Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cellat (1975)

Just a year after Michael Winner unleashed Charles Bronson’s vigilante architect came Turkey with their own version, Cellat, here with Serdar Gökhan as the unlucky architect. Sometimes these rip-offs can be both boring and under-written, but Cellat is one of those rare imitators who clearly want to add something to the story, to the message. It might have only fragment of the Death Wish-budget and probably half the shooting-time, but succeeds in giving both the audience and the vigilante genre something very special.

Gökhan is a very happy man. He and his wife have been married for ten years and still acts like they’re just fallen in love. His sister has a happy relationship and they’re just having a blast. Life is great, Gökhan saves a dog and they’re out on long romantic walks. One day his wife and sister are alone in the house and three criminals invade the place, raping them brutally. The wife dies and the sister falls into a deep state of shock. Gökhan, himself is in some kind of shock, gets back to work quickly but when a client gives him a gun as a gift something awakes inside him: revenge. He begins his search for the guilty criminals, but before he can get to them there’s a lot of trash on the street that needs to be wiped away…

Bronson and Gökhan do the same character, but so different. What’s interesting here is that the Turkish architect goes so far, he’s getting obsessed in a way that Bronson didn’t get until Death Wish 2 in 1982, like a serial killer stalking the streets after new victims to sadistically shoot down. Gökhan transforms much faster to a serial killer than Bronson, why? I think he is, because of the death of his father, realizes the trauma that guns can create. He goes back in the past, sees himself more like the son that never go the time to grief when his father died in a shooting-accident. Twice the pain creates twice the anger, and there’s absolutely nothing stopping him from getting what he wants. In a lot of way Cellat predates Death Wish 2 a lot more than the first Death Wish movie did.

Everything escalates in the way only Turks can do it, more victims for each scene and in the end three very sadistic killings worthy being a part of the crazy Death Wish 5! Here it’s not only revenge, here it’s sadism for the sake of sadism. Cellat has an open ending, compared to the original movie, which feels even more appropriate because of the cynicism and violence that we have witnessed during the last 90 minutes. Istanbul must be the most dangerous place in the world, because in every corner someone is getting robbed or being raped – so it’s easy nights for Gökhan, at least until the cops are getting closer!

Cellat is a very violent movie, with a lot of bloody squibs and beatings. It’s easily a lot more violent than anything Michael Winner did at that time, but never romanticizes the violence. Gökhan transform himself even more into a sadistic villain the longer the movie goes. The atmospheric soundtrack and good acting from everyone involved also adds to the quality. The bad guys are a bit over-the-top, but works because it’s a Turkish movie and bad guys are supposed to be bad and heroes good – the last thing is firmly stated in the beginning with Gökhan saves a dog (and remember that Tarkan took a terrible revenge on those who killed his dog in Tarkan vs The Vikings!).

The release from Onar Films looks nice and probably the best it will ever look. This is something you must own and buy it before it’s gone, because it’s only a few copies left of this limited release now!


Dead Moon Night said...

Very interesting review and now I can't wait to try to get my hands on it. I love the Death Wish series (my review on them here: )so this looks really promising!! The turkish cinema is something I haven't seen anything of yet i'm afraid. What do you recommend?

Ninja Dixon said...

You're gonna like this, but be warned - Onar Films has less than 20 copies left of this classic. I really like it and it's a movie I can recommend to you.

Many of the Turkish movies I've seen has a very cartoonish feeling. Tarkan vs The Vikings for example, trashy and very entertaining. Onar Film's has also released some horror/thrillers Women Despiser, The Dead don't talk and Thirsty for love sex and murder - all three great films.

Dead Moon Night said...

Thanks for the recommendations!

CiNEZiLLA said...

Serpent's path is fucking awesome too..
Celat is a real ballbuster and a must own flick .D

GOod one ninja.