Not to be confused with seitan, a pretty evil wheat gluten meat substitute, Seytan is a Turkish Exorcist knock-off. And it’s considerably less evil.
The print is yellower than a jaundiced Big Bird but that’s probably the least of its problems.
Seytan is pretty much a scene-for-scene remake of the Friedkin classic but with changes to make it palatable cross-culturally.
Instead of a Captain Howdy, the possessed girl speaks to one Captain Lersen with a rolled “r” and the effects are sourced straight out of the cinematic equivalent of a Sunday garage sale.
The unforgettable Jason Miller as Father Karras is now an imminently forgettable eminent psychiatrist.
Since it’s Turkish, Roman Catholicism is substituted for Islam and the attending exorcist calls out for Allah to save the poor girl (who strangely still communicates in Latin, hilariously rendered in some kind of quasi French subtitle).
A crucifix scene substitute is a glaring omission [Editors’ note: they could’ve used those Muslim prayer beads, known as tesbih in Turkey] but it’s not surprising that some of the more controversial moments from the original were excised. Hell, the girl’s language would barely raise an eyebrow at a Mormon breakfast as “bastard” is as far as they’ll go.
Mike Oldfield’s classic “Tubular Bells” is shamelessly used not once, but at least a dozen times. If you’re going to gamble this large on copyright infringement, might as well go all in.
For the dozen of you who are interested, there’s also an Indian version which is another re-Bhoot (Bhoot being Hindi for a supernatural creature and is also a Bollywood horror, minus the tunes. Jadu Tona is another Hindi language possession film for the one remaining reader whose eyes haven’t glazed over).
Uncharitably described as a turkey from Turkey on Amazon, it’s hopefully the last Exorcist rip-off to which we’ll bear witness (see the Blaxploitation version, Abby).
*1/2 (out of 5)