Friday, November 29, 2019

Da Khwar Lasme Spogmay (1997)

In the streets of Pakistan, a devilish gang is roaming around, killing all they see, and trying to rape any woman unlucky enough to cross their path. They soon make a mysterious enemy though, in the form of a violent cat lady who saves women from terrible fates, and unleashes lethal vengeance on these savages. Meanwhile, a virtuous police officer is trying to catch these crooks himself, while adjusting to his new married life, and finding himself uneasily allied with a Robin Hood figure of the underworld, who's gut just as much of an axe to grind with the gang as he. Will they manage to stop the gang in time? And who could the cat lady be?...

Da Khwar Lasme Spogmay came as quite a surprise to me! It's another 'Pashtowood' sleazefest, with elements of horror, action, crime, and musical/romance. What = is how much more = it is compared with the absolutely random and loony s

Now, that's not to say that this is normal. We still have vicious cat-women, insane gangsters, and all sorts of other weirdness, but the general structure of the film is a lot more organised than other such films

The story here is a bit weird, but it all makes sense, and moves solidly from Point A to B to C, etc. There's a healthy roster of characters, and we clearly understand all their motivations. The cat lady is definitely the most interesting, with a tragic past, and mysterious magical abilities, which sadly work a little too well.

While some moments here and there certainly could have been cut, there was never really a moment where I was impatiently yelling at the screen. The ending's a little bit of a downer, but that's to be expected, really. Nothing good can come of marrying a mutant cat lady.

Da Khwar Lasme Spogmay has a pretty sizable bodycount, but it rarely goes to overboard, even with the Robin Hood guy losing either two or three close friends in order to motivate him. It only  feels unnecessary during the final rescue, where one of the myriad couples (I rankly couldn't keep track of them all) died, impacting nothing on the plot, and simply wasting time. Thank god this was already a pretty short film for Pakistan, at under 2 hours.

The biggest draw to this film is the cat lady, and she doesn't disappoint! The effects might be lacking a little, since it's clear she's just wearing a black catsuit (hehe), with a painted face and cat ears, but she looks neat, and the actress does a great job with her facial expressions. She overacts for sure, but she gets the job done. Also, while she may might take it a bit too literally at times, I appreciate that she actually acts like a cat, rather than just making a few puns and calling it a day  Less clear however is why the crazy gangsters still act like dogs even in life and death battles with mutants.

While the cat lady entertains, the heroes and villains are less interesting. The protagonists are fine, and suitably manly, although they  They're perfectly serviceable though. It's the villains who really annoyed me. They're an irritating bunch who won't stop mugging,

The effects in this movie are cheap, naturally, and many look hilarious, and/or terrible, but some are pretty neat, and most are endearing. While the make-up itself for the cat lady is simple, it is neat, and blends in with the actress's face pretty seamlessly. The transformation  is quite interesting too! A little overlong and padded, but it shows the human-to-werecat transition quite effectively, especially given the low budget they had to work with.

The songs here are all satisfactory. Not remotely special, but they're not punishingly long, which is a plus. Only about three minutes each, and then they're over!

There are some pretty crazy dances here. It's astonishing how some people consider Muslims to be uptight and prudish. Well these Pashto movies are from one of the most strict Muslim countries on earth, and they sure appreciate a nice sexy dance! Pictures alone can't do justice to the amount of booty shaking and bumping there is in this movie, but I can certainly try!

The acting is a big mixed bag. Some performances are good, others are terrible, and some are really neat! There's a bit of everything-Stoic badasses, hammy villains, comic relief, romantic ladies, vengeful cat-women, etc. There's a lot of range in this movie, that has to be said. I appreciate that even if not all the performances work

Da Khwar Lasme Spogmay is another good example of Pakistan's weird Pashto underground cinema. Not as crazy as others, but = different. Naturally this doesn't come recommended unless you have a very specific set of interests, but if you do, be sure to give it a watch.

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