Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Baskin" (2015) d/ Can Evrenol

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Remember when the Republic of Turkey was renowned for cinematic excellence the world over, and film fans could hardly wait to see what spectacle the Turkish lens fell upon next? Yeah, me neither. I do however recall the nation that brought us such unforgettably rotten gems as Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam aka/ Turkish Star Wars (1982),  Seytan aka/ Turkish Exorcist (1974), and Badi aka/ Turkish E.T. (1983). Naturally when the internet buzzed concerning director Can Evrenol's Baskin I was mildly skeptical, to say the least. Still, I approached tonight's review with open eyes and a similarly receptive mind. Read on, woprophiles, for my synopsis and verdict, if you dare...

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Carnivorous since birth, I confess that I wouldn't mind taking a healthy bite out of this after some extensive flame broiling.
A group of Turkish cops bet on football and discuss the finer points of zoophilia and chick-with-dick-tricks at an out-of-the-way restaurant (translation: plywood Akcaabat meatball shack) where they bully paying customers for laughing at their outrageous stories, ending in one cop left screaming in a reflexive mirror wig out, when they're called to another even more out-of-the-way location as back up to another squad. Who's driving? The officer who's just experienced the breakdown, of course. The fellows belt out a Turkish pop song with the radio before naked men run across the road, and the ride is ultimately cut short when the vehicle barrels into someone standing in the middle of the asphalt in the darkness.There's a lot of frogs, too, for a reason unbeknownst to your humble narrator. On foot, they encounter some creepy gypos in a camp (One particularly acromegalous one is a frog hunting giant) before arriving at the abandoned police station that is the source of their call, another squad vehicle parked outside with the engine running and lights flashing. Not a good sign, as Nancy Loomis used to say...

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Hugh Jackman, eat your heart out, buddy.
Upon entering the building, they find a fellow officer slamming his dome piece repeatedly into a wall, mostly covered in ominous Satanic-looking graffiti and decorated with weird stuff hanging from strings, a la Blair Witch. Naturally, they've stumbled onto a black mass of sorts, with throngs of folks wrapped in clear plastic, cheap animal masks, and whatnot. The cops are overpowered before too long, and end up bound to the ceiling, and awaiting judgment in H-E-double hockey sticks, which is overseen by the Turkish equivalent of a member of Slipknot, and ultimately, a little rubber-faced creep with long nails, known as Baba or "The Father"(Mehmet Cerrahoglu), a cruel and unusual cat who grooves on disemboweling motherfuckers with his fingernails, poking dude's eyes out with a knife to strains of Riz Ortolani's Cannibal Holocaust soundtrack, and simply sawing open fella's throats and rubbing the free-spilling blood all over his chrome dome. One cop is forced to knock at the back door of a chunky woman in an animal mask and plastic sheet ensemble, on all fours. In the end, the easy way out is chosen to wrap up the clumsy, hole-ridden narrative, and you'll see it coming.

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In Hell, there's sex at it's unsexiest.
On a positive note, some of the cinematography is effective, and the torture porn-level gore is passable if slightly pedestrian, but neither aspect really compensates for the lack of story or budgetary confinements that the film is anchored by. Another deficiency I feel I have to mention, is the lack of sympathetic characters here, as all protagonist parties involved in the cinematic Hellride I neither rooted for nor against throughout the running time. The same goes for the Hellions.  In fact, I kind of dozed off halfway through on my first attempt to watch, being forced to cue it up a second time, on Netflix, which I applaud for listing such an unusual title so that I never have to waste money on a hard copy in the future. My shelving space is precious, and there's little chance that tonight's film ever occupies it. One Wop.

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"All of teh preserves is belongs to me, plix!"
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