3 Dev Adam (3 Mighty Men) ~ 1973, T. Fikret Uçak

3-dev-adam (2)At the time of my writing this, movie goers everywhere are buzzing with excitement for Marvel’s forthcoming franchise blockbuster event: Captain America: Civil War, which will introduce a brand new Spider-Man into the Marvel cinematic universe. This is a major event for nerd culture, and one which was thought impossible only a few short years ago, since Sony still owns the rights to Spidey and, until recently, showed no intention of ever releasing him. Today, this event is being viewed as an exciting and historic first for Marvel’s admirably sucesful foray into major motion pictures, but in all actuality, it isn’t really a first at all. That’s right, Captain America and Spider-Man have shared the silver screen before, way back in 1973, and all it took to make it happen was Turkey’s legendary disregard for international copyright law. BEHOLD;  3 DEV ADAM, or, in English; 3 MIGHTY MEN, a film featuring Spider-Man, Captain America, and Santo! (Batman was busy, presumably.)


So, yeah. Turkey strikes again. I’m sure some of you are wondering who the hell Santo is; so I’ll quickly fill you in. Santo is (was?) an incredibly popular wrestler and movie star from Mexico; his career spanned decades, and included toys, comic books, movies, and countless live appearances as he bounded about on stage, wrasslin’ bros, Mexican WWE style. He really was a huge star south of the border, and, apparently a big enough deal in Turkey for them to plagiarize the fuck out of him left right and center for their shitty Cap VS Spidey debacle. Which is what we’re talking about today. Oh boy!

3-dev-adam (1)

Oh boy!

THE PLOT~ Spider-Man, here seen to be a homicidal gangster with a pot belly, has launched an international antique smuggling crime ring, because apparently Peter Parker is actually a huge dick. When we join our program already in progress, Spidey and his gang have already run amok in the United States and Mexico, and have now set up shop in Istanbul, Turkey, where every man, woman and child is a dead ringer for 1970’s Tony Iommi.

97266This is the picture on every driver’s license in Turkey, they just crop the guitar out.

High on justice and hell-bent on avenging the defrauded Antique enthusiasts of North and Central America, Captain America and Santo join forces and travel to Turkey, where they work tirelessly with local law enforcement to bring an ass kicking down upon Spider-Man’s head the likes of which I can’t even imagine. Can they succeed in their quest? Would you care either way? How can the people who made this film sleep at night? Only some of these questions have answers, and really, none of them are worth investigating.


Unsurprisingly, everything in this movie sucks wildly, and in a way that isn’t even funny. The Captain America of 3 Dev Adam is a grizzled, sun ravaged, Tony Iommi looking guy with no shield, who clumsily kicks the shit out of everyone he meets, day and night. Shockingly enough, whatever bozo they got to play Santo is actually in better physical condition than the real Santo, who was always more potato shaped, but his feathered mullet pokes out the back of his Santo mask like a rat tail, meaning that as buff as he is, he still screws up the one job he had. Spidey, of course, makes out worst of all. Not only is he the villain, he’s an especially vile and ruthless villain, and his only super power is a completely unexplained ability to clone himself. Yeah, the first time this happens there’s literally no setup for it, which leads to a seriously confusing fight scene. Ah, Turkey. Why you do this?


So, yeah. This movie happened, it’s totally horrible, and anyone attached to its production should be ashamed. 3 Dev Adam sucks in a way that only an illegal Turkish depiction of your favorite heroes really can, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it now. This IS the REAL first appearance of these two iconic Marvel characters in one single motion picture (that I know of!), but the best thing I can say about 3 Dev Adam is that you are in no way obligated to watch it, ever.


“Adios, Mafia!” (Actual quote from the movie.)


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Female Vampire~ 1975, Jess Franco, France


There is no agreed upon consensus regarding Jesus Franco, the now deceased, and maddeningly prolific Spanish director responsible for Female Vampire. Numerous respected academics have weighed in on him, and Franco has been called one of the greatest minds in cinematic history, and also the single shittiest hacks who ever lived, and in both cases, more than once. It’s safe to say that the jury is still out, but even the most fanatical Franco-phile is usually willing to admit that Jess shot more than his share of total stinkers back in the day. This man’s first priority seemed to be making absolutely certain that he was always working on a movie, and whether or not anyone would ever want to watch it really didn’t seem to be a concern. He was sort of like those kids in school who always turned up so they could dick around with their friends, but gave no shits about their GPA. Perfect attendance, never turned in an assignment; that’s Franco all over.

Female Vampire is a fairly typical example of Franco’s work from the mid 1970’s. It stars Lina Romay’s naughty bits, and costars Lina Romay herself, albeit in a small, supporting role. Both Ms Romay and her erogenous zones are longtime collaborators of Franco’s, on and off screen; and in fact, Romay was Franco’s common-law spouse!


Yeah, I don’t know how, either. Maybe he was funny.

Regardless of any social or romantic commitment the two may have had to one another, Romay would continue to be a common feature in the director’s work for years and years, often appearing nude, and occasionally even performing in Franco’s hardcore pornographic films. Female Vampire really showcases Franco’s easy going attitude toward nudity and sex, as well as his apparent disinterest in the quality of his finished work, and as a result, we now have a frustratingly incoherent festival of boobs and jet black pubic fur that some would dare to call a movie, and which is today widely available on Blu-ray throughout most developed countries. Sex sells.

THE PLOT~ Lina Romay plays Countess Irina Karnstein, a vampire who gets sexy with folks all day, every day. Countess Karnstein is totally a vampire, you guys, but she doesn’t drink blood to live… She… Well, she get’s her sustenance through… other methods… SEXY methods. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? It’s semen.

Really, there’s not much of a story here. Shocker, right? Franco does do a little bit of work to try and paint the vampire as a tragic figure, constantly groping for intimacy, by ultimately hollow and alone, but this isn’t new terrirory for vampire fiction by any stretch of the imagination, and it’s been done better elsewhere. For the most part, it’s a movie that volleys back and forth between gratuitous sex scenes featuring Lina Romay and whatever person or object happens to be in the room with her, and then flowery, romantic French bullshit, which we already have enough of that in the world. Occasionally, we might get a token exposition scene tacked on in a desperate attempt to give Female Vampire some vague illusion of story, but calling these scenes half-assed would be generous. Female Vampire is not a movie to search out if you crave intellectual stimulation. It plays to a different part of the brain, if it plays at all.

It’s pretty common to see Franco fans talk about Female Vampire as being an example of “erotic” vampire cinema, and to me, calling this film “erotic” is worse than wishful thinking, it’s downright embarrassing. Female Vampire’s sexual content is handled with the subtly and grace of an elephant high on methamphetamines and LSD, barging through a hospital burn ward. This thing is clumsy, tactless, exploitative, shameless, lecherous and crass.This is not erotica, this is pornography that never pulls the trigger. It does succeed occasionally at pulling off a haunting, poetic sort of vibe, but honestly, it’s sort of hard NOT to feel poetic when you’re filming a nude woman in a black cloak frolicking about the mist shrouded forests of rural France. This would have been an excellent place to call “cut,”, but of course, Franco finds a way to ruin even these brief moments of genuine beauty by launching right into an eye-rollingly juvenile zoom shot straight into Romay’s pubic mat. Why don’t you just paint monster trucks onto the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel to jazz it up, you bumbling, artless pornographer? Dammit, Franco. I’m just angry now.

But is it fair to come down so hard on Franco, a man who, like you or I, had bills to pay, and who was making movies in an environment where sex was increasingly in demand? It’s certainly reasonable to assume that a lot of the sexual content in Female Vampire was integral in securing financing from investors, who expected this to greatly enhance the films commercial appeal, but adding nudity to Franco’s work in order to make it more commercial is like putting chocolate sprinkles of a tire fire; it’s never going to be a delicious treat. There’s nothing less accessible than the mad celluloid ramblings of Jess Franco, and that’s a fact of life. It’s a lesson financers learned the hard way, but clearly they made enough money to justify decades worth of budget, because Franco kept going and going long after this mess hit the screen. Now we can only furrow our brows in confusion, because it’s too late to stop him.

It’s also amazing just how much this film could have been improved by just purchasing a decent tripod. The camera is constantly moving throughout the entire picture, and the pans and tilts are terribly awkward and jerky, which is super distracting. Technical issues like this are probably just one more thing that Franco couldn’t be bothered to give two shits about. Female Vampire’s first and only objective is to exist, so in that regard, it’s was successful.

To me, it’s always been tough to figure out if Franco is, in fact, a mad genius, or if this is actually just the single best example of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” phenomenon  ever. Yes, his wild, jazzy, off-road attitude towards motion picture production is certainly fascinating, but at some point, this starts to feel terribly self indulgent, and the art is quickly swallowed up by the director’s personality, for better or for worse. Franco made movies for Franco… I guess I can accept that, but now we too are a part of this equation, and I think that in extreme cases, the audience has a right to throw up their arms and say “What the fuck, dude?” Again, it’s too late for answers.

In the end, Female Vampire is barely even a movie. It’s just Lina Romay in her birthday suit wearing a cape and a belt, sexing up France with a trail of corpses in her wake, and even as I type this, I know that sounds a lot better than it actually ends up being. Art, or smut? We can sidestep that argument, because clearly, Female Vampire is both. Genius, or shit? I’m really not sure.


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Jaws: The Revenge ~ 1987, Joseph Sargent, USA


In 1975, Universal Studios unleashed Jaws, a film which is almost universally regarded by historians to be the first ever legitimate Hollywood Blockbuster. To call this movie a success would be an understatement, Jaws was a phenomenon. It broke records, made Steven Spielberg a household name, and forever changed the nature of the Motion Picture Industry (arguably for the worse). Today, even the most obstinate of film snobs will likely concede that Jaws is, indeed, a true American classic.

