Saturday, July 28, 2018


Welcome to another Sa- Turd -ay Night Special in The Dungeon, and an incredible gobbler from Turkey made in 1967 called "Sihirbazlar Krali Mandrake Killing'in pesinde" or "Killing vs. Mandrake." translated here, "The King Of Illusions, Mandrake Killing's Pursuit."

"Mandrake the Magician" was a syndicated newspaper comic strip that was created by Lee Falk in 1934, before he created another one of his legendary characters, The Phantom. Some people actually consider Mandrake to be the first superhero in the comics! This King comic book is a good example of how varied Mandrake's career has been!

In this film, Mandrake is played by Güven Erte. Lothar is now called Abdullah for some reason!

His name is either Kiling, or Kilink, or Killing, and he likes to collect women and force them into prostitution! He also likes to carve the letter K in people!

 Good job benefits, free booze!

 This is Kiling and his two main associates. The Joker looking guy with the big K etched in his mug is a real bastard!

 This is the kind of trick Mandrake likes to perform. He'll take an object or a person, and change it into something else right before your eyes!

 Kiling and Mandrake are both very proficient at sneaking into people's bedrooms at night, and rooting around for stuff without waking up anybody!

 This gal tries to escape by climbing out a window but Kiling, being the nice guy that he is, mows her down with his car as she's running away!

 But maybe that was better than how some of the other girls are getting treated.

Here's a pretty cool James Bond type device! It's a transistor radio that turns into high powered rifle! I guess they haven't figured out that app for a phone yet!

I was doing some digging around, and the history of Mandrake is much more interesting than this movie, which might just be the best Mandrake film made to this day!

 In 1928, a German movie was made called "Alraune" or "A Daughter Of Destiny" or "Unholy Love," but it was also known as "Mandrake." "Alraune" is German for mandrake root! Of course it has nothing to do with Mandrake the Magician, but the story line was just too wild to not pass along. A scientist who is interested in the laws of heredity, impregnates a prostitute in a laboratory with the semen of a hanged murderer. Wow! I wonder where that's heading!

In 1952, the Germans re-created "Alraune" and released it as "Mandragore" or "Mandrake!" It stars Hildegard Knef and Eric Von Stroheim, and in this version, a scientist creates a perfect woman, but since she doesn't have a soul, misery follows her everywhere! I've got to see this one, and I just found out that I can watch it on Prime for no extra charge! Cool!
 In 1939, a 12 episode serial came out called "Mandrake the Magician" that starred Warren Hull as Mandrake, and Al Kikume as Lothar, Mandrake's assistant! In 1954, there was a 25 minute short called "Mandrake the Magician" starring Coe Norton and Woody Strode as Mandrake and Lothar, and in 1979, they made a TV movie called "Mandrake" that had Anthony Herrera as Mandrake and Ji-Tu Cumbuka as Lothar! There have been other references to Mandrake in TV etc. but those are all the high points as far as I can tell!

 Now it's Mandrake's turn to sneak around! Pretty cool, he turns Kiling into a dog for a day!

And neither will you

Even though it seems like Mandrake the Magician has been exploited in every possible medium at some time or another, he still has yet to gain the star power he deserves, but trust me, the definitive Mandrake movie has got to be on a drawing board somewhere, I guarantee!!


TC said...

Warren Hull was also in two movie serials as the Spider (based on the pulp magazine superhero), and in one as the Green Hornet. And he was in "Night Key," with Boris Karloff. I remember watching that movie (on TV) with my grandparents, and they recognized Hull. Not from movies, but from when he hosted a TV quiz show in the 1950s.

I remember that Mandrake movie from the late 1970s. I would assume it was a pilot for a TV series, but, AFAIK, there were no sequels.

I had three issues of King Comics' Mandrake comic book sometime around 1966-67. Besides his own self-titled comic, Mandrake also appeared in a strip that ran as a back-up feature in one of King's other titles, either The Phantom or Flash Gordon.

That radio/carbine looks like one of the old "Agent Zero M" gadgets. That was a line of Mattel toys that came out in the mid-1960s, at the peak of the spy-fi fad (Bond, U.N.C.L.E., Flint, etc.). A radio that folded out into a submachine gun, a camera that turned into a pistol, and so on.

There are a couple of action/comedy series on YouTube, "The Adventures of Superseven" and its spin-off, "The Sandra West Diaries." Both are spoofs of action movies, mainly spy thrillers, but also martial arts, Mexican professional wrestling, and superheroes. There are references and allusions to the 1966 Batman TV show, and the Gerry Anderson puppet shows like Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds. Anyway, the reason I mentioned it is that they also use those "Zero M" toys as props.

EEGAH!! said...

Sweet! Thanx TC, I'll have to add "Superseven" and "Sandra West" to my list of stuff to do! It's really endless!

Anonymous said...

Those "Zero M" toys were advertised in comic books in 1966 and/or '67, in half-page, comic strip-type ads. "Secret Agent 0-M" would get cornered by enemy spies, and they would think he was unarmed, but then his camera or radio would turn out to be a gun.

The toys were also advertised on TV, with a young Kurt Russell playing the hero. IIRC, there was one where he was running around wearing a trench coat and using the Zero-M weapons and gadgets to thwart the villains. Then he wakes up and it was a dream, and his mother is telling him to mow the lawn or take out the trash.

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