Dukki Tikki (1976) AKA Club Dancer
Cast: Aasia, Shahid, Nazli, Anita, Shahnawaz
Director: M. J. Rana
Synopsis: Comedy of mistaken identities ranks as one of the sleaziest of all the cheap flicks from the sleazy 70s.
Pindi Wal , Khatarnaak, Khaufnaak, Dulhan Aik Raat Kii, Nawab Zada, Aaj da Badmaash and Club Dancer are considered amongst the most notorious films ever to have emerged from Lollywood. These are films that challenged the censors like never before and brought new levels of smut and vulgarity to the forefront of Lollywood in an age when prohibition had not yet set in and the after effects of the 60’s were still being felt.
Club Dancer is a film that is still much in demand due its famed notoriety so we didn’t have much trouble getting hold of a copy on VHS. The film begins with the tale of two young sisters Nimmo and Shummo whose wicked stepmother is about to sell them off to a randy geriatric for five thousand rupees. They decide to escape the very next morning before the sale can take place. On their way to the big bad city the sisters are hounded by an ogrous tongawallah but are rescued when a dashing young man with a set of eye-catching sideburns (Shahid) arrives on the scene and saves the day.
The sisters con their way into getting a free room in a hotel owned by a moron and set about trying to get a job at Rangeela’s theatre. Shahid, we learn, is the footloose and fancy free son of the cities wealthiest man (iss shaher ka har chhota bachcha jaanta hoon ke main kaun hoon), the much revered Chaudhry Manzoor. One day on her way to work Aasia happens to get a lift on the Chaudhry’s tonga which results in all sorts of confusion – everyone reckons that she is the Chaudhry’s mistress and therefor a a ticket to their own fortunes. Rangeela employs Aasia with an eye at cashing in but little does he know that she doesn’t even know who the Chaudhry is and it’s all one big misunderstanding. However junior sister advises Aasia to play along with the story of being the Chaudhry’s muse lest thier luck run out. Meanwhile, Aasia comes across Shahid once again and this time mistakes him for being the editor of a popular weekly. And so basically the film is a light hearted comedy about mistaken identity, which is pretty formula Lollywood fare, so where does all the controversy and smut fit in?
Well, there is a parallel subplot to the film which doesn’t really have anything to do with what’s going on with Shahid and Aasia and all that mistaken identity stuff. There is this shady club where the hardened criminals and villains of the underworld gather nightly for their booze and entertainment which consists of watching scantily clad beauties thrust and twitch about the place like demented chickens. One day while the clubs beauties are relaxing by downing a few dozen glasses of VAT 69 and Black Label and puffing on their cigarettes as if their lives depended on it, they realize that one of their top notch beauties Anita appears to be in an overly sombre mood. The Madame of the club instructs her girls to try to discover why Anita is so tortured and after much persuasion she reveals her dark secrets.
Years ago her father had been murdered and all his wealth and property usurped right in front of her very eyes. Yet she was so young that she can’t even recognize the face of the killer but knows one old servant who certainly would recognize the murderer. The girls, in an admirable show of solidarity swear to work together to discover who the killer of Anita’s father was and to bring him to justice. The director of the film basically uses this subplot to insert a few sleazy dances along the way as well as the notorious scenes where the club dancing babe’s entice the henchmen of the killers to their deaths by seducing them and then slipping them some poison.
There are about four such scenes where the audience is treated to watching the club dancer at work with potential victim in her clutches, but before the poison takes effect, she has to comply while he lifts up her clothing to reveal her fruit of the looms, gropes and rubs the girl and sort of straddles and climbs all over her. It’s a stunningly lurid and almost gruesome sight watching these women (obviously pro’s) trying desperately to look as though they are in ecstacy while some filthy slobbering mutant feels them up. Most unedifying, to say the very least and rather sad. These sordid interludes aside, the main thrust of the story remains the comedy of errors and mistaken identities involving Aasia, Shahid, Rangeela and company, while this excuse of a subplot involving the Club dancers is just thrown in once in a while to provide the cheapest of thrills and some gutter level titillation.
What is perhaps the most frustrating aspect movie however is that the film ends without the club dancers even coming close to achieving their aim. That they manage to even discover the address of the murderer is a major miracle because they spray their victims with bullets before demanding the information they needed. You don’t extract information from your victims after killing them unless you have the intellect of a pea brained club dancer!
So the film ends before the club dancers’ even track down the murderer and considering that the title of the film is what it is, that comes as a bit of a disappointment. Meanwhile, in the other story contained within the film involving the light comedy all ends as it ought to in Lollywood fairy tale style. Obviously the makers of this monstrosity felt that they needed to inject some filth into their product in order to sell it to the masses. They evidently didn’t have enough faith in the comedy/romance element of the film and decided to go for broke with the sleaze factor instead.
The songs are mostly painful with the producers using the services of a most horribly shrill playback singer (was it Mala?) Where was Madame Noor Jehan? The climax song (“kee we guzray gi saari raat” (with whom will the whole night be spent?) is particularly foul though the jungle dream sequence song Choom-Chamaka Bum-Bum-Baaka is poetic. The background score featuring a maniac on some fantastic sounding electronic organ is fabulously frenzied accompaniment for events on screen.
Alas, it’s a rotten film whichever way you look at it but it does retain a significant curiosity value and remains a landmark film in the history of Lollywood for all the wrong reasons. Aasia does a reasonable job as Nimmo while Shahid’s hairstyle and sideburns completely dominate his performance and if there were an Oscar for Best Sideburns, no one else would stand a chance. Anita is striking as the vengeful club dancer and is fabulously adept at the art of the sleazy Lollywood gyrating. The other club dancers also impress especially during the karate fight sequences where they beat the crap out of some goons with consummate ease. Not a film to watch with the family, but one you have to endure if you are dedicated to the perversion known as Lollywood.