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Foreign Horror > Bollywood Horror!

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message 1: by Phillip (last edited Mar 08, 2010 10:18AM) (new)

Phillip 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, 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. the princess and her handsome suitor finally discover the source of her father's distress and 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 Phillip (last edited Mar 09, 2010 01:31AM) (new)

Phillip 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 lord 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 3: by WitchyFingers (new)

WitchyFingers I've got a couple of these on my Netflix Queueueueue. I'll have to watch them soon!

message 4: by Phillip (new)

Phillip purana mandir is my fave of the few that i've seen.

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