Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ladies Hostel (1990)

I’m quite sure most of the eurocult aficionados out there are familiar with 100 Days, the Bollywood-remake of Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece The Psychic. Even Fulci was aware of it and seemed quite proud of have being remaked in India. But I’m not sure he – or many of his fans – is aware of Ladies Hostel, a Bollywood horror from 1990 which is a scene-for-scene remake of Aenigma! Nowadays it seems like a quite odd movie to remake, but in 1990 it was still quite new and had probably left its mark on the home video market. I have no idea if it ever went to cinemas in India. Even if I think Aenigma has a few flashes if brilliance (very short ones) it’s still one of Fulci’s weakest movies from the time and is terrible slow and have a pace worse than Dances with Wolves. It just goes on forever!

The story is basically the same; a girl is exposed to a cruel prank and gets seriously wounded after getting hit by a car. At the hospital she’s paralyzed, probably in some kind of coma, but has developed a telekinetic power that she uses to take revenge on the students that caused the accident. One by one they are killed in spectacular fashion until a brave doctor gets too involved to let it continue…

I don’t remember the details of Aengima, but it feels like the same movie just in a different language and… much better! Yes, here the remake really boosted the quality of the story and made it a lot more fun. It’s a clearly superior film compared to Fulci’s vision. No, there are no snails in the Bollywood version, but the statue is there and the rest of the murders – very different ones – are shot with a lot of style and with cool special effects. My favourite scene is when the walls of a house is ripped apart, the camera flies in and we witness a girl getting take from the bed by an invincible force.

I think Ladies Hostel is a bit longer and also contains a couple of song- and dance-numbers it also has a lot more energy and power, and here we actually feel involved in the movie, in the thrills, without looking at the watch wishing it would end as fast as possible. It’s a very eighties movies and the students looks like they are at least 35 years old, but it adds to the charming corny feeling of the movie and the entertainment value surely grows with such a bizarre cast. Not a bad cast by any means, but they hardly look like young students.

Ladies Hostel is a Bollywood horror movie worth seeking out. What I know it’s only out on VCD with no subtitles, but if you have seen Aenigma there’s not problems following the storyline.


Richard of DM said...

I was doing some research for a podcast on Fulci I am working on and sure enough, I discovered 100 Days. It totally blew my mind! A Bollywood remake of a Lucio Fulci film? Seriously!?! And now my mind is blown a seconds time. I think that if anything can improve upon Aenigma (a film in vast need of improvement), it would be the Bollywood spin. Thanks for the heads up on this one.

Ninja Dixon said...

Thank you for reading and commenting! This is a movie worth watching. It's way more entertaining than Aenigma and never forget its Bollywood-roots.
What podcast by the way? Is it available to listen to somewhere?

Richard of DM said...

Here is our show. The first Fulci episode is done!