Wednesday, August 31, 2011

7 Saal Baad (1987)

It’s easy to collect weird movies from all over the world, but it’s a different ball game to actually watch them – and sometimes even appreciate the hidden art from countries like India, Thailand, Indonesia etc. While the market is “flooded” (a huge exaggeration of course) with superhero-rip offs it’s always interesting to watch something that might be less commercial. No silly spandex, no capes and cheap back-projection effects. For example, earlier I’ve been watching Seytan, the Turkish take on The Exorcist and Srigala, the Indonesian Friday the 13th. Now the time has come to Bollywood’s verson of the beloved Friday the 13th series, 7 Saal Baad. Made when the genre was dying, but that’s never been an issue for the proud filmmakers of India. Like Srigala this uses the basis of Sean Cunningham’s classic, but adds a lot of new stuff in-between what we’ve seen before.

Flashback! A gang of teenagers is partying in the woods. Two of them sneaks away to have wild sex, but before they can get on with it they are brutally hacked to death by a machete-wielding maniac! Cue “today”, a young couple (I think, it’s hard to keep track of the couples in this movie) has opened a hotel out in the wilderness and the first guests are of course horny young couples spending their days having fun, dancing and listening to eighties electronica. Soon someone with a machete is starting to kill of the guests, one by one until there’s only one girl left…

You know the story! It’s basically Friday the 13th but with a hotel instead of a camp and guests instead of youth leaders (and a little supernatural twist) Between the very familiar beginning and the even more familiar ending the story is more free-spirited and sees every opportunity to add ridiculous but entertaining dance-numbers, many of them based on the trends of the time. One of the actors must have been some famous dancer, because he always starts break dancing, doing the robot dance, moonwalking and everything else you can imagine. All in terrible eighties fashion.

But is it any good? Well, according to me there’s no bad movies, only boring movies. This is not a boring movie, so I guess it’s possible to call it good – or at least entertaining. It’s just over two hours, so compared to other Bollywood movies it’s quite short and manages to keep up the energy for most of the time. There’s one fight scene, which is a must in every Indian movie with self-respect and the long dialogue scenes flies by mostly because of the “enthusiastic” acting by the participants. Don’t expect any gore, just a few splashes of blood here and there. No nudity of course, only the traditional sexual innuendos and a couple of lips-on-lips kisses!

The entire final is copied directly from the original Friday the 13th, including the boat at the end. More karate-kicks in the end fight, which is a plus! The character of Crazy Ralph is in the movie also, but looks more like a soft-spoken vagabond with a Chaplin-outfit than the Ralph we got used to over the years.

Out on a terrible DVD in India with the worst interlacing-problems I ever seen. Without subs of course, but if you know the story and twist from the original movie it’s no problem following the storyline.

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