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Film by Shane “Dawn Of The Galaxy Age” Hnetka

San Diego’s annual Comic-Con International convention is back. As usual, the world-famous con — which runs July 20-24 — is less about comic books and more about Hollywood promoting its upcoming science fiction, fantasy and superhero movies and TV shows. That said, there might not be as many trailers, teasers and film clips in 2016 as there have been in past years. Last year, Fox’s Deadpool trailer debuted at Comic-Con and was promptly leaked online. Same thing happened to Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad trailer. Leaks like these make studios — which want total control over their upcoming films’ marketing — more reluctant to screen early footage at conventions. But take heart, fans — even without Fox there will still be a lot of studio action, especially since Marvel/Lucasfilm/Disney is back at San Diego after skipping 2015. So keep your eyes on your Internet — things are about to get super-nerdy.

 “The Ottoman Empire Strikes Back”

TurkishStarWars_0

Did you know there’s more to Turkey than failed coups? Turkish cinema has been massive for over a century, particularly in the 1960s and ’70s. As with all national film scenes, there’s the great and the… not-so great. For every masterpiece like 1982 Cannes Film Fest winner Yol, there’s a The Man Who Saved the World.

Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, a.k.a. The Man Who Saved the World, a.k.a. Turkish Star Wars is a notorious no-budget 1982 sci-fi action film. Director Çetin Inanç swiped space battle footage from Star Wars and music from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ben-Hur, Moonraker and even Giorgio Moroder’s disco Battlestar Galactica theme, and combined it with a public access TV quality story about two astronauts who duel X-wings, crash on a desert planet and fight an evil, brain-coveting sorcerer. If you’re keen to waste a couple hours of your life, you can find The Man Who Saved The World on YouTube right now. Unfortunately the quality will be terrible because the original print was lost decades ago and decent copies are non-existent.

Or rather, were non-existent.

“Welcome To The Land Of Darkness, Secrets And Infinity”

Turns out a projectionist kept a print — and now, after 30-plus years, it’s come to light. Film historian Ed Glaser bought it, and since Glaser owns Neon Harbor Entertainment — which brought Inanç’s 1986 movie Korkusuz, a.k.a. Rampage, a.k.a. “Turkish Rambo” (tagline: “Get Ramboned!”) to DVD in 2006 — there’s a good chance you’ll soon have the opportunity to be a proud owner of a The Man Who Saved the World DVD.

If “proud” is the right word.

Shane Hnetka is a Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.