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Karanlik Sular

The Serpent's Tale

Turkey 1993
produced by
Temasa Fillm
directed by E. Kutlug Ataman
starring Gönen Bozbey, Metin Uygun, Daniel Chace, Semiha Berksoy, Eric Pio, Haluk Kurtoglu, Numan Pakner, Cevat Kurtulus, Beste Cinarci, Tülin Oral, Giovanni Scognamillo
written by E.Kutlug Ataman, music by Blake Leyh

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Buy from
Onar Films

One night, Hunter (Daniel Chace) meets mysterius Haldoun (Metin Uygun) ... and hands him a compass telling him to give it to his mother Lamia (Gönen Bozbey) as a proof that he's still alive - because you see, Haldoun is said to have drowned years ago, but since the evidence of his death was not quite conclusive, his mother has never given up hoping that he's still alive. Haldoun in turn has only kept alive because of some ancient scriptures, which are presently in the possession of his mother but which may contain the secrets of life and death which is why everybody seems to want to get their hands on them. Thing is, the scriptures do not only give prolonged life, thy are also highly addictive and turn people into vampires.

Lamia wants to get to the bottom of it all, which is why she brings the scriptures to her scientist friend Stepan and agrees to go to meet Haldoun with Hunter ... but Haldoun soon takes away Hunter to another plane of existence and proves to him that he, Hunter, is a vampire too, and much longer than even he suspected. But it's not long before the two become captives of a vampire cult led by child vampire queen Theodora, who also want to get their hands on the scriptures, without which they are pretty helpless, and they want to make Haldoun their messias, whether he wants it or not.

Soon, Stepan is murdered because of the scriptures, as well as the sect's second-in-command (who's really pulling the strings), and Lamia, who has since retrieved the scriptures from Stepan, seems to lose all interest in her probably alive son, caused maybe by the drugs her boyfriend Ahmed has given her on a regular basis to submit her to his will - which includes burning down her ancestral mansion for the insurance money he needs for a business deal. In the end, Lamia does just that, setting her house on fire ... starting with the ancient scriptures. And at the same time, we see Haldoun, addicted to the words of the scriptures, slowly passing away ...


To summarize The Serpent's Tale is not quite easy: The film often defies the rules of linear narration, it's at times over-convoluted, plottwists are not always properly explained, and new subplots are introduced every few minutes. But that its screenplay is a bit of a mess surprisingly enough does not work against the movie, quite the contrary, its many weird, even surreal subplots make the film multilayered and quite fascinating. Add to that an expert director who knows how to get the most out of coloured filters and interesting camera setups and who has a genuine talent for both suspense and atmosphere and you have a hell of a creepy horror film. Confusing perhaps, but definitely effective.

Strongly recommended.


[Click here to buy it directly from Onar Films]


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD