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(aka "Vengeance of the Vampire" or "The Lonely Place" or "The Wilderness")

 

directed by Shyam Ramsay & Tulsi Ramsay
India 1988

 

Vampiress Nakita (part SHE BEAST/Hammer's THE REPTILE/EVIL DEAD monster) is killing men and drinking their blood in the dark woods near a small village. Wealthy landowner Thakur (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is appraised of the situation and his brother Sameer (Vijayendra Ghatge) sets off to vanquish her. Nakita accepts a lift from Sameer back to her palace where he unmasks her in her monster form and holds her at bay with a religious symbol until she can be hanged. Angry cult leader Baba (Rajesh Vivek) swears revenge on Thakur's family and kills Sameer and allows Nakita to take possession of Thakur's own daughter Jasmin (Baby Swati) who causes the death of her her aunt causing Thakur to send his niece Sahila (Sahila Chaddha) away to live with her grandmother. Years later when Sahila graduates from college, she is called back to her uncle's palace and is accompanied by wannabe horror director Hitchcock (Satish Shah, PURANI HAVELI) whose cinematic musings include a likely unauthorized clip of one of Tom Burman's effects from Phillip Kaufman's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Baba, having become Jasmin's guardian after returning her to Thakur after the supposed accident that killed Sameer orders one of his henchmen to abduct her but muscle-bound Hermant (Hemant Birje, the Rambo-lookalike of TAHKHANA from the BOLLYWOOD HORROR COLLECTION VOL. 3) comes to her rescue. Meanwhile at home, grown up Jasmin (Jasmin) has taken to dressing in black, wandering the woods, picking up men and taking them back to the haunted palace to bed and kill. Her psychiatrist attributes her speaking in another voice and causing telekinetic activity to childhood trauma (including some EXORCIST-style head-spinning) but we know better. Largely lacking in unintentional hilarity (the intentional comedy varies from very funny to somewhat strained), VEERANA is a fairly well-sustained Ramsay Bros. horror movie (apart from the usual random musical numbers with the exception of Jasmin's musical numbers which while romantic in nature hint at an otherness appropriate to her monstrous femme fatale role).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 6 May 1988 (India)

Reviews        DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Mondo Macabro (Bollywood Horror Collection Vol. 2) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Mondo Macabro

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 2:14:20 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.93 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Hindi (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Mondo Macabro

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• About the Film (5 pages)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 3:55)
• More from Mondo Macabro (16:9; 7:42)

DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
Amaray

Chapters 20

 

Comments

Although PAL-converted with interlacing artifacts, the source print of VEERANA (which opens with a censorship registration card) is largely free of damage with strong colors (although made in 1988, the colors combined with the seemingly intentional choices of automobiles and costumes and distorted wide angles give the film the look of a sixties or seventies American B-movie). Besides the informative liner notes and Mondo Macabro's trailer reel, VEERANA is one of the few films in Mondo Macabro's Bollywood horror series to include a theatrical trailer.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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(aka "Mansion of Evil" )

 

directed by Shyam Ramsay & Tulsi Ramsay
India 1989

 

Orphaned heiress Anita's (Amita Nangia) uncle (Vijay Arora) generously decides to buy her a mansion (requiring her to sign a blank check). He goes down to the countryside to check it out (of course, he's unaware that both the caretaker and the prologue couple whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere have been killed by supernatural forces in and around the property). All is not well at home either as Anita is forcibly forbidden to see her photographer lover Sunil (Deepak Parashar) so that her aunt's (Neelam Mehra) sleazy brother Vikram (Tej Sapru) can marry Anita for her money. When the aunt's admonishments and Vikram's paid thugs fail to keep the lovers apart, Anita is spirited away to the country house (with Sunil's comic relief sidekick Manghu [Satish Shah, VEERANA] in tow along with some creature fodder best friends). As if Vikram's stalker-ish antics and threats of rape were not enough for Anita to put up with, monstrous visions and dead bodies start piling up but everyone is too focused on keeping Anita and Sunil apart to wonder what's making growling noises in the cellar and heed the crazy old man's warnings that the mansion is a house of death. Whereas Hindu religious symbols were use to ward off the monster of VEERANA, the mystics of PURANI HAVELI wield crucifixes against the monster (the church finale brings to mind Hammer's TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA) which is perhaps not so surprising as the film's haunted mansion location is not so much an Indian palace as an Orientalist-styled colonial manor glutted with menacing mounted animal heads, stuffed wild animals, and suits of armor (and there is a cemetery full of crosses etched with European names). While the the monster is scarier than usual (although he is not always so atmospherically lit, there are some striking images of the creature's appearances along with a creepy mobile suite of armor) and the horror scenes are pretty intense for a Ramsay film, the interminable musical sequences and an utterly superfluous comic relief subplot involving Manghu's resemblance to a local bandit disrupt the pacing more than usual. There are also some lifts from The film's extended finale, however, is quite a thrilling and worthy series of setpieces that almost seems to have stumbled in from another film. If you can make through the musical numbers and bandit subplot scenes, you are in for an entertaining flick.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 7 February 1989 (India)

Reviews      DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Mondo Macabro (Bollywood Horror Collection Vol. 2) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

Distribution

Mondo Macabro

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 2.19:15 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.19 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Hindi (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Mondo Macabro

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 3:55)
• About the Film (5 pages)
• More from Mondo Macabro (16:9; 7:42)

DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
Amaray

Chapters 26

 

Comments

Disc 2 of Mondo Macabro's BOLLYWOOD HORROR COLLECTION VOL. 2 features a PAL-NTSC conversion of PURANI HAVELI. Colors are strong and there is little damage on view. The score - including some music recycled from TAHKHANA (paired with MAHAKAAL on Mondo Macabro's BOLLYWOOD HORROR COLLECTION VOL. 3) - comes through strongly. The liner notes connect this film to the Ramsay Bros. earlier successful PURANA MANDIR and their attempts to repeat that success. The film's theatrical trailer and Mondo Macabro's clip reel round out the extras.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures


Subtitle sample

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Mondo Macabro

Region 0 - NTSC




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