Review: 3 Devadam (1973)

Review by: Topo Sanchez
S.C.U.M. Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

Move over Marvel comics, here comes the 3 giants!

3 Devadam (3 Giant Men) has probably one of THE most outrageous script and casting the reel world has ever seen, or even dared to dream about: Captain America teams up with Mexican luchador Santo, to fight against Spiderman, and they all speak Turkish!!! With a combo like that, how can it even hope to fail? (I know, right!!??)

The story opens with a scene showing a woman buried in the sand, with only her head above ground. We see a boat being pushed towards the sand, with propeller blades turning at full speed. Woman screams. Boat gets closer to woman. Woman screams more. Boats goes over woman.

This, my friends, is merely a taste of the evil of the crime lord Spiderman… Yes you read correctly, Spiderman! But this ain’t your friendly neighbourhood Spidey, oh no no no. The Spider (as he is known in this movie) wears a green and red costume, and has brows thicker than your mother-in-law’s moustache. Scary huh?

Shut up! At least its not a monobrow ok??

The Spider is the leader of a gang that is involved with smuggling artifacts out of the country and re-purchasing them back using counterfeit money. This crime overlord is so powerful that the local police decides to bring in the reinforcement, Captain America and Santo! By the way, there is a very simple rationale to the mask wearing: Captain America believes that The Spider is a child-like lunatic who cant stand someone else wearing a mask, and therefore will come after them to try to kill them. Sounds perfectly logical to me, Cap!

Some interesting features to note: Cap’s helmet doesnt have wings and he doesn’t carry a shield. Santo keeps his stuff in his underwear. And The Spider doesnt shoot webs or hang down from walls, instead he has the power to multiply himself!

Wait, did I leave the stove on again?

And so, Santo, Cap and Cap’s girlfriend goes in hot pursuit of The Spider Gang. Cap’s girlfriend finally manages to infiltrate one of The Spider’s hideout, but gets captured and moved into a remote location, but not before she sends an SOS to Cap. So the first battle between Cap and Spidey takes place, but Spidey gets away.

After that Santo infiltrates one The Spider’s dojos, which was being used as a front for the counterfeiting activities. Santo too, gets captured. But he manages to fight his way out, together with some incriminating evidence.

Later on, another fight ensues between the 3 giants. And it is during this fight that we see The Spider’s special multiplying powers for the first time, when we see Santo beating up one Spidey while Cap strangles another. After 4 ‘deaths’, Spidey escapes again.

Soon, Cap and Santo goes undercover to raid one of Spidey’s clubs. They get discovered and strangely, gets captured by Spidey’s henchmen this time. Cap and Santo pretend to fight amongst themselves to confuse the enemies, and finds a chance to break away and wipe out the gang.

Hand them cookies over now!

Finally, Cap, Santo and Spidey face off once again, this time at a manufacturing plant of some sort. Cap and Spidey manages to beat the hell out of Spidey, but each time, he comes back from the dead and taunts the heroes. This carries on for a while, until they kill off the last of the Spideys. The good guys win again.

I told you lindyhop is more fun with three people!

My dvd had a special feature where the director, Fikret Ucak, was interviewed. And I must say that listening to his story, about how he worked his way up from being a set handyman to make-up artist to a director’s assistant, really reminded me of the struggles of the great Ed Wood. And the fact that the movie industry in Turkey was virtually non-existent back then, I think he faced much more difficulties than Ed did in America. All he had was perseverance and a fierce passion for films. (Due to budget constraints, he had to really push his imagination on how to make Spidey more dangerous than the average bad guy, and making him appear again and again was the cheapest superpower he could think of!) After getting this rare insight into the director’s psyche, I have a new found respect for him and will definitely check out his other films.

All in all, 3 Devadam is a highly imaginative film that dared to break the rules and possessed that punk ethos of the DIY spirit. It has gore, superheroes, romance and action all rolled into one. i highly recommend this film to all cult film lovers, and do try to watch the director’s interview.

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About The Author

As a child, Topo Sanchez filled his little head with the great mysteries of UFOs, Bigfoots and bearded women as bedtime stories. His first revelation came about while watching El Topo, when he realized that two freaks became normal if they combined. So he figured if three combined, they would be superheroes (hence the birth of SCUM). His first words to his mom were 'Klaatu Barada Nikto!'

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