Friday, March 30, 2012

Khooni Murdaa (1989)

Yep, yep, yeeeeeep! Yes Virginia, there is a Bollywood Nightmare on Elm St.!

This one in particular-Khooni Murdaa-was made in 1989, four years before Mahakaal (the other Bollywood NOES), and it was because of this movie's ripping off of A Nightmare on Elm St.'s death scenes that Mahakaal opted for ripping off ones from later in the series, rather than just the first NOES movie.

The movie (which has no English subtitles) opens with one of those usual funny-looking (to us westerners as least) company logos, and has some calm muzak playing, then, without warning the movie suddenly switches to an image of a corpse and the creepy music ramps right up!

After the opening credits (which credit a guy for 'thrills') we cut to a guy with a bouquet standing outside a house where a teenage girl and her mother are chatting. The girl goes off to her room, and after changing clothes, sees a rose on her room's window. The mother comes in and the girl tells her about something to do with someone named Ranjit.

Meanwhile, Ranjit, an obsessive stalker type spies a couple making out in a car, and he runs over, bursts through the car window and slices the two up, filling the car with strawberry paint (though these aren't the worst blood effects that I've seen before).

The next day, a police inspector is in bed with his girlfriend/wife when he gets a call from the station about the murders. Then the girl from before, whose name is Rekha, goes to school-a medical college-and tells a cluster of people something. Then, when everyone goes to their classes, Rekha bumps into Ranjit. He starts ranting at her about something for a couple of minutes, then she walks off and the scene switches to Rekha walking in a street, at night, with a storm brewing, and then Ranjit pops up again and starts ratting, again! This guy!... There was only had a ten second break in between rants, both at different, completely random spots!

Then suddenly, a bunch of cops turn up and arrest Ranjit-Rekha was in on a sting. A sting that requires a dozen heavily armed policemen to take in a single stalker! Even for arresting a killer (which they might suspect him as being) that'd be overkill!

So Ranjit is taken to court, and it's here where one of the most confusing aspects of this film are most at play-in this movie, there are random words spoken in Engilsh. Some are just little phrases like 'hello friends', and some are very annoying, like the whole court scene, where the lawyers and judge keep switching from whatever Indian language they're speaking to English, then back again!

So Ranjit is found guilty...of something, and is put...somewhere, either jail or an asylum (I heard the judge say a word vaguely resembling 'mental'), and everyone is happy!...And it's nearly half-an-hour into the movie and Ranjit isn't even dead yet, let alone a dream monster!

So Ranjit is in a hospital and he hears Rekha's voice screaming 'I hate him' and something in Indian, which drives him over the edge and apparently gives him superstrength! He escapes the hospital, throwing people out of the way with no effort, and avoids gunshots as he runs off. Meanwhile, Rekha and her friends are having a Bollywood-style song-and-dance number...that goes for over six minutes!

When the song ends...finally...ends...Ranjit crashes the party, and after threatening Rekha, he ends up fighting away all of Rekha's friends (which isn't actually that big of a problem for this guy! They manage to get a rope lassooed around his neck, and the friends all pull the opposite ends of the rope, but even then Ranjit manages to snap the ropes with his bare hands! You'd need kryptonite to put down this guy!

The group manage to kill Ranjit by pushing him onto their campfire, burning him alive. Then the friends have what I can only assume is an I Know What You Did Last Summer conversation. They wrap the body up and drive it to a disused car lot, where they hide it. Next we cut to everyone in their class, and a goofy guy with a massive scarf rides in on a bicycle and starts talking to the class. A weird part (well, weirder) is when the guy (Indian comic Jagdeep) holds up a chalkboard eraser, leading the class to shriek and hide behind their desks, and they all go back to normal when he puts the eraser back, then he gets it out again and everyone hides again, and this goes on for a few more times. When the class ends, Jagdeep goes to the staff room and starts chatting up a teacher, leading to a strange scene.

Then I think a sleepover is arranged between Rekha and a friend, and that might finally mean that fifty minutes into the film is when the plot starts! We cut to the car lot, where Ranjit rises as a zappy-lightning-dream-ghost while some awesome music plays. He zooms to Rekha's house in a POV shot and rubs a rose across her, which she sees when 'waking up' and grabs, then she wakes up for real and Ranjit's laugh echoes around the room. Rekha's mother comes in to see what the problem was and she sees that Rekha is holding a rose (what Ranjit constantly tried to give her in life)...

Rekha's parents (the main police guy is her father) are very worried, and I think that they still think Ranjit's on the loose. A little while later, two of Rekha's friends are getting it on, and when the woman falls asleep, a disfigured Ranjit shoots lasers from his mouth at her, then levitates her. People who've seen A Nightmare on Elm St. may be sensing a 'vague' pattern here.

So Rod flee...Oh wait, am I calling him Rod? I guess I just must be getting confused with another movie, I can't remember what though. So 'Rod' flees, but is eventually captured by the police. Then we're treated to another scene with the weird teacher, Jagdeep, who I want to be killed by Ranjit Krueger right now! When class finishes, one of the girls goes home, then gets a phone call, which is I think meant to be another I Know What You Did Last Summer scene. She hangs up quickly, but the person calls again. She hangs up again, and disconnect the phone, but it starts ringing again. She answers it, and a snake comes out from the receiver...well at least she didn't get a tongue, like Nancy!

So Ranjit comes, and attacks the girl while she clutches the pillow to her chest. This scene would be intense, but the way it's done makes it seem like Ranjit's having a pillowfight with the girl! So Ranjit kills her, then Rekha's policeman father talks to all of the teenagers about something, then we cut to 'Rod' in his cell. Sooo, two death scenes within five minutes-good track record!

