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Horror > Bollywood Horror!

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message 1: by Phillip (last edited Mar 08, 2010 10:13AM) (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments oh

how come no one on these threads ever mentioned there's a whole school of bollywood horror?!?!?!

i just discovered a legion of these films at my local video store. the first packet i brought home boasts a double feature of purana mandir and bandh dawaza, both considered classics of the genre.

purana mandir (tulsi and shyam ramsay, 1984)

purana mandir bursts on the screen on a dark and foggy night with an attack on a king and his envoy by a flesh eating monster. the demon kidnaps the ruler's daughter, defiles her and takes her life and is convicted of numerous heinous crimes and decapitated - all in the first three minutes. before he is executed, he puts an evil spell on the king's female descendants, so that each to come will die in childbirth.

skip ahead to the present and a young princess is ripe to fall in love. her father, the new sahib, is terrified because he alone knows the family curse. when the princess and her handsome suitor finally discover the source of her father's distress, they travel to her ancestral castle to do battle with their demons.

the music is pure 70's bollywood: a potpourri of slick funk-pop that would please james bond and barry white, otherworldly melodies that rival the B-52's at their most disembodied floating over surf-rock guitar riffs and soaring songbirds (graced with the offstage voice of asha bhosle no less) tempting the libido of the living and the undead.

expect an utterly bizarre mix of shaw brothers inspired fight scenes, the punjabi equivalent of blaxploitation, a mountain of bad makeup and a river of florescent blood, a good deal of hanky panky and a fleet of campy song and dance, all wrapped in a theater of the absurd known as bollywood.

message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments I've read about these in Film Comment, but haven't picked any of them up. And, hey!—PURANA MANDIR is available from Netflix!

message 3: by Sam (new)

Sam | 548 comments gosh! this is v exciting pg ...

but ... i'm going to have to find someone to hook me up with these because once again my dvd fairy is useless ...

ack - i officially have bollywood envy

message 4: by Phillip (last edited Mar 08, 2010 10:14AM) (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments steve-o it. rent it now.

you're much closer to india than i am. that's not fair. tell your dvd fairy to stock up!

message 5: by Phillip (last edited Mar 09, 2010 01:31AM) (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments bandh darwaza (tulsi and shyam ramsay, 1990)

chance of light SPOILERS before sunrise....

bandh darwaza is included with purana mandir in bollywood horror classics volume 1 and from what i have heard they are both available on netflix.

there are similarities between the two films - both begin with a bit of historical back story where the modus operandi is set in motion. in bandh darwaza a wealthy landowner and his wife are unable to have a child (and he needs an heir), so his wife makes a deal with a dark lord who promises her fertility. if she has a boy, she can keep the heir, but if it is a girl, she must surrender it to his dark minion.

she has a girl (of course) but she must make the ultimate sacrifice to protect her child. her husband avenges her death and the vampire's body is put to rest, but before he dies he swears that the child is his and that he will return someday to take her.

years pass and saapna, the daughter of the landowner grows into a woman who has her eye on kumar, a hunky lad who must eventually protect her from evil. the dark lord's gang of acolytes concoct a plan to sacrifice a young maiden in order to bring their master back from the grave. in the meantime, the ramsay brothers sprinkle a love triangle into the mix in order to produce a bumper crop of song and dance routines.

the music in bandh darwaza is classic bollywood, calling on every stylistic trend you can imagine - one minute the film score is quoting bernard hermann, the next it is blasting throbbing synthesizers that echo john carpenter's score for his original halloween. indian classical music has a minor role in the soundtrack, you are much more likely to hear echoes of pop strains from diverse cultures.

the plot structure of most bollywood films are different than hollywood movies - for one, they don't seem intent on creating tight narratives - the story can shift back and forth between horror flick, fight film and romantic comedy for long stretches of time....the important thing (in the mind of the director) is to give the audience what it wants - song and dance, love and heartbreak, life and death and light and darkness. bandh darwaza delivers the goods in excess in a giddy, intoxicated romp from start to finish.

message 6: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta Steve-O wrote: "I've read about these in Film Comment, but haven't picked any of them up. And, hey!—PURANA MANDIR is available from Netflix!"

I tried to find it through my library consortium. Apparently none of the libraries in Wisconsin nor the Minneapolis, Minnesota have this movie. Kinda bummed out.

message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments Mawgojzeta, is Netflix an option for you? Looks like you can also get this movie used on Amazon for quite cheap.

message 8: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta Steve-O: Could be an option, but I canceled my Netflix years ago. I am going to see if my head librarian can track it down outside of our consortium. She once got me a book from Nevada. It took a long time, though. Library borrowing had taught me the art of patience.

message 9: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments patience is a good thing

St[♥]r Pr!nc:$$ N[♥]wsheen pictures, pictures, pictures ||| ♥ Zin Uru ♥ |||| | 482 comments Phillip...:"a river of florescent blood"

Giggles ** really !

Those movies are actually half banned everywhere and I didn't get to see them. Can't stand them, i think the Ramsays were known for such trashy horror movies and found an excuse to show denuded young women (mostly aspiring starlets who were never seen again) kind of like an underground semiporno(?) stuff...i don't know, i remember this girl in school trying to feed me some of that purana mandir stuff and i was like hey you must watch "evil dead" ...which is quite creepy but not as superstitious. :)

I don't think we ever spoke again, so...ummm hehe Phillip whatever next?

message 11: by Phillip (last edited Mar 19, 2010 10:51PM) (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments well, there's no pressure from me to see it. i just cracked up watching it. feel free to ignore me and this post.

these movies are trashy, there's no hesitation in saying that - but they represent a world of trashy cinema, not unlike early john waters - that i like. although these films are not as trashy as waters - no one is eating dog shit off the sidewalk and displaying their anus' dance routine at a barbeque.

message 12: by Sam (new)

Sam | 548 comments more's the pity ...

message 13: by Phillip (last edited Mar 19, 2010 11:01PM) (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments right?

have you given your dvd fairy her walking papers yet???

message 14: by Sam (new)

Sam | 548 comments can't ... half a fix is better than no fix at at all ;o)

message 15: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments i understand!

message 16: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta My (favorite) librarian once again came through! She found a copy in Texas and it is on its way to me as I write. She is the best.

message 17: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments cool! drop a line when you see it and let us know what you thought.

message 18: by Mawgojzeta (last edited Apr 12, 2010 08:06AM) (new)

Mawgojzeta Just watched (most of) "Bandh Darwaza". My goodness, does the movie ever end? How long is it anyway?

I started out enjoying it. The bat prop is a riot, the vampire/dark lord is hilarious. It had sort-of an Ed Wood movie feel to it. But the movie just kept going on and on and on; I lost patience. Not a good thing when a movie does not cause you to lose track of time. Still debating whether I will watch the rest (I was at the point where they realize the sunlight hurts the vampire).

"Purana Mandir" was also on there, but I have not watched it and the movie is due to be returned tomorrow. I doubt I will finish the one and watch this one tonight. But, now that I know I can get a hold of the movie, I may try it in the future.

message 19: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments i think purana mandir is the more entertaining of the two. check it out if you get a chance.

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