That damn trailer. I cannot stop replaying it over in my minds eye. If you live and breathe Horror like I do, and take particular enjoyment out of viewing movie trailers, you most likely know to what I'm referring to. Everything from kids getting crushed by furniture to entrails being spilled about. I very much was.......giddy for gore. But this gore!!!! The unflinching, unyielding, and unfamiliar traditions of this culture captivated me.
So my interest was very much piqued after seeing that awesomeness. I noted that Director Alper Mestci, of the film Siccin, supposedly based it on actual events. I have been relentlessly scouring the net for any info substantiating these claims. Because lets face it, if true events were the catalyst for these films........Holy S@&%.
I started checking out other equally as impressive Turkish Terror films and immediately noticed a deep seeded reoccurring theme. Traditionally known as Jinn, these are intelligent spirits, usually lower in rank than angels. They have the ability to shape shift, appearing in animal and human form and absolutely have the abilities to possess mankind. Allah created many types of Jinn, but like us humans, they have freedom of choice. Although it seems most of these Jinn enjoy choosing torture over testament.
Literally becoming the Crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has had it's share of various religions and travelers happen through. The country was loosely formed in the 11th Century and we all probably can picture something in our heads to epitomize the mentality then.
"Do not put....such faith in....trinkets of deceit"! This is what I envisioned almost immediately. I couldn't help it. Although Transylvania and Turkey are not the same, it served as a wonderful timepiece of theology. Eastern Europe then was like the Wild West. Now the entire World could take a lesson or two from the Turks. Despite the country being overwhelmingly devout to one particular religion, they take pride in the progressive Freedom of Religion they enacted. And when I say overwhelming........98% of Turkeys inhabitants are Muslim. 72% of that population are Sunni Muslims, with the rest of folks making up a ragtag following of Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Catholics. What really fascinated me was their law prohibiting either sex, to adorn religious headscarfs or theo political/symbolic garments inside Universities, schools, and Government facilities. They also live their lives in a Democratic Society.
It very much so appears as if these guys got their Paranormal / Possession / Theology sub genre perfected. Where the original Siccin and it's sequel dealt with unrequited love and malicious spells and horrible curses hexed upon the unsuspecting, this ENTIRE series aptly named Dabbe, journeys through the dark corridors man is willing to travel to obtain their wishes.
Dabbe translates to 'baby animal / creature' in classic Arabic. The Dabbe appears repeatedly in The Koran, focusing on a particular event occurring near the Apocolypse.
With centuries worth of folklore and cultural integration, I was sure that they would undoubtedly have some peculiar superstitions and traditions. I was correct in my assumption. To just list a miniscule number of their beliefs was difficult.
"Nazar" or the "Evil Eye Bead" was used to protect against the timeless 'Stankeye' Yes, even in history with possible demons and ill gotten shape shifters roaming about, you would not want to misplace this Nazar. And if you were unfortunate enough to become victim of said Evil Eye, no biggie. Amulets were often customized to contain a prayer to battle the Evil. These were referred to as 'Muska' Many Turks initiate most if not all actions with the right hand, leg, foot, etc. Even arising out of bed on the right side. Shaking hands, entering homes and businesses are usually begun with the right foot forward. I'd be screwed. I'm utterly left handed and would probably be avoided like the Plague. Other lil juicy tid bits of Turkish Folklore Terror include, never chewing gum at night. It is perceived as chewing the flesh of the dead. Always remember to not clip at night, and DISPOSE of clippings. They can be used to authenticate a VooDoo doll of sorts. And on Fridays, no needles or knives are ever used. That one left me speechless.
It's hard to believe that 1970 was the year when Turkey released it's very first scary flick. It was entitled The Dead Don't Talk. So why in the hee haw, is a country so new at Horror Films, dominating? Perhaps the painful edits and questions of is it too much of this? too much of that? which are forced upon our Horror Filmakkers here, is a unfathomable experience. Those Directors knew how to tap into a primal, lifelong fear of their countrymen, and flawlessly executed the scares. Passionate moviemakers? We got that too!! A very new market that they can just terrorize, because they haven't seen everything before? But damn, they went hard out of the gate.
For example, the trailer above. Entitled HTR2B, which is genuinely a genetic encoding of one of several different receptors for Serotonin. Everyone should like serotonin, it makes us enjoy life. Apparently that dude lost all of his and in essence lost his damn mind too. Couldn't locate an English dubbed version but case in point. The fear these fellas overseas are projecting transcends any type of language barrier. It makes me excited again for the future of our genre. I haven't been this giddy for gore since the New Wave of French hardcore horror came to the U.S. circa 2005 - 2009.
Cheers fellow HorrorHounds!