Murdaa Ghar (2000)
Cast: Shakti Kapoor, Anil Nagrath, Jyoti Rana
Director: Kishan Shah
Nutshell: Z-grade kitchen sink horror with no little style and no imagination
A dark stormy night, the kind that starts off all Bollywood horror films is in full swing and an artist inside is struggling for inspiration to paint his masterpiece and having a moronic servant prattling on doesn’t help him gather his concentration. There is a rap on the door and in gingerly steps a drenched young woman who has been stranded in the storm and has no place for shelter. (shades of House No.13?).
The artist, checking her out, asks if he could have her pose for his painting…but moments later his eyes start playing tricks on him and on close inspection she doesn’t appear anything like as gorgeous as she did when she appeared. The killer shock that is supposed to end this opening scene sadly fails to make much of an impact as the startling transformation that occurs is that she simply puts on a dime-store rubber mask!
Next we are shown that a family are about to return into their old ancestral home back in the village. It doesn’t take much time for a romance to blossom between a feisty village belle and the family’s young stud and they share a fine disco dance or two during their delightful courtship. Then we have an unbearable Jagdeep clone as a minnion (hard to imagine a more nightmarish thought) attempting to induce the chuckles of the front-bench crowd and failing miserably as well as a god-awful antakshri to suffer.
Finally strange things begin to occur, like the family lawn-mower starts baying like a wolf and scurrying about the place with a life of its own before ingeniously lassoing the eldest brother to an early demise! It’s an astonishingly inept scene and one has to admire the film makers for having the gall to show such a piece of crap to paying audiences. A white sari-clad mystery beauty strolls around in the mist singing a forlorn lament.
Later in proceedings Shakti Kapoor, the only recognisable name in the cast, makes a telling appearance and provides the reason for all the vengeful mayhem that the family Haveli has seemingly evoked upon itself.
Finally there is the usual showdown involving a trishul-wielding tantrik with a pair of alarming if rather shapely breasts spouting all sorts of fantastic mumbo jumbo pitted against the vengeful spirit hell bent on unleashing the most diabolical mayhem imaginable – for example her set of rubber fangs bought at the local joke shop or her goon’s rubber mask or perhaps her booming laughter.
This putrid film is yet another example of why Bollywood horror all but died out during the 90’s. It is a lamentably awful film with no redeeming qualities at all. Everything about the film is hopelessly inept – it’s difficult to credit the film with being anything more than a glorified home movie. The acting is truly sad and the scenes of supposed horror are only scary in how inept and uselessly constructed they are. Murda Ghar is a dreadfully uninspired piece of garbage – failing at every level as a remotely effective horror film. Mercifully, it’s a particularly short film even if it may not seem that way while watching it.