Sleaze, unfortunately, is a part of the horror genre ever since. In India, sleaze in Bollywood films wasn’t too blatant at least until the 90s. Even in the 80s, sleaze was only hinted at. And the film-makers used to get away with most of the stuff. Partly because films, as a whole, weren’t taken too seriously and horror films were definitely not. We look at 5 insanely sleazy storylines from Indian Horror Films that got away:
#1 Bandh Darwaza (straight up incest)
A woman who cannot conceive literally goes to bed with the demon incarnate, who promises her a child, on the condition that she will give the first born to him to be his servant. When the child is born, the woman cannot bring herself to sacrifice the child. Of course, the demon and minions try to kidnap the girl child but can’t. Years later, the demon and his cronies kidnap the girl child and she is on the way to become the demon’s servant.
When the child is born, the woman cannot bring herself to sacrifice the child. Of course, the demon and minions try to kidnap the girl child but can’t. Years later, the demon and his cronies kidnap the girl child and she is on the way to become the demon’s servant.
The picturisation of the kidnapping leaves nothing to imagination. The daughter is literally chained to a rock and wears the same color of clothing that her mother had worn. The same sacrificial song and dance takes place, before the hero comes in to save the day. However, that a Indian film maker even tried to bring forth the aspect that a demon would happily sexually molest his own DNA was equal parts cringeworthy and revolutionary.
There’s another little known director who tried his hands at a man falling in love with the mother and marrying the daughter. That director is Yash Chopra and the movie is Lamhe. The actors are Anil Kapoor and the actress is Sridevi. That film was universally panned and is only now achieving a cult status. So, what YRF couldn’t do, Ramsays got away with.
Well, this was the Bollywood film industry’s Manos: Hands of Fate moment. But nobody even pretended to care about the storyline and the entire film is still available on YouTube. This is a Ramsay film.
#2 Hawa (The Rapist Spirit)
Yes, this film might be a copy of The Entity. However, it was one of the first times that sexual assault was the mainstay of a Bollywood horror film, or even a Bollywood film. A woman is sexually assaulted by a spirit after she shifts into a nondescripit bungalow away from the city.
The film stars Tabu and is directed by Guddu Dhanoa. There are some straight up spirit-doing-it-with-a-woman. The scenes are quite grotesque and leave little to imagination, actually. It was quite surprising to see a Bollywood film made on this concept, actually.
#3 Red Rose (the unfaithful women)
Rajesh Khanna plays a psychotic killer of women, turned such because he sees the bad side of women early in life. He has an abusive (non sexual) aunt, a young girl who has him beaten up to save her from embarrassment, a woman who’s unfaithful to her husband – so on and so forth.
Red Rose was a film ahead of its time. It was one of the few mainstream films that had the sleaze factor as the mainstay. This Bollywood psychological thriller was controversial when it released and is one of the many films that are going into an oblivious at the moment.
#4 Veerana (The man-killing/seducing spirit)
A man killing witch is killed by a Thakur. That witch reincarnates as the daughter of the Thakur’s brother – who merrily carries out the tasks until she is taken out by the good forces. According to reports, Veerana actually faced trouble at the Censor Board because this was the first time that they were showing a female ghost who’s seducing men and killing them. Until now, the only seduction shown by a female ghost was prancing about in a white saree in a dark forest. Veerana has some pretty bold scenes for a Bollywood horror film in the eighties.
#5 1920 (male spirit tormenting a woman)
So, this 1920 had quite a script. You actually feel one of the female characters in the film. Basically, the daughter of the owner of a fort, Gayatri, provides refuge to a solider who she thinks is with the Indian revolutionary forces.
But he turns out to be a spy for the British. Now, she has no option but to seduce him until the Indian forces return. Once caught, he is hanged but he vows never to let the woman live in peace. After Gayatri dies, the spirit dominates Gayatri and wreaks havoc in the fort. Though not explicitly shown, the undertones of a male spirit tormenting a woman’s body even after their deaths was wink-wink enough.
This film turned into a runaway hit and a sequel to the film, 1921 will be out soon.
These are the sleazy storylines from Bollywood Horror Films. Liked them? Tell us in the comments section!