Bangalow No. 666 (1990)
Cast: Disco Shanti
Director: P Chandrakumar
Music Director: Annu Malick
Nutshell: South Indian curry masala version of Fright Night – not as bad as it sounds.
This badly dubbed South Indian horror flick starts interestingly enough with a quite intriguing title sequence featuring some weird and promising music. The opening sequences show an amorous young couple frolicking around at every given opportunity. During one such typical night of teenage frolicking, our young hero spots a stranger in the house next door.
Later that night a seductress arrives in a cab asking for Bungalow No. 666 which happens to be the place the mysterious new neighbour has recently moved into. Alas the next scene gives away the fact that the film is an imitation of Fright Night, virtually scene for scene including the irritating high pitched laugh of his geeky friend.
However, it moves along rapidly and despite its obvious shameless plagiarism, is still far more watchable than most of the drivel being turned out in Bollywood in the post Ramsay era. There isn’t a rubber mask in sight and even the mandatory half dozen scenes of women wearing skimpy outfits being seduced by our fanged villain are tame and dare I say even tasteful compared to the usual Khooni Dracula kind of smut from the North.
The acting, especially of the desi version of Roddy McDowell, is charmingly over the top and though there are the usual painful doses of comic relief and song and dance, mercifully one can rely on the Fast Forward button for relief.
On the whole while far from being a classic by any stretch of the imagination and despite being an out and out rip off, Bungalow No.666 by comparison to the rest of the current horror dross coming out of Bollywood manages to hold its own as one of the least offensive and atrocious horror films of the 90s. Pity it’s a total rip off though.