August 02, 2006


A bunch of discs are hitting store shelves over the next few months, and we ain't just talking about KILL ZONE.

Tartan is releasing the Thai horror movie GHOST OF MAE NAK on October 10, as well as the stylish Korean psycho flick RED SHOES on October 24. RED SHOES is a good looking movie that suffers from an unoriginal story, but it has some great scenes of horrific demises as well as a good eye for turning normal architecture into freakish paranoia-tecture. GHOST OF MAE NAK is pretty negligible but it does feature one of the most insane, realistic and amazing death scenes I've ever had the misfortune to witness in a movie in quite some time. I got the feeling that a special effects house came up with this graphic demise and then the production company built the whole movie around it.

More excitingly, on September 26, Mondo Macabro will release the BOLLYWOOD HORROR COLLECTION - VOLUME 1, a two-disc set featuring two classic flicks from the kings of Bollywood terror, the Ramsay Brothers. There's PURANA MANDIR (1984) which was the Ramsay's first big hit and the movie that made horror a staple of 80's Indian cinema and BANDH DARWAZA (1990) the final splutter of greatness as the terror trend died out, beaten to death by the very family who created it.

The Ramsay Brothers were masters of cheese and vendors of corn, and their movies look like relics from a lost planet where the uncomfortable transitional period between the 70's and the 80's never died. But their movies are some of the hardest-to-find Bollywood flicks for folks like me who need English subtitles, so these releases are of major importance for hardcore fans. Here's what Omar has to say about the two movies over on The HotSpot:

PURANA MANDIR:  "Looking back it seems a tad bewildering as to why the film became such a rage becoming the first Bollywood film to have sequels and spin-offs and indeed it was the film that spawned Bollywood's first home grown monster in the form of Saamri...Purana Mandir has all the trademark ingredients of a typical Ramsay horror potboiler…the flesh exposure, the cheap double entendres, the floating mists, the blue and red tinted lighting, the overwrought performances, the hairy monster, the old dark house…yet it remains one of their few moments of glory...The films real stars are the fine, energetic camerawork, the background score and not least of all, the wonderful Ajay Agarwal who tackles the role of Saamri monster with such admirable relish - and is far and away the most frightening of Bollywood's largely laughable screen monsters."

BANDH DARWAZA: "Though the story isn't exactly original this film is one of the Ramsay's most effective efforts due to a number of reasons. Firstly and perhaps most importantly they have discovered in actor Ajay Agarwal a most amazing horror discovery...it doesn't veer off the track into tedious stretches of comedy and though Jagdeep is in the cast, his antics are kept to a bare minimum. Likewise there are "only" four songs which is way below the average for a regular Bollywood production...Bandh Darwaza is an unsung classic from the vaults of Ramsay's horror which comtain mostly the most tedious drivel imaginable. This film is the Ramsay's in top form; it moves along at a rollicking pace, the characterization is reasonably good, and the acting bearable for horror genre with old timers Aruna Irani, Raza Murad and Vijayendra turning in strong performances...one of the strongest and most effective horror films to emerge from Bollywood in many a year."

The set will retail for $24.95, which is a bargain for six hours of fun plus musical numbers.



August 2, 2006 at 01:47 PM in News | Permalink


Damn.... No theatrical release for RED SHOES....

In 11/2005, Tartan topper Hamish McAlpine said he will give the pic its theatrical release.


Posted by: no name | Aug 2, 2006 3:10:16 PM

Love the Ramsay's stuff, though not all of it was pure cheese. Ghungroo Ki Awaaz is actually a pretty well put together thriller. Bandh Darwaza is definitely cheese of the highest order.

And also on the cheesy side, hoping MM will release Hotel in their second Bollywood Horror Collection. We put up a review of it recently here:

Posted by: David Austin | Aug 2, 2006 3:42:48 PM

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