Thursday, October 29, 2009

Purana Mandir (1984)

Purana Mandir (1984)

October 29th, 7:00PM in Garland 104 (2441 E. Hartford)

Indian cinema during the 1970's featured few horror films, and the few that it did have usually came from the collaboration of the two Ramsay Brothers. They co-directed a series of low budget horror films and developed a set of their regular actors and crew, but had found little real success.

In 1984 they released Purana Mandir, their most ambitious production up until that time. It would become one of the most successful films of the year and collect massive profits on its minuscule budget. In a sense it became the first Indian cult horror film and began a wave of popular horror cinema that would last until the mid 1990's.

Its simple tale involved an evil force that had been wronged by a family and years later began to seek revenge. This would become one of the Brothers basic plot devices for many later films. Unlike Western horror, it mixes in unique elements found in virtually all Indian cinema such as comic relief and musical numbers. Purana Mandir may seem on the absurd side to Western audiences, but it remains an Indian cult classic.
India, Director's Shyam Ramsay and Tulsi Ramsay, cast Mohnish Bahl, Arti Gupta, Puneet Issar, Sadashiv Amrapurkar and Ajay Agarwal, 145 minutes, in Hindi with English subtitles.

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