Khooni Shikanja (2000)
Cast: Navin Nishal, Raza Murad, Kiran Kumar,
Music: Bappi Lahiri
Nutshell: Raped, stabbed and left-for-dead Shefali returns from the grave for revenge
Sluttish siren shefali struts into a spooky dungeon den inhabited by her chain-smoking father and aunt who in between puffs ask her about the progress of her various schemes. The tart reports that all plans are moving smoothly