - whatever the hell this is - only carries on in that not-so-grand tradition. I had no clue what I was getting myself into here and decided to watch this based solely on keywords labeling it a "Turkish giallo" or a "Turkish slasher." Sounded interesting enough, especially since the release date corresponded with the rise in similar flicks in North America. Little did I know, but this is mostly a horribly-spliced-together collage of scenes from a bunch of different erotic movies! Bookmarking the action are two slasher scenes that are completely unrelated to all of the stuff in between.

Turkey's film industry had hit its production peak in the period between 1950 and 1973 when Yeşilçam, which was basically their version of Hollywood or Bollywood, was cranking out hundreds of films a year. However, TV eventually became the entertainment option of choice in the country and the market for theatrically-released films decreased dramatically. As a result, theaters had to rely on showing things people couldn't get on TV, which basically narrowed the market down to sleaze and porn. Just like in Brazil in the 80s, most of the films made to be screened in theaters were sex flicks. Both soft and hardcore movies took over for a little while and were especially dominant in the late 70s and early 80s. The VHS era eventually leveled the playing field out as filmmakers didn't have to rely on TV and could make films of all genres specifically for the video market.

Things open with a young woman entering her apartment, taking off her coat (she's not wearing anything underneath) and hopping in the shower. A man in a trench coat and hat sneaks in, goes into the bathroom, pulls out a razor and slashes the woman to death. After this minute long sequence there's a split second shot of a bird (?!) and we're suddenly in a bedroom where a good-looking, young, large-breasted woman is being pawed and basically covered in drool by an ugly, older mustachioed man. The guy spends minutes licking the woman all over as she writhes on bed and occasionally looks off to the side in a disinterested fashion. This scene lasts forever (nearly 10 minutes) and has full frontal female nudity. (+1 bonus point to the actress for not having a completely out of control 70s bush.)

We then cut to a quick shot of a woman taking a drink and then it's back to the same exact couple having sex again. Only you'll notice this is just five minutes worth of repeated shots of the scene we've just sat through! We next meet a bald man, who leads a blonde woman up some stairs to an apartment building. Once she's inside, a woman with a syringe chases her down, injects her with something and then leaves her lying on a mattress. Sounds like the perfect time to wedge in a random musical number, eh? Well, that's just what we get when a blonde woman and a funk band perform a (surprisingly pretty good) song at some kind of dinner club. We then get a flurry of sex clips which are clearly taken from different sources as the quality of each varies wildly. The same mustache guy from the earlier sex scenes (top-billed Çetin Başaran) is the featured man in all but one of these, though the women are all different. One of these scenes has some kind of weird effect applied to it where the edges of the screen are blurred out to make it look like some kind of flashback.

We move to an office (again with the "flashback" look), where one of the women featured in one of the earlier sex scenes (Perizat) gets gang raped by three men. She then goes to a policeman (Seyfettin Karadayi) to recount her story. An old voyeur (Kamer Baba) makes goofy faces as he watches a couple of lesbians (including Aylin Berkay) have sex and, finally, we get our second slasher scene where a woman is dropped off at home and is then attacked by a guy with a razor, who's wearing a disguise similar to the killer in the first scene. Then-popular Turkish sex film stars Sabahan and Dilber Ay are also in this one in footage that appears to have been swiped from the hardcore porn film Doyumsuzlar / "Insatiable" (1980), though edited to be softcore here.

This is definitely one of the worst, most inept and most incoherent things I've watched here recently. There's very little dialogue, it makes no sense whatsoever and even the sex footage is difficult to enjoy because the quality is so bad. The opening and closing horror scenes seemed vaguely familiar to me so I browsed back through the 1972 Turkish giallo Aska Susayanlar: Seks ve Cinayet (THIRSTY FOR LOVE, SEX & MURDER) and, whatta ya know, both of these scenes were simply stolen from that one!

There's no poster nor any VHS boxes (though the print I viewed looked video-sourced) for this title anywhere to be found so it's hard to tell just where this was originally shown. Seeing how a director is actually credited, and that director has a dozen earlier sex films to his credit, it's possible this is kind of a "greatest hits" package for his career, in which case we're probably safe to just ignore the rest of his filmography.

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