The sixties saw some good horror coming from Indian Hindi movie industry. The period after 60s saw the end of quality horror. After 60s was the period of the Ramsay’s and their clone
Who Kaun Thi (1964)
A Black and white classic. A murder mystery, a horror. Who said ugly has to be scary? Even someone beautiful like Sadna could achieve the same effect. This movie scarred the life out of me. The opening scene sets the mood just right for the rest of the scary part. Manoj Kumar who plays a doctor is driving on a rainy nights. He cannot see where he is driving. Suddenly a woman in white appears in front of the car, asks for a lift. He still cannot see the road. She tells him, she can and will guide him. The wind wipers stop working. She guides the way with confidence and unbelievable perfection She asks to stop in front of a graveyard. The graveyard door open automatically and close behind her. Fog covers the graveyard door and she is lost in the fog. And the wipers start working again. It still makes my hairs stand. It was psychological thriller. The movie makes you jump, keep your heart racing and is on the edge of the seat scary movie. See the scene where he sees his bride, also Sadna for the first time. Combined with a haunting music, the movie was a winner. Who can forget “Lag ja Gale” in which Sadna is suggesting their last meeting. But the question is who is going to die? Him or her. Raj Khosla directs this mystery about a lady in white. After the gripping first scene, the movie moves ahead with Sadna exiting and re-entering the life of Manoj Kuma. The movie was inspired from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”
Rating: 9 Out of 10
Put a search on Internet for “Gumnaam” and you will find that the song from this movie featured in 2000 hollywood movie “Ghost World” and it is not a ghost movie as the name suggest. Gumnaam on the other hand is a thriller, a murder mystery and still has that horror element. A story of six passengers who have won a free trip in some dance competition, make an emergency landing on an island. The plane takes off again but without the passengers and the co-pilot. The stranded people explore the island to find a big mansion and the eccentric caretaker, Mehmood in a lungi, stripped t-shirt and a Hitler style mustache. Manoj Kumar is the pilot, Nanda, Helen, Pran, Madan Puri all stranded on the lone island. The voice of lata Mangeshkar echoes with regular interval “Gumnaam hai Koi. And then the murders start. One after another of the passengers are killed. The killer is….. Well the killer is a surprise.
Rating : 6 out of 10
Bhoot bungla (1965)
Mehmood directed this roller coaster of a movie. A thriller with a touch of spooky and humor. It had Mehmood playing as the hero, Tanuja as the heroine. A house is said to be haunted by dancing ghost. Mehmood who plays the leader of a youth club decides to investigate. Tanuja is the heroine whose uncles have been murdered because of the house. Will she be next? The movie is remembered for its songs. R. D. Burman gave music to the enjoyable flick. The memorable songs were “Bhoot Bunglaaaaaaaaa”, “Aao Twist Karen” and “Jaago Sone walo”. The surprise, watch out for R. D Burman playing Mehmood’s clumsy, always hungry friend. Watch RD making tea in the house removing all the ingredients from his ever-useful coat. The special effect was ok. Skeleton ghost walking over thin air where a part of stairs were visible could not be called excellent graphics.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Jadu Tonaa (1977)
A ghost who is out to take revenge on her father possesses a small girl. The movie had impressive cast like Prem Chopra as the father, Reena Roy as the sister of the little girl and Feroz Khan as a doctor who is treating the girl. The story was similar to “Exorcist”. The movie had good special effects and it used camera angles to make even more scary scenes. When I saw the movie in my childhood, it was more scarier because of the small girl talking with a man’s voice. The story revolves round a small family of a father and two girls who have lost their mother. They visit their grandparents in the village where the father accidentally insults an auspicious tree. After some time her, the evil ghost possesses younger daughter. The evil ghost forces the girl to perform different tasks and also murders. Enters Feroz Khan as the doctor who believes that Science has all the answers. It also has Ashok Kumar playing the police detective who is investigating the murders committed by the small girl. So how does the movie fare. Scary to an extent. The romantic track and songs slows down the movie. The movie supports superstition.
Rating 7 out of 10
To be continued…………….