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TEAMWORKING DAY

Teamworking Day: Baskin 🌭

Seanbaby: Baskin is a Turkish horror movie from 2015 directed by Can Evrenol and written by an impenetrable stack of consonants. Brockway chose it and did not warn me of the blistering pace at which it moves. The camera oozes to every gross moment with all the urgency of Harvey Weinstein’s walker inching toward rape court. The first part of the movie is nothing but slow pans through background conversations, maybe to account for Turkish moviegoers arriving 40 minutes late shouting, “Bozkurt! Where are you sitting!? My Tofaş Doğan didn’t start and I had to ride the city chamois!” Anyway, Turkish automakers and fauna are the types of things I google while I wait for a movie to finally have one guy threaten to fuck another guy like a chicken.

Brockway: Baskin is a Turkish chicken-fucking movie from 2015, known for featuring subtle elements of horror. I chose it for the careful, measured pace in which it tackles the chicken-fucking epidemic in Turkey, and I honestly figured Sean would appreciate the way it simmers so slowly, when most chicken-fucking features just jump right to penetration with hardly any character-building. This is The Departed of cacik-flecked mustaches quivering against dark meat. Turkish snack foods are the types of things I google while I’m waiting for Seanbaby to realize I swapped his subtitle file with one from a Chinese bootleg. 

Seanbaby: This is like a Turkish version of a Quentin Tarantino scene where instead of the characters dissecting some tired theme of pop culture, they’re all talking about fucking chickens. Honestly, if you had asked me what the Turkish version of a Quentin Tarantino diner scene would look like and I was trying to be all funny, I might have said, “Five chicken fuckers talking about chicken fucking.”

Seanbaby: It’s important to me everyone knows how long they talked about sex with chickens.

Seanbaby: These random Tarantino conversations are supposed to just quickly add human details to the characters and then get back to the plot, but this chicken fucking discussion went on to include all animals. And then they argued about whether or not you should wait until you’ve had sex with a human first? I’m pretty sure it’s all meant to be funny, but the joke only works if Turkish people don’t have sex with animals and I have no idea if that’s true. Though the Turkey Wikipedia entry is suspiciously quiet on the subject.

Seanbaby: I took the liberty of adding this quote to the Turkish 10 Million Lira note. You’re welcome, Turkish economy.

Seanbaby: Okay, so now one of the cops is telling a story about having sex with a trans prostitute. Navigating something like this is the major leagues of Subtitling in a Second Language and it is far beyond this translator’s means. Whoever translated Baskin definitely greets English-speakers like, “Up tops, bro! Chicken sex soupday, let’s party?” After this story, I know less about Turkish transphobia than when I started. Seriously, the next Turkish trans person I meet is going to be so disappointed in me and all my invasive questions.

Brockway: I think he just realized.

Seanbaby: The first hints something supernatural is happening comes after one of the cops runs to the bathroom to puke and scream at himself in the mirror. The other guys call him “Such a female singer!” This is probably a bad translation of a Turkish idiom, but maybe it’s a joke? It’s not very evocative or elegant, but “female singer” sort of includes dramatic outbursts, eating disorders, and wussiness all in one insult. Still, a punchline needs more than bitter, clinical accuracy. For instance, my Harvey Weinstein joke from earlier was at one point “this film oozes with all the urgency of a Mormon’s 11th wife waiting to die in the back of a converted school bus.” I mean, that’s a long walk for a sad cry. I said to myself, “Stop the nonsense, female singer.”

Brockway: It is a Turkish idiom, referring to the tragically undervalued roles of both the arts and women in Turkish society. It’s actually quite a cutting, self-aware barb, most often leveled at dirty police who couldn’t hack their own chicken-fucking soliloquies and had to flee to the bathroom to asses the monster that they’ve become.

Seanbaby: Not many movies will, before any plot has advanced in any way, stop everything so the main characters can sing a whole song on the radio.

Brockway: Come on, “in the bloom of clothes, you see God” didn’t move you? Not even a little bit? That’s the line that won Ariel Baumgartner the Melbrook Heights 7th Grade Shy Girls Poetry Jam, and the heart of Izzy Stevens, reigning foursquare champion. It’s like you’re not even trying to get into this movie which is – good lord, a third of the way over and has so far taken place entirely in one corner of a wooden shack and focused almost exclusively on having sex with animals?!

Seanbaby: I took the liberty of adding this quote to a Hagia Sophia postcard. You’re welcome, Turkish tourism.

Seanbaby: The cops hit a pedestrian and crashed their police van right into Silent Hill. There are spooky villagers, a plague of frogs, and meat totems hang from every single everything. It’d be a dangerous situation for anyone, but our guys whimper shit like, “You bust our balls, we’ll rip your ball!” into the night when nearby shadows rustle. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any movie characters more doomed than these chicken fuckers.

Brockway: Honestly, we’ve spent so long exploring the shameless sexuality of proud Turkish perverts that I had completely forgotten this was a horror film. We have to acknowledge the possibility now that this was all intentional: A filmmaking technique meant to overwhelm the senses with such insane nothingness that you forget where you are, what you’re doing, who you’ve become. Now the audience will accept the sudden, unexplained existence of another world without question. It’s like being trapped in a yurt for fourteen years, with only a goat molester and a radio that plays Mongolia’s greatest hits from 1972 to keep you company, then emerging, blinking at the light, stunned at the sky, to find a world of flying cars and plant-people. “Is this what life was?” You will throat sing, to no one in particular. “Is it the world that changed, or I?” You will bleat, and none will answer you, for none share your unique language — not since Yogritz passed away six left-part-of-a-goat-vaginas ago.

Seanbaby: I took the liberty of using this quote as the phone number to vote for the adorable dog act, Irem ve Cash, on Turkey’s Got Talent. You’re welcome, Turkish culture. Now put them through, Ozgu! You bitch ass coward!

Brockway: Ozgu wouldn’t know talent if you milked it from his wife in a motorcycle globe! You’ve got no eye for stars, Ozgu! You’ll never be an Eser! Or a Murat!

Seanbaby: The subtitles were making a lot more sense at the start of the film. I don’t know if the translator stopped giving his best effort, or more likely: if chicken fucking phrases are the easiest ones to take from Turkish to English. Luckily, once they go into the basement of the haunted Ottoman police station, all they do is split up and get torn apart in different blood orgy rooms. And the gurgled screams of Satan meat are the universal language of cinema.

 Brockway: Since I stole these subtitles from a Chinese bootleg, I have to wonder: Do Chinese bootleg captioners share the same work fatigue as you or I? Were they at the peak of their game when the film started, buzzing from the morning’s caffeine and ready to tackle the world? Then after dutifully hunting down their twelfth synonym for chicken penis (“Cock cock? That can’t be right. Damn this bootleg Turkish thesaurus I ironically purchased from America!”), they just gave up. Gut heavy with lunch, the 2PM spins setting in, all they can think of is clocking out of this job and immediately clocking in at the Fitbit mines for the next 17 hours. They simply stop caring about their art. Can you blame them?

Brockway: Oh, disregard everything I just said: Wei Lin is making fucking art again!

Seanbaby: Yeah, I agree. This one is really good. No notes.

Brockway: Sean wasn’t kidding. It is mostly wordless yelling and squelching from here on out. Luckily you don’t need subtitles to translate Turkish man-screaming. Not unless “YAAARGH!!!” really means “the unique sense of loss one experiences revisiting a place from childhood” in Turkish, and the translator just dropped the ball. So anyway, fourteen Silent Hills and six Resident Evils later, we’re suddenly thrown from the dank sewers of hell into a house, the very first scene, a cafe, and back to the dank sewers of hell all within the span of about ten seconds. If you’re wondering what happened, the movie has an explanation:

Brockway: Stop not knowing shit and start knowing shit up. It’s easy. I have to tell you that? Idiot.

Brockway: Our heroes find themselves at an underground devil orgy mass and freak out about it like a bunch of squares. Like a bunch of dudes who’ve never felt the tender peck of a chicken on their groin. What happened, Ramzi? You used to be cool. You used to leave one black orgy in Satan’s name just to hit up another black orgy in Satan’s name. Married life does not suit you. Tell Mrs. Bockgagock to rent you your balls back.

Brockway: Hey, we finally meet our villain over an hour into the movie. Remember when Squidward got weirdly handsome on SpongeBob? This is how Kuato from Total Recall does it. This guy is so goofy looking that I’m now worried he has some well-known tragic disease, and the comments will fill up with irate accusations that I have no respect for those brave heroes suffering from Relatively Handsome Kuato Syndrome. My crime is that of ignorance, not hate!

Brockway: ARE YOU AT THE START OF A BASTARD?!

Seanbaby: Ah, but who along the way is where to the fuck?

Brockway: You know what comes next – a good twenty minutes of Turkish torture porn accompanied by pleas in a language so broken it may as well be Simlish. I’m sure this is all very scarring to a normal person, but I’ve read My Little Pony fanfiction worse than this.

Seanbaby: Earlier I started typing a joke about how this was a Baskin, hur hur, Robbins training video that got out of hand, and I cut it because knowing when you’re being fucking stupid is what separates genius from butthole. Still, my brain never fully let go of it. So for the entire movie, through no fault of its own, I’ve been picturing it as an ice cream employee video with a murder orgy theme. The horror never had a chance. Every grotesque thing leaping from the filth only made it funnier. These guys are getting penetrated and butchered by psychopaths and in my mind they’re all screaming, “Scoops must be washed between each customer!!! Do not, AIEEEE, do not overfill fountain drinks!”

Brockway: See, Seanbaby? Now he’s having sex with the hellgoat. All that chicken-fucking talk was necessary for his character arc.

Seanbaby: Thank you. It’s actually pretty handy to know exactly the point at which sex with animals becomes Art for you. Chicken, no. More chickens, no. Goat, no. Hellgoat, stop. Yeah, there it is. The launch party is going to be way easier to plan.

Brockway: For some reason, the movie keeps going after what would’ve been the perfect wrap-up. Everybody with a mustache dies, it turns out the key was within them all along (it’s an actual key, hidden in the old man’s neck), you gotta use it to unlock Handsome Kuato’s forehead, we do some synthwave skull smashing, then the main character runs outside to get hit by his own police van containing himself, arriving, because time is a flat circle and you’ve always been fucking this goat, Yavuz.

Seanbaby: I think this is officially the real Hell they drove into, and hitting himself with the car means Yavuz is stuck in this grimy,goat humping loop for all of eternity. In a way, it’s kind of an amazing self-own that the filmmakers’ idea of Hell is Baskin over and over and over. I wish this was the first time I’ve said this: I agree with the chicken fuckers.

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