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?
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!]
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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