World Horror Cinema: India
By Sam Reeve
My rating: 7/10
Have I mentioned how much I love Bollywood? The films are ridiculous, have awesome music and dance numbers in every genre of film (yes, even in this horror movie), and they’re often very bizarro-friendly. Purana Mandir is a cult classic directed by the legendary Ramsay brothers, known for their popular horror movies in the 80’s and 90’s.
A long time ago Samri, an evil vampire-like devil worshiper, is captured and killed by Raja Singh. Before being beheaded, Samri curses the king’s bloodline. Fast forward to modern times and the remaining Singh heir has a beautiful young daughter, Suman. She can’t get married to her lover Sanjay because of the curse, which states that the Singh women will all die in childbirth. The couple escapes with two friends to learn more about the curse, but unwittingly awaken Samri.
I loved this movie! The soundtrack was quite haunting, there was a lot of comedic relief and a few subplots to keep things interesting. Samri was also pretty creepy looking. My only gripe was with the plot, since it was totally hinged on the couple wanting to be together but for Suman to not die from the curse. Couldn’t she just never get pregnant? Birth control maybe wasn’t a big thing in India or something, or maybe not bearing children was a major taboo. I don’t know, but it would be my first choice over facing down a crazy living-dead guy.
Here’s a great clip involving a blood shower. Below that you’ll find the full movie with English subtitles. Enjoy!