A Nightmare On Elm Street

Foreign Horror Of The Day: “Mahakaal” [AKA: Bollywood’s “A Nightmare On Elm Street”]

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Seeing as I’m someone who lives in the North America, I sometimes find myself feeling as though I’m trapped in a “movie bubble.” Granted, it’s a comfortable bubble, but it’s difficult not to think of all of the insane horror movies we tend to miss from other countries. As a fan of foreign horror, I’m talking about films like Batoru rowaiaru [Battle Royale], Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da [I Saw The Devil] or Oldeuboi [Oldboy] – all of which I strongly recommend – though they do make it to North America, it should come as no surprise that there are some foreign movies, stories and general ideas that we would be missing out on. Not every last production or project is going to call for exporting. Some are best to be stay behind; right where they came from.. Which is what should have happened with: Mahakaal, or as it’s known in English: The Monster. [it’s also sometimes known as “Time of Death”]

It’s important to note that unlike the other examples of foreign horror films I used above, [which were all Korean cinema] this film is a Bollywood film – meaning it’s a Hindi film. Don’t read into this wrongly, I have nothing against Bollywood, but I do feel the need to point out that a lot of their films seem to follow the same plot: boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy has to prove his worth to girl’s family. Is Mahakaal any different? Let’s look into it.. For starters, the film itself looks ridiculous for so many reasons, that you’re bound to lose count. But if there’s one thing you’re absolutely guaranteed not to miss: it’s the clear “borrowing” from other horror movies – specifically, one film in particular..and it’s a favorite of mine. Need a hint?

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That’s right! Mahakaal is a [very] low budget Indian rendition of A Nightmare On Elm Street. But hold on; we’re not really talking about a loose rendition – no, this is a flat out, wild, and obvious rip-off! That guy you see above? The one with the glove – he’s not Freddy Krueger – he’s “The Monster” of the movie. Even the synopsis sounds very familiar to Nightmare, claiming that “a mysterious monster haunts the dreams of a young woman named Anita, who becomes concerned when one of her friends is killed by the monster in a dream.” The thing is though, this movie has a terrible habit of either being a clear as day rip-off, or straying so far from the path; that it may as well be a completely original idea! [With mixes of ANOES] For those who are considering watching Mahakaal, it runs at almost two and a half hours; and most of this time has the characters singing and dancing for no reason, even after they realized they’re being stalked by The Monster. [Though singing and dancing is typical in Bollywood cinema, so I guess I’m not overly surprised] Because of the long screen time, I searched for short clips on Youtube and Vimeo and actually found something better: someone actually re-cut the film, highlighting the important parts. If you have ten minutes, be sure to check it out below! It’s hard to take seriously, but that’s why it’s so damn great!



Still haven’t had enough? I also feel obligated to mention that one of Mahakaal’s weirder additions to the A Nightmare On Elm Street premise is there’s a scene where a group of angry men corner and molest the heroines. [which was actually a common social problem in India at time] However, toward the end of the film, we see a possessed Anita take one of these men up on his offer to go back to his place – where she slaughters him! Of course, before that happens, she and another female character endure not one, but multiple scenes where they find themselves groped in public – but fear not! Their boyfriends come to save the day.. with martial arts! [because of course they do!]

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So that’s Mahakaal: a movie that isn’t afraid to show that it’s a rip-off of a film that is so close and dear to horror fans everywhere. It’s by no means a “bad movie”, but it’s unnecessary. If you were to cut out the songs, the over the top “jokes”, and shorten the film by at least half an hour; you could have something of a fun film. Be that as it may, it’s still a bizarre and curious film from the world of Bollywood. If you’re still curious, and you want to watch Mahakaal in it’s entirety, you can do that here – subtitles and all – the film quality is actually decent, and it’s easy enough to follow along.. if you can follow along to monsters, murder, and dance numbers.

Now I turn to You. What are Your thoughts on Mahakaal? Is it something you found interesting? Or should blatant Nightmare On Elm Street rip-offs stay away from North America? Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments! As for me, I think I’ll just stick with good ol’ Nightmare from the master himself: Wes Craven! If you enjoy foreign horror, which [foreign] film is your favorite? Writing this made me want to see more so I’m open to suggestions! Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 149+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

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remember: this is from “Mahakaal.” NOT “A Nightmare On Elm Street”..good luck convincing me otherwise..

THANKS FOR READING.

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Dear Mr. Craven, Thanks For The Nightmares!

We horror fans are a weird breed: we actually enjoy watching people get attacked by angry ghosts, or sometimes murderous dream demons! We also tend to remember the first time we watched a horror film; either by date, or by film. We also tend to favor a certain Movie Director or two as well. In my case, it’s Mr. Wes Craven; who fans will know as the man behind such classics like Scream, and my personal favorite, A Nightmare On Elm Street. I remember the first time I saw both of these films: Scream was at a friend’s place and I had to hide under the blankets during the opening death sequence, and Nightmare was late at night [in my room] when I was about 13 years old. Back then, I was terrified by the film, I feared for the night because; what could be scarier than someone attacking you when you’re most vulnerable? When you’re asleep? Although scared, I was curious, so as I got older, I began watching the sequels..quickly making the Nightmare film series [as cheesy as they got] my all time favorite horror film franchise.

