Badi (1983)

Hey, Thanksgiving’s come and gone. And Thanksgiving’s all about the Turkey. So, I’m reviewing a Turkish movie.

Argh. Wow. Some days, I just suck.

Okay, so, E.T. I actually never saw this movie when I was a kid, on account of growing up in the ‘90s. Pokemon all the way, people. (Let the tomatoes be thrown!) But, I have read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, so I should be set—and as movies go, it sounds like quite a trip. Too bad, then, that Badi, also known as Turkish E.T., is such a trip that it actually scares me.

To get to that trip, though, we have to core our way through the bulk of boring. So, it’s not much of a trip in so much as just plain scary. The general consensus is that E.T. is cute (despite looking like a piece of shriveled up turtle shit) and that Badi is hideous. While I contest that part about E.T. and his supposed cuteness, Badi is definitely one of the scariest aliens I’ve ever seen. Trust me on this one. Imagine taking a dump, and then having an evil wizard animate said dump. Cut off your eight-year-old sister’s face and sew it on to its bulbous head. Make it give bizarre ribbit-screams and piss smoke. Then dump it into a group of emotionally unstable Turkish children and see whether they love it or are horrified.

Strangely, it will prove to be the former.

Unlike Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam (Turkish Star Wars) and like Seytan (Turkish Exorcist), Badi (fortunately?) follows the path of its American predecessor. Aliens land, one stays behind, finds kids, tries to get home, tracked by government, succeeds in leaving, yay, sparkly rainbows. Except unlike the rainbow I read about in E.T., Badi leaves us piss-smoke. It’s very unnerving. Elliot is two kids in this one; the one with the dead dog, and the one that talks to birds. Like, literally talks to birds. And the dead dog is an actual dead dog, which the director actually shot.

I suppose the devil is in the details, then. Because let me say that once more: the director shoots a dog to get the dead dog for his movie. This is in a kid’s film, which already features an alien which looks, sounds, and feels genuinely uncomfortable, in sort of an Uncanny Valley sort of way. I guess now I have justification in reviewing this on a horror site…

The movie isn’t without funny moments. There is a segment near the end where the military is coming to kill Badi for being an evil alien (with just cause). Every single fricking kid in Turkey rises up and takes up arms to defend their friend—the chaos that ensues is rivaled only by the paranoid-schizo madness of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I found myself laughing at this, even though I knew it was supposed to be funny. It’s a nice scene, but…

Badi is a mirror, and has a sort of dark touch to it that separates it from brethren like Seytan and Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam. But, this dark touch, while fascinating, humorous, and sometimes even satirical from a production sense, is to be avoided. And with that…someday, when you least expect it, in the darkest shadows of the universe, Badi will be there. Waiting.