Khaufnaak (1976)

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Khaufnaak (1976)
Cast: Neelo, Munawar Zareef, Anita, Mustafa Qureshi, Afzal Ahmed, Nazli
Director: Rehmat Ali
Nutshell: sequel to the smash hit Khatarnak – this is more vengeance and intrigue

 

This was the third in a sequence of similarly themed films – the first being Khabardar, the second being the smash hit Khatarnaak and finally Khaufnaak. The film contains many of the same ingredients that the director used for Khatarnaak in that it is a similar tale of revenge and intrigue with more than a fair share of smutty dances performed by the director’s favourite mascot Anita. They say that the producers of the three above mentioned films managed to get away with larger than usual doses of smut due to his connections with political big wigs of the time.

The film opens very promisingly with a maniacal Mustafa Qureshi discovering a treasure chest and offing his master to steal the loot for himself. However Mustafa’s wife Najma Mahboob doesn’t want to have anything to do with stolen goods and shrieks a long and stinging lecture at her husband when he returns home with the loot. He shows her exactly what he thinks of her moralizing by pouring kerosene on her and setting her aflame while he flees into the night with one of his young sons as an accomplice. During his escape Mustafa Qureshi damages his leg permanently but years later we see that he has graduated into silver haired, wheelchair bound super criminal whose gang of goons are looting and pillaging when and wherever they please.

Meanwhile we find that Mustafa Qureshi left one son behind with Najma Mahboob who has grown into the handsome and moronic Munawar Zareef, while the other son (also played by Zareef) has remained with his evil father but doesn’t even know that the person who he calls Boss is actually his real father. Then we learn that Neelo, the girl who has the hots for Asim, the Zareef who lives with his mother discovers that she isn’t in fact an orphan but was an heiress to the fortune that her father was murdered for by the dastardly Mustafa Qureshi. And so the plot slowly entangles and lost brothers discover one another and separated parents confront one another and vengeance filled orphans achieve their designs.

The film shares much of the crackling energy that was so evident in Khatarnaak but alas the tension is severely watered down due to the excessive scenes devoted to supposed comic relief aimed at the brain dead front bencher. Munawar Zareef is given too much scope and panders to the audience in a most moronic manner while Neelo looks pretty as a picture and well rounded if a touch elderly to be playing the role of somebody celebrating her 21st birthday!

Anita as the villain’s moll yet again shows that there she has no equal when it comes to performing those sleazy dance numbers and her forte of flashing her underwear remains very much in evidence this time around. Her cat fight with Neelo complete with Karate chops and hair pulling is one of the highlights of the movie. Mustafa Qureshi is the actor who steals the show with his role as the maniacal, lusting super criminal who is the epitome of cold hearted evil. He is totally at home in the role as the demented megalomaniac and in this film he has been given a fabulous villains lair (which doubles for almost every other location in the film) which is fitted with a fabulous torture chamber where failed accomplices are fried by electromagnetic coils that leave the person as a dangling skeleton within minutes of entering the chamber!

In a chilling climax scene the evil genius in the wheelchair comes face to face with his own dastardly devices with horrifying results. There is also an extraordinary scene where Zareef comes across a rather batty old warlock who uses all his considerable talents to empower Zareef with a terrific defence mechanism by which he can turn anyone to stone whenever he likes! The film is the usual tale of vengeance…yes; you guessed it “the peo da qatil” (father’s murderer) syndrome yet again. Yet it though it suffers from large excesses of intended comedy it does contain enough farcical masala to make it an endurable experience, if only just.

Mala provides some sultry numbers in her shrill voice, Pyar Karan Tenoo being the pick while Anita follows up her raunchy dances from Khatarnaak with more of the same, if not quite as raunchy as before. Munawar Zareef fails to impress though Mussarat Shaheen makes a glorious appearance in hot pants performing a sleazy dance like only she can. It was evident even then what a “talent” this girl was. We live in hope that one day she will be elected as the country’s leader – it’s the least we deserve as a nation. Najma Mahboob shouts and wails in her typical manner and Afzal Ahmed is idiotic as the Christian railway man and Neelo’s surrogate father. Not a classic by any means and not as entrancing as Khatarnaak, but mildly engaging and suitably intriguing. The film failed to fire up at the Box Office and further sequels were left on the shelf. Fans of Anita should try to get hold of a film called Aakhri Goli where she is actually cast by Rehmat Ali as the heroine!