October 18, 2010

Ek Raat Shaitaan Ke Saath

In the spirit of the month, here we are again with another badly done horror that truly is a horror.

This one turned out to be way worse than I had expected. Sordid to the extent of being completely foul, this has no redemption. I am afraid to write about this- heck I’m worried about writing about this!

Title: Ek Raat Shaitaan Ke Saath (A Night with the Devil)

Year: 1998 (Maybe)

Cast: ???

A couple is on their way to honeymoon in the remote backwaters of somewhere. Their cab driver refuses to drive then farther out after a point, saying that the town they are going to is a dangerous place, and they too must travel there in the night. The couple laughs it off, then walks off in the general direction of the town, hoping to get there on foot. Any horror movie fan across the globe knows this is a bad, bad idea.

They come upon a horse drawn carriage (:S), and decide to sit in it (!) even though there is no driver in sight. Once they are in, the carriage races off to a deserted mansion, and as soon as they jump off, it’s gone again. The couple give us an exaggerated pantomime of shock and distress and then happily get into the mansion’s open door, followed by lovely screams. Then the opening credits roll!

The High class, beautifully spelled credits give us a clear indication of the movie to follow, if we haven't understood what we are in for already. Foolhardy that I am, I sat through. End of credits, and we are in Mumbai, where we meet our obviously lead couple (the guy is ugly but taller, and the girl is skanky but prettier), and their 2 friends who are obviously also going out with each other. Both couples paw at each other a fair bit, to convince us they are in love and all of that, and then announce that they must go off on a trip somewhere unusual- because they feel like it :S

The hero runs home and convinces his sister in law and brother (with whom he lives!) that they must sponsor him and his friends to this trip, and accompany them as well. This is really strange.

After about 10 minutes of flat-lining jokes and attempts at familial love, everybody is set to go. Oh and in a different house somewhere in the city, the heroine’s mom isn’t too happy to see her go. Turns out this unusual trip is being made to the backwaters town, and the mom was the town’s local Thakur/don/ruler’s wife and the heroine is his kid. The guy’s dead, but was terrible to everybody, and mom tells the story is flashback. The Thakur loved dancing with ugly hos (I’m sorry, that’s what they are supposed to be), and brings them home. Weirdness- looks like his daughter was a 10 year old alien then- how come she doesn’t remember him as an adult? Whatevs). Despite his wife’s protests, he rapes, plunders, and beats the townspeople, with the help of his trusty servant- Mac o! I know Mac had done terrible movies, but this is a new low even for him. Note that Mac has ONE outfit throughout the film, which he appears to wear for the 20-odd-year span the movie covers :D
Eventually the wife and kid take off to the city to get away from him.
The heroine gets all of this, but decides to go check out the town anyway. As the gang packs up their car, she affects a lot of “wistful thinking” and “staring into the distance” and brooding, so of course everyone is concerned.

This is followed by showing us what is really going on; people come to the mansion, only to be killed by the Thakur, who has turned into a slipshod Dracula!
Apparently that latest murder media buzzing- our random comic relief (!) group from somewhere else also decides to go investigate.

Everybody arrives in the town and jams into ONE room at the local hotel. This is super weird. They are visited by a random guy in a raincoat, who drops dark hints and warns them to leave town “before it’s too late.” That night, the hero’s group and the comic relief folks leave for the mansion in separate groups, and go through the horse-drawn carriage schtick- HOW the poor horses carried all those many people I don't know- someone call PETA.
Mac invites everyone in, and informs them that they are welcome to stay as long as they like, assigning them all bedrooms and such. He cooks and serves dinner.

At midnight, we creep into the basement with the camera guy- in a bath of lurid red lighting and atmospheric lightning bolts lies a coffin, that open to show us- the Thakur/Vampire has woken again! He is looking forward to killing the men and converting the women to be his vampire-girlfriends before the night is through!

Mac lures down the guests one after the other, until only the lead and the comic relief couple are left. They basely drop everything and run off to the nearest temple (rofl) where they meet the mystery man again. The heroine confesses she is the Thakur’s daughter and the mystery man confesses he is the Thakur’s friend, who had been looking after the property for her to take back. He was the one who had killed the Thakur way back when, after being unjustly accused of seeing the Thurkur's wife (!).
They get through to a local sorcerer (who I’ve seen in minor roles in 80s/90s cinema). The sorcerer wears a black fat-lady nighty, a red scarf and a VERY fake skeleton skull necklace. Love his blooming pink face too. Adorable.

The heroes zero on to Mac, who is ingloriously beaten black and blue (by the girls even!). This is a really long beating, and goes on forever- at one point it looks like Mac is being tortured by having the heroine's finger up his nose (eugh but true).
So Mac ‘fesses up, going into flashback mode. When the Thakur died, he had willed for Mac to have his body placed in a coffin in the mansion’s basement, and requested certain rituals be performed. Mac did all that, and the Thakur came back as a vampire. To fulfill his salacious desires, Mac has gotten into the bad little habit of trapping young ladies and luring them to the mansion towards their unholy conversion to vampirism.

The gang of heroes (!) rushes to the basement, and amidst chanting of mantras by the chubby sorcerer, the Thakur is subdued and killed again. Our heroes leave happily. However the voiceover helpfully tells us that they ignored the sorcerer’s instructions of burning the Thakur’s body, and therefore the Thakur came back again. I guess this was to open a door to further sequels. Good lord. I was horrified by the luridness of this film- all such movies are cheaply shot, but the dialogue and actor’s gestures were so despicable that even jaded me was revolted. I cannot imagine how this passed with an “A” certificate. The nudity and violence were marginal, but the gesticulations were puekworthy.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

I wonder if this is worse than Shaitani Dracula? Might well be! It also sounds a lot like the Ramsay Brothers' Purana Mandir, which I must admit I enjoyed despite it being tacky and badly done in some parts.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Beth: Shaitani Dracula is way worse in production values (?), but isnt this sleazy. SHaitani Dracula is also less fun, since its very hard to follow- this one at least has some story to it. On the other hand, Purana Mandir is a hollywood production compared to this :D

Banno said...

OMG. It sounds atrocious. The heroine's fingers up Mac's nose. The vampire who must be so hot in that suit, poor guy. You are brave to sit through it.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Banno- The beating of Mac was so much fun! I wish I had all of you guys watching this with me :) On the other hand some of it was pretty embarrassing to watch too. With your experience in the industry, was just wondering- how are C/D filmmakers (Hari Nam Singh and his ilk) regarded in the industry? Pariahs or unfortunate cousins?

Nicki said...

I just love the fact that you're a horror fan like me. I was trying to see what horror films to watch soon too :) Thanks for the awesome, fun review!!

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Nicki: This was a very sanitized review- I wish you careful watching! :D After watching rubbish like this, Ramsay movies have begun to seem almost pleasant, and RGV's stuff is high art :D