The Deathless Devil (1973)

Dr Satan tries to rule the world with killer robots, but is stopped by a masked hero in this nutty Turkish film. Mondo Macabro USA R0 DVD.

The Film

Turkish exploitation cinema kicked off in the 1960s and peaked in around 1970. While Italian cinema had made a business of following American cinematic sucess with dozens of similar films, the Turkish went one better and outright copied the American films - so audiences were treated to shameless Superman, Star Trek and Rambo rip-offs. The Deathless Devil was a rip-off/remake of an American serial The Mysterious Dr. Satan (1940).

The Professor is a great inventor who has developed a powerful new mine, and remote control device, that could revolutionise warfare. An American scientist coming to speak with him is murdered, and the Professor's friend and backer, Mr. Yilmaz realises that their lives are in danger. He tells his son Tekin, that his real father was a man who went around as a masked hero, known as Copperhead. Mr. Yilmaz is murdered, and when Tekin catches the killer, they discover that he has a remote explosive device attached to his waist - as the killer tries to talk, it is detonated. Meanwhile, the Professor is on a train to Ankara - Tekin rushes to save him, and his vital papers, from the threat. On the train, we discover that Dr. Satan is after both the professor and his papers and it is up to Tekin/Copperhead to save the day...

Simply put, The Deathless Devil is one of the nuttiest films ever made. The absurd pacing of trying to combine the action of a 4 hour serial into an 80 minute film is clear from the start when, within 5 minutes the Professor and Mr. Yilmaz have discussed their weapon, met some more characters, a visiting scientist has been killed, Yilmaz has told Tekin that he is not his real father, that his real father was a masked hero and that he must now become that hero, Yilmaz gets killed and Tekin has fought the killer. The pace hardly lets up either, with dozens of action scenes including a fight on a train and several car chases. The low budget never stops the film-makers, shots of a plane chase seen on the Professor's monitors is simply footage from the original serial, while Dr. Satan's robot is probably the daftest creation to ever hit the screens. The characters are a similarly oddball mix, especially Bitix who refers to himself as Sherlock Holmes throughout the whole film, even dressing like him and smoking a pipe on occasion, and seems to serve utterly no purpose whatsoever to the story.

To further emphasise the rushed plot, the film seems to have been edited by someone being charged per frame - scenes cut away within seconds of dialogue or action ending, if not before, making it often hard to follow. The mixing of footage was obviously done very quickly, without any explaination for why Dr. Satan, controlling the robot via a TV screen, gets a 3rd person view of the creation, rather than shots from its inbuilt camera. The soundtrack has a nice theme, but blatantly steals Pink Panther and James Bond music as well. 

The acting is certainly nothing to write home about - in the opening scene, the actors seem to be desperately trying to avoid looking at the camera, and has the atmosphere of a bizarre Turkish sit-com. The actor who plays Dr. Satan does look the part with a perfectly evil eyebrow and mustache combo, while Copperhead does some nice action/stunt work.

The Deathless Devil is simply an absurd film, with an incredibly fast moving plot and loads of action scenes - plus a killer robot! Not as good as Tarkan versus the Vikings (1971) but don't go in expecting quality film-making, and you should enjoy this daft piece of obscure cinema. Partly recommended.

In Brief

Anyone famous in it? No-one well known.
Directed by anyone interesting? Yilmaz Atadeniz - who also directed the comic-villian film Kilink in Istanbul (1967), considered to be the breakthough film of Turkish cinema.
Any violence/gore? Several killings although nothing very gory.
Any sex? A short topless/sex scene.
Who is it for?
Partly recommended to fans of obscure cinema and anyone wanting to experience Turkish filmmaking.


Mondo Macabro have released The Deathless Devil in a Turkish Pop Cinema double-bill, along with Tarkan versus the Vikings (1971) and an impressive 30 minute documentary about Turkish cinema - complete with interviews and film clips. The films look surprisingly good, far better than most public domain discs, and the original Turkish soundtracks are used, with optional English subtitles. This set is a perfect place to start exploring this often forgotten niche of cinema, and it comes highly recommended.
Visuals 1.33:1 fullscreen (there is no notable cropping on the sides, so this might be the OAR). Colour
The print is generally of VHS quality, notably soft and with some artifacting but with decent colours, and little actual print damage.
Audio Turkish language mono. Sounds rather muffled and has some drop-outs, but the music and effects come though well.
Subtitles English - translation of the Turkish track.
(some minor errors mean that timecodes appear on the tracks in a couple of places)
Run-timeFeature: 1hr 24m 11s 
Extras The disc includes:
  • Tarkan versus the Vikings (1971) - another Turkish pop-cinema film. (1hr 26m 28s)
  • Documentary on Turkish pop cinema, including interviews with several actors and some very interesting looking film clips. (24m 11s)
  • On-screen text notes about both films.
  • Mondo Macabro Promotional reel. (4m 11s)
Region Region 0 (ALL) - NTSC
Other regions? None known.
Cuts? None known - this print is the original Turkish cinema version.



Return to main menu.

All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 11th August 2006.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

Please contact: