Shaitan Khopdi (2000)
Cast: Devraj, Vinita, K. Kumar
Nutshell: Futuristic South Indian twist on the Frankenstein theme – very odd indeed.
Having endured Khopdi just a couple of days ago and found it to be nothing less than excruciating, it was a particularly brave decision to go for Shaitan Khopdi as a follow up. Yet within minutes it surpassed Khopdi as a cut above the rubber masked nonsense that is churned out in North India these days.
Shaitan Khopdi hails from the South and is a far superior effort than the garbage churned out up North. The film is set in 2022 and we are introduced to an Award ceremony where a great Indian scientist is soaking up the plaudits having invented a cure for AIDS. The scientist becomes overwrought and emotional when he speaks of his ailing mother who shriveled up and died in front of him and since that day he swore to dedicate his life to making sure that those who died prematurely should never have to suffer a truncated life but could be revived by science and allowed to live happily till the end of their time.
The great doctor is helped in his attempts to become a Dr. Frankenstein of the future by his extremely talented assistant Vishnu and his own daughter Varsha who happens to be due to get married to the assistant shortly. Sadly like most mad scientists “Daddy” is driven by his quest for glory and he fails to assess the dreadful consequences of his dabbling with life and death in the manner than so many scientists in horror movies have done before him.
So, Daddy manages to get himself a dead body from the local morgue and soon the corpse is reanimated and in true Frankenstein style, is soon on the loose, prowling the Indian countryside for innocent victims to terrorize. His first victim is happy picnicker at Lovers Beach whose lunch is trampled upon and when he reacts in anger, Ajay the Corpse strangles him and attacks his girlfriend. At moments like a posse of black clad disco dancers break out into a fangled routine which makes for interesting if bizarre viewing.
Soon Ajay the rampaging reanimated corpse is romping around town turns his attention to the handsome Vishnu who is attacked brutally and fatally attacked at home leaving Varsha, the daughter of our Mad Scientists very upset indeed. She pleads with an increasingly lusting and power hungry Daddy to put an end to his experiments but it proves difficult for a once great scientist to part with his dubious legacy and fame. Yet ultimately he proclaims “I will destroy the Shaitani Khopdi” and though it does appear like a particularly good idea but alas he has virtually created an indestructible monster with the ability to absorb bullets and miraculously recover from any wounds. Thus killing the already dead monster proves a tricky prospect.
Fortunately there is a police inspector around who resembles Joe Spinnell and has a penchant for wearing bright red wellies – enough to scare the most hardened criminal into submission. Yet Ajay the Corpse provides a formidable challenge and there is an almighty showdown between repentant good and burgeoning evil to determine the course of history.
Shaitan Khopdi written and directed by one Vasan is far from being a classic yet it is infinitely superior to the wave of rubber masked shite that is the currently spewed out by those responsible for turds like Khopdi and Khooni Dracula. Not exactly the thrill a minute chiller that had been intended yet several cuts above the current dross that is churned out in the guise of horror these days.