Thursday, March 31, 2011

Foreign Flicks: Veerana, Vengeance of the Vampire

Bollywood and horror mix like raisins and red curry!  We're back with another Bollywood film and this one is...interesting.  First, I covered Mahakaal: The Monster, a film that rips off the first three Nightmare on Elm Street films...and includes multiple musical numbers.  Next came Naina (aka The Eye), a remake that just rips off the J-Horror Genre in general.  Most recently, I reviewed a 2009 horror film called Agyaat: The Unknown, which was light on the musical numbers/humor, but did not ever show the monster- not freaking once!  Today's film is Veerana: Vengeance of the Vampire.  You know what most horror films were lacking? More 'V-words' in their title!  It's another film by the Ramsay Brothers, a pair that were behind a number of these films.  Thanks to Mondo Macabro, these are being released here in as pristine condition as is possible.  This film is an odd tale of revenge, murder and really-forced comedy.  I'll go into more detail below and, trust me, this is something to see.  Get out your dark, red spices as we prepare to dine into...
An evil Cult that worships a demonic figure is active in the area by way of an evil Witch.  That figure- Mahakaal.  Call-back or coincidence?  You decide!  They get stopped by a policeman- and the Witch is killed- working for the village, however, and have to plan their next move.  This comes pretty easy as they seemingly-kill the cop and cast a spell on his friend's daughter, corrupting her.  We jump ahead many years and find the girl is killing people.  The cop's daughter goes back into town, but only after meeting up with her cousin (the comic-relief guy) and a random stranger (the protagonist).  They fend off the advances of a Great Khali wannabe, but there is still trouble to deal with...
The daughter continues to kill random people, but nobody seems to quite catch on.  When they finally do, they take her to a therapist who hypnotizes her and makes her rip-off The Exorcist with her angry speech.  The dad is a bit upset to find this out and...just talks to her.  That will show her.  Between the random songs- two of which feature the possessed daughter- and a sub-plot featuring the cousin trying to be a horror writer, we're nearing the third act pretty quickly.  Those 140 minutes go by faster when you skip that.
Eventually, the guys all figure out what's going on and all hell breaks loose.  Our hero fights the Cultists in possibly the most choreographed fight scene possibly of all time.  Yes, lean in to every kick!  They get captured and the ceremony starts.  However, the tide turns in their favor when we learn that the cop was alive and helps them fight the Cult.  That sure was random.  Ultimately, good wins the day and the evil Witch is killed yet again when exposed to a giant, glitter-covered 30.  No, really.  The End.
What the hell was that?!?  The plot of this movie is kind of odd- to say the least.  The Cult wants to bring back the they make a girl evil and eventually she starts killing people.  The logic of this is never really explained.  On top of that, a number of holes pop up and are never really answered.  On top of that on top of that, the plot is bogged down with a number of musical numbers and a comedy sub-plot that serves no purpose.  These films were in serious need of a good Editor...and a Writer.  The Ramsay name is all over this film, from the two brothers to about six other people in areas like the Prop Department and Hair & Make-Up.  This truly was a family affair!  If you're a fan of foreign horror, there is definitely some good stuff here.  The Make-Up work is good at times and some of the real attempts at horror are decent.  You have to accept a lot of extra stuff with the movie too.  No matter what, this is a Mondo Macabro DVD.  You know what that means right?  We get that kick-ass Mondo Macabro Trailer Video.  I'm sold!
Next up, March goes one extra day (my bad) as I wrap up the month with a look at a Japanese, cult hit.  Will this film be watchable without Mike and the Bots around?  Stay tuned...

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