There are legendary action movie actors, and then there's Fahrettin Cüreklibatur, better known as Cüneyt Arkın, a man who transcends a mere word like "legend".
In his home country of Turkey, Dr. (that's right, doctor) Cüneyt Arkın is an institution of epic proportions, a revered figure known to all. There's a reason for that, and once you've witnessed this expert in several forms of martial arts in action, you'll understand why.
Let's take a look at En Buyuk Yumruk (The Biggest Fist)...
Oh man, did you see those moves?!?
Don't try and tell me that's just some made-up karate, what you've seen is Cüneyt-Fu, a deadly art that only this one Turk has mastered.
In every film I've had the pleasure to see Dr. Arkın in, he cuts a super-human swath through his opponents without even breaking a sweat. The bad guys barely even get in a punch before being pummeled by one of his deadly blows. Why I've even see him chop his foes in half!
Which brings me to what is probably Cüneyt Arkın's most infamous role, his absolutely mind-blowing turn as the heroic Murat in the film Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves the World), or perhaps, as you may know better, Turkish Star Wars...
Yeah, I know it's confusing. Hell, I'm not sure what in the world just happened either. (As a matter of fact, Dr. Arkin wrote the screenplay!) Turkish Star Wars deserves it's rep as one the strangest films ever made.
It's a bizarre mishmash of ultra low budget craziness mixed with a healthy dose of stolen footage from the real Star Wars mixed to snippets of music from other films. But you know, it's certainly got more entertainment value than Lucas' prequel trilogy. It's the Citizen Kane of grade Z films.
Not content with saving other planets, Dr. Arkin has taken stabs at ancient history as well. In Lionman, he plays a man raised by... well, lions. He rises up to battle evil christians who dare impose their will on his fellow Turks with a badass pre-Wolverine set of claws that he utilizes into his rather unique fighting style. (At least I think that's what's happening, my copy isn't dubbed) I think the fight scenes in this movie are even more absurdist than the more famous Star Wars rip-off....
Now here's my personal favorite Cüneyt Arkın classic. He tackled sci-fi and crime movies, and now finally we have a proper ninja flick, directed by the man himself! Nothing is more over the top and completely insane as Olum Savascisi, aka Death Warrior!
Alright, I wouldn't usually do this, but here's the ending of this incredible movie. It's not like I'm giving that much away anyhow. Here we see the Doctor fight off waves of evil henchmen with his trampoline-assisted acrobatic fighting technique, until only the boss remains, and the villain is VERY unwilling to die.
Warning: This is going to warp you for life.....
Dr. Arkın is still around these days, he even made a sequel to Turkish Star Wars. (with CGI effects, apparently) He's quite well-loved in Turkey, and I have to say I love the guy too.
It would easy to dismiss Cüneyt Arkın as a maker of cheaply made kitsch, a hack with movies that are unintentionally hilarious, but you know what? I think he's a real inspiration. A man who puts his heart into his films and is clearly having a lot of fun. Cüneyt Arkın has never been in a boring movie, and you can't say that about many people.
Here's to you, Dr. Arkın!