Sunday, May 18, 2008

"After all, Missouri is not far"

Within the first ten minutes of the Ramsey Brothers' Veerana (1988), our primary villain (an inhuman witch/morphing bat woman and Satanic minion) has killed a visiting foreigner, been tracked down by the local Thakur, lured into the tub with him, exposed as a murderous bat creature and hung as a witch by torch-wielding villagers. That's certainly more plot than the average Hollywood movie, and quite a giddy pace to maintain.

Among the later highlights:

Back at the estate, the Thakur's brother has an uneasy feeling, but the hero thinks it's time they got back to normal life. This involves dropping his niece at school on his way back to work, because, "after all, Missouri is not far."

This isn't a subtitle problem, either, because he clearly speaks the word "Missouri" in the dialogue. So, uh, where the heck is this supposed to be taking place? We have a dearth of Satanic batwomen here in the Midwest, as well as of Thakurs, alas. I might, however, be able to purchase a sequined "Om"-on-a-stick online, just in case.

Then there are some "borrowed" insert shots from Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers and John Carpenter's The Thing, neither of which have anything to do with the storyline and wouldn't be missed in the slightest. Now, just for example, the hidden temple at the "isolated spot" contains a group of creatures sitting around a table, who all have elongated coneheads that look like petrified tree trunks. We never find out who they are, or what's up with their heads; they just sit there, swaying occasionally. If you can just toss somethat weird into the background, why bother stealing from Hollywood?

Also, a rustic with a delivery of vegetables makes his entrance singing Amitabh's "Main Hoon Don" song! Sadly, he isn't wearing a tiger mask, but you can't have everything.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment, I found your site.
Enjoy your commentary on Bollywood. :-))

There is a Mussorie in India. It is considered a picturesque Hill Station and the region is home to prestigious boarding schools (a la Phillips exeter in New england).

Anarchivist said...

Transliteration trips me up every time! It's good to know that something in this movie makes perfect sense.