Really, that would have been an excellent place to stop…

But, of course… They kept going. By 1987, we were four movies deep, and so far down the rabbit hole that even plain old common sense was a long forgotten relic of a better time. Jaws: The Revenge is such a terrible sequel that is ended the franchise dead in it’s tracks and remains an embarrassment to this day. This thing freaking sucks.

THE PLOT~ Lorraine Gary returns as ELLEN BRODY; the wife of Roy Scheider’s character from Jaws 1 & 2. In Jaws: THE REVENGE, Ellen becomes convinced that a great white shark has targeted her family for revenge, AND SHE’S FREAKING RIGHT. We learn early on that Mr. Brody is, at this point, long deceased, having died of a shark related heart attack sometime after Jaws 2. Next in line was their youngest son, who is murderously gobbled to death in an inadvertently hilarious sequence early on in the film. This is enough to seriously bum the Mother Brody out, and so her eldest son convinces her to come and visit his family in the Bahamas, where he is studying marine biology. She flips out, and tells him “ain’t no way no son of mine is going into the ocean, because Jaws Jr. is comin’, and he wants all of us Brodys dead!” So then, her son is all “listen, mom, sharks don’t go to the Bahamas, ever, because it’s too warm. They don’t like it.” This calms her down, and for a while she even manages to put her crippling shark phobia aside, partially because she’s super distracted by Michael Caine, who plays a charming English pilot/compulsive gambler who is also bumming around the Bahamas. Things seems dandy, for a time, but Ellen was wrong to let her guard down- because check it out, Jaws Jr. shows up after all, and he’s eager to munch down some Brodys. Literally, that’s the story… So, it’s like a multi-generational family fued at this point, kinda like the Hatfields and the McCoys… Only… it’s the Brodys, and a bunch of freaking sharks.

Obviously, these are all just horrible, horrible ideas.

The production itself isn’t really an issue in Jaws: the Revenge, that aspect of the film is competent (although if you thought the shark looked fake back in the original, holy shit, buckle up, folks), it’s the film’s premise that kills it. This movie is a collection of ideas so blatantly, obviously, obnoxiously terrible that it’s kind of amazing it even exists at all. How mindlessly, voraciously hungry for money could Universal have possibly been?!?

The following is a list of jaw dropping bullshit you will see if you ever make the tragically poor decision to give Jaws: The Revenge 90 minutes of your life:

1. Firstly, yes, this shark has a personal vendetta against the Brody family, it follows them from Amity to the Bahamas, and strategically seeks them out, for the purpose of murdering them… Presumably for vengeance. How does it know where they are? Magic. For real.

2. On a boat? Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re any more protected from Shark-Death. That’s like a plate for Jaws Jr. Actually, you might be LESS safe than if you were just in the water, more than a few people manage to just flat out swim away from this damn fish, but he plucks folks off of boats like they were freaking snack platters.

3. Ellen Brody develops a psychic mind link to Jaws Jr., and can predict when he is going to strike, and also when he is near. I shit you not, that’s actually in the movie. If they had made a fifth Jaws film, and continued along this trajectory, it would be focused on Jaws Jr. being forced to join forces with Robo-Brody on an adventure back in time to stop aliens from stealing a giant crystal from the center of the Earth, but it also would be rendered unwatchable after the producers accidently destroyed the negatives by doing lines of cocaine off of them.

4. This shark screams like a dragon when it’s in pain. I’m no marine biologist, but I’m pretty sure sharks can’t roar. Am I wrong? It feels stupid when it happens, I do know that.

5. Michael Caine, who is the only good thing in this movie, plays a character CALLED HOAGIE! And he survives. Yes, the character who is actually named after a sandwhich DOESN’T get eaten. So, what’s the deal with the name, is that like, a red herring or something?

6. At the end of the film, Ellen steers the boat directly into Jaws Jr., who, for some reason, fucking explodes- and not like a person would explode when hit by a train, he explodes like a damn grenade.

And much, much more.

Jaws: The Revenge defies basic logic at every turn, and it’s such an enormous jump from the tone of the original that I can’t believe it’s real. Based on the evidence available to me, I’m forced to conclude that this movie enterered production at the nexus of insatiable greed, and crippling mental illness. In this dark cauldron, the worst Jaws movie ever was forged, and it feels like the horrifying fever dream of a psychopath who grew up in a virtual reality environment, and who therefore never actually had to contend with the laws of the natural world. Unsurprisingly, it’s this same illogical, rambling mess of a narrative that makes this tragedy somehow more entertaining than Jaws 2 and 3, so in some sick, perverse way, I recommend this one over those two snooze-fests. Even so, this thing is flat out dangerous dangerous, and is not to be watched at all, unless you really have nothing left to live for. Jaws: The Revenge doesn’t just need to be forgotten, it needs to be quarantined.