The American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) strikes cinematic painite with their most recent release, The Sword And The Claw!
A product of Turkey, The Sword And The Claw was originally released in 1975 and some say was the predecessor for the outlandish Turkish efforts to follow, especially the infamous Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, more infamously known as the “Turkish Star Wars”.
For those not familiar with The Sword And The Claw, the film follows a fairly linear plot involving the death of King Süleyman Sah (played by legendary Turkish genre actor Cüneyt Arkın) and the subsequent eradication of the King’s entire family. The King’s son, born via mistress, is whisked away and unfortunately left in the woods to be raised by a pride of lions. What follows is the boy’s maturation and eventual knowledge of his true origins as well as the revenge sought for the murder of his entire lineage.
The film uses fast time transitions to speed up the maturation and eventual premonitions of the boy prince raised by lions where Arkın shines as the boy turned man, Kiliçaslan. Kiliçaslan eventually falls into league with a memorable cast of sidekicks (including gorgeous dark-haired bombshell Bahar Erdeniz) hell-bent on helping him overthrow the ruthless dictator (Yıldırım Gencer) that murdered his family and rules the country without remorse.
The Sword And The Claw relies heavily on its fight sequences. And boy are there plenty! Epic trampoline-laced sword fights with tame gore. The blood effects are reminiscent of the ones used in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead—very comic book in style. The fight sequences involving the custom-built claws made for Kiliçaslan after an incident that occurs during a harrowing escape really “punch” up the action with Story Of Ricki-Oh style beatdowns (although toned down mightily in the gore department).
The 35mm print restored to 4K is nothing short of amazing. The film is beautifully cleaned-up with minimum film grit and lines. The Monty Python-esque exploitation is in full stereo with the memorable voice dubbing polished substantially.
AGFA has again truly given exploitation fans a treat with this iconic 4K Blu-ray release of The Sword And The Claw.