Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Ingredients for Bollywood Horror films

Director, producers, actors, writers and editors who take Norman Bates line - 'Sometimes we all go mad' - a bit too seriously.

They give us characters who do not heed a fine advice given by Count Dracula to Jonathan Harker:  'You may go wherever you wish in the castle except where the doors are locked, where of course, you will not wish to go.' Nobody in horror films, made in any part of the world, takes Dracula's word seriously.

They would like to produce a vision of Shirley Jackson, 'No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.'

So larks and katydids of Bollywood dreamt of :


  1. Apologies in advance, Vinayak. You're probably going to say "Oh no, there she goes again"!
    But I simply have to hark back (in that insuuferable हमारे ज़माने में tone) to some amazingly awful Ramsay Brothers classics! My personal all-time favourite remains "Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche". However, my sibling, peering over my shoulder at your post, reminds me of other fine examples of the Ramsays' oevre such as "Dahshat" and "Tehkhana" and "Saamri" and "Shaitaani Ilaaka".
    What were the hallmarks of these rampagingly B-grade films? Cheap humour, barely-clad female leads (is that a redundant phrase?), eye-poppingly bad "special effects" and villains who seemed to thrive on a diet of pleasantly plump ladies. And oh yes, there was sex, or as much as the ruthless, rain-on-my-horror-parade Censor Board would allow.

  2. The very first movie I ever saw on a VCP was Dracula (1958). Its end sequence and the carriage thing just mesmerized me and hooked me to cinema. Then years later, when cable still wasn't huge, I enjoyed 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'(1955) and 'The Twilight Zone' on good old PTV (they had the best syndicated content). That really saved me because आपका ज़माना तो भी अच्छा था... most horror films made in 90s made Ramsays' entire oeuvre look tame 'G' rated stuff. 'Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche' was a fine horror film. Sleaze was kept to minimum. But then with every subsequent film they made, Ramsay brothers kept throwing in more and more sleaze. And then real peddlers of sleaze displaced them, killing the genre for some time. I am not a big fan of recent horror movies - recent RGV kind ( or any of his kind anymore. After watching a midget knife-fight in his 'new' Shiva (2006), I thought either his has gone completely cuckoo or he has half-slipped into David Lynch zone). But at the start of 90s, he was a ray of hope. His Raat (1992) sure gave me scare back then, mostly because of crazy camera work and sound - without doubt Ram Gopal Varma's strength, when he doesn't overdo it. He repeated and bettered the trick for his year 1996 Telugu film Deyyam (Ghost. Dubbed as 'Peye' in Tamil ). It is one of his all time best.


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