Besides being known far and wide for creating the iconic Freddy Krueger and Ghostface, Craven also wrote and produced film features for television and occasionally, wrote novels. Wes Craven was a humanities professor before leaving academia to work in post production. As most horror fans can tell you, his first official credited film was the controversial film The Last House On The Left:which he wrote, directed and edited back in 1972! Naturally, he followed it up with the blackly comic The Hills Have Eyes and Swamp Thing, which – if you know your comic books – was an early entry in the comic book to film adaptation genre! I only started to notice Wes during Nightmare though, Where the surreal slasher film is credited with having started something called the “dream reality” style of 1980s horror filmmakers and in turn; helped launch independent film studio New Line Cinema, which is sometimes referred to as “the house that Freddy built.”

[artwork is credited to @CodySchibi; I love the art-style!]

However, as I’m sure you saw all over the internet: Wes Craven had been struggling with brain cancer for a long time.. and last night, it caught up to him; passing away [in his LA home] at the age of 76.. a true master of horror – has left us. One of the last projects Craven was working on was MTV’s TV series adaptation of Scream, on which he worked as an executive producer. The series was recently renewed for a second season, back on July 29th. [I still have to start the series..now more than ever!] Wes Craven was a tremendous visionary whose sensibility for scares has connected with generations of MTV fans,” MTV has said in a statement. “We are honored to have worked with him and proud to carry on his legacy with Scream: Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

It’s a truly sad day for us horror fans, we lost one of the greats.. From Ghostface to Krueger, horror won’t be the anywhere near the same without someone who helped push the envelope in the genre. Although horror will last without him, it won’t ‘feel’ right without Craven, who made us feel fear when we’re arguably, the most vulnerable..

So this post is for you Wes, you started scaring me at a fairly young age; and I wouldn’t have it any other way! You’ve inspired so many horror directors with your stylized cinematography, but you can’t replace an original. From everyone who loves the horror genre as much as you did; this is us saying “thanks”. Fun Fact: Craven actually told The Los Angeles Times in an interview: “My goal is to die in my 90s on the set, say, `That’s a wrap,’ after the last shot, fall over dead and have the grips go out and raise a beer to me.” and raise a beer we did, Wes, this one’s for you!

THANKS FOR READING.

franchise favorites: Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

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Almost everyone agrees that the original Nightmare On Elm Street movie was the best of the series — it was inventive, it had scares, it even had Johnny Depp as a young teen! However, I tend to fall out of that norm; although I really love the original film, I almost prefer the third installment in the Elm Street saga: Dream Warriors.

What makes this sequel so special to me is we get a new protégé to Nancy known as Kristen. She seems to have some sort of dream powers [stay with me here!] which she can use against our burnt villain: these powers are even shown to be strong enough to pull people into her dreams! But don’t take this to mean Nancy is gone for good though, she is a dream psychologist in the film; helping teens who have claimed to see a burnt man with a claw-like glove. [and Nancy is still just as hot as she always has been!]

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Kristen in the Elm Street house.

The film delivers in more than just plot though, with creative deaths, [which is a definite plus, we’ll get back to those in 30seconds] awesome quotes [“WELCOME TO PRIME TIME, BITCH!”] — which some can be considered relevant today, and more quirky/obscure Freddy goodness!

While we’re on the topic of death-scenes, Dream Warriors has some of the best ones; as they’re both strange and bizarre to watch [yet, oddly satisfying!] some of these include a puppeteer getting killed off — like a marionette, or even a Dungeons and Dragons player — getting killed off as his “character”. Both of these deaths will be shown below:

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I remember first seeing this scene and grinding my teeth because of the pain he experiences [okay, Phillip‘s face is kinda funny..] but I could almost feel my own arms hurting as his wrists essentially are ripped open. [okay, are ripped open] Like the strings to his marionettes, Freddy is shown “controlling” Phillip, leading him to a window; which he promptly falls out of.

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Probably the more popular death-scene in the film — we see Will as his character in D&D, “The Wizard Master”. He’s shown [above] using magical abilities and he seems to be doing really well..until, as always, Freddy stops him dead in his tracks. -15 points for dying in-game.

With all that said and done though, Nightmare On Elm Street: Dream Warriors is a fucking great sequel — which doesn’t happen enough! with quotable parts from memorable characters, awesome scenes with Freddy, and even a “Dream Master” ! [points to you if you get that why I used those choice of words!]

So now onto more important matters, have you seen the original A Nightmare On Elm Street films? If so, which sequel was your favorite? [of course, this is assuming you preferred one over the original] if you can’t decide on a specific film, who was your favorite “Elm Street kid”? I will always side with Kincaid cause he’s hardcore as all hell — seriously!

THANKS FOR READING.