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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009


    Default Financial crunch? India's campy horror industry comes up with awesome 'jugaad

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    Filmmaker Mohan Bhakri was determined to create a convincing shot of a skeleton coming back to life during the shooting of Roohani Taaqat in 1991. He set up an elaborate pump system to create the effect and used a goat's heart. But the organ was too small and did not give the desired effect. His assistant then managed to procure a buffalo heart. Just as everything was ready and they were about to shoot a stray dog ran away with the buffalo heart.
    Many of us watch retro Bollywood monster flicks for the laughs and poor special effects but we seldom wonder about how this subtle art of how unintentional humor is created. Making a film on a shoestring budget takes enormous amount of creativity. For example, Mohan Bhakri in his earlier film Kabrasthan (1988) had tried to cut down the cost of make up by viewing the events through the eyes of the monster. Unfortunately, the audience was totally confused and the result again was a delightful comic treat.
    But we have seldom pondered over the fact that besides the Ramsay Brothers horror filmmakers in India have largely not been able to make truly professional films due to severe budgetary constraints. The Ramsays too made low budget films but they struggled relatively less than directors who had jumped on their bandwagon. It will be grossly incorrect to say that Bollywood has not seen good horror films but that's not what the article is about. My piece is about something altogether different.
    ...being a human...



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