So the guy befalls the same fate as Rod in NOES, and all the teenagers go to the cell to see him, and find him hanging. Intense music flares!...and is the scene abruptly changes! Two policemen talk, then we cut to Jagdeep again, who's decked out in medical scrubs  and is teaching the class over one of the students doubling as a dead body. The 'dead body' grabs Jagdeep's arm, which makes the whole class laugh like three of their friends weren't murdered in the last few days! So the class ends, and later that night, a guy and girl are studying together. Everything goes fine, until she's posessed by Ranjit...

She goes up to him and starts stripping, so they go to the bed. While they're kissing, girl/Ranjit bites the guy's tongue out, stretching it into a hugely long size, then uses it to bind the guy to the bed, then she/he levitates the bed, spins it around and tosses out a window! She becomes unpossessed and runs out of the room, terrified, and says something to her mom (whatever it is, it doesn't upset the mother too much!). While the police arrive and talk with the mother, Jennifer goes...hey, am I calling her Jennifer? I wonder why I'm calling her that?

Oh yeah, THAT'S why!

So after she's eaten by the TV, the movie abruptly cuts to another happy musical number, which takes the form of a bizarre dream involving Jagdeep, and just like the last song, this one goes for six minutes as well! And then it's followed by the Jagdeep in an even weirder scene. Then the film gets serious again with the police doing...something involving groups of yelling prisoners in cages. Then Rekha is home and goes to take a bath, which doesn't end well...

She is left untouched by Ranjueger (that sounds like an awesome drink!), who just gives her a rose. She rushes to the phone and tells a friend about something. Then the scene cuts to one of the teenagers, who's in her kitchen when everything starts flying everywhere. She runs away, then bumps into Fredd...jit and is stabbed by his extendo fingertip claws. So of course, the natural course of action for the remaining teens is...go see a wizard!

So the wizard performs a ouija-board like thing, and chants stuff, eventually saying 'Ranjit!'. During this chanting, the wizard manages to do the impossible-out overact Jagdeep! So the kids leave and talk about stuff, and then comes the moment when I was at my most giddiest during this film! The Glen scene!

So how does the bed death play out in this version? Well only a dollop of blood goes up a few inches! So then the scene immediately cuts to Nancy talking to her father about Ranjit, and I guess she told him the whole 'my stalker is now an undead superman' story, which he doesn't seem to buy at all. Then the wizard suddenly arrives and starts talking to the father. Then cop-father, Rekha and the wizard go out to Rekha's friends (most of whom are all conveniently at the same place, at the same time!) and a fisfight breaks out between the teens and the cops (and wizard) complete with laser sound effects. Rekha, the wizard, and the cops fight them, and a couple of other friends arrive and knock the remaining 'bad guys' down.

One fight, three exploding fireplaces and one shock-surprise Jagdeep reappearance later, the teens finally go to the car lot to end the menace of Ranjit once and for all!...

Khooni Murdaa (translates to Deadly Corpse, I think) would have been a super fun watch, but it isn't really, thanks to its two hour running time, which feels a lot longer, in no small part due to the long, LONG superfluous musical numbers! And as for this two hours and over problem, many, if not all Bollywood horror films are that long!

The direction by Mohan Bhakri is good, and the movie is well-shot. As for the film's effects, they're pretty good for a film like this! The violence effects are good, and the bed scene is very well done, and made me wonder how the hell they did it.

The film's story and tone are crazy though! Over the first forty miutes are an 'obssessed stalker' storyline, with, stalking, serial-killing, a long-ish courtroom scene and a stalker's revenge scene to boot, and then the script suddenly 180's and turns into an Elm St. ripoff. And it would have been a decent Elm St. ripoff too, if the film wasn't nearly as long as the two NOES films it rips off combined!...

Speaking of what this film rips off, it's not content to simply rip off the first Nightmare on Elm St., no, it rips of NOES 3: Dream Warriors as well! A few of the death scenes are from Dream Warriors, as is the ending. The ending is a massive battle-royale between the remaining teenagers and Ranjit, while Rekha, her dad, and the wizard go to his bones and try and destroy them, which isn't easy when they're attacking you! Since they don't have dream warrior powers, the teens make do with beating the total shit out of Ranjit until da muddafuckah stays down! Of course, even though he temporarily dies when impaled by an antenna, he never stops his assault until he's destroyed by the wizard!

As for Ranjit, his make-up is ok. He doesn't look scary though, he looks like a burnt fish! And he never talks after his death, he only laughs maniacally. As for his powers, they're not clear to those who don't understand fluent Hindi, Tamil or whatever language this was spoken in. I'm not sure if he sometimes attacks people in their dreams and sometimes in the real world, or if it's all in the real world.

And how does the film end, you say? Well, abruptly for one, and without ending credits (though that may just be because I watched the movie on youtube) but here's how it all wraps up. Ranjit has been destroyed, and the surviving heroes all walk off and then SHOCK, SURPRISE Jagdeep (yes, he wasn't killed, which is good, because he's sort of entertaining.  Also, this is a different shock-surprise Jagdeep appearance, not the one I mentioned earlier-We really do see a lot of this guy!) suddenly pushes through a door with his teacher beau and acts weirdly as usual, and everyone laughs, even though they've only just destroyed an evil dream monster and several of their friends have just died, some only minutes prior!...

So this was partly good, but partly bad as well. But what of the other Elm St ripoff, Mahakaal? Will it be better than Khooni Murdaa?...

...No, it really isn't, it has many of the same problems, which I'll talk about soon enough...

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I agree. This was pretty bad, but strangely entertaining. I did however find Mahakaal slightly better, due to the atmospher and the aproximately original Nightmare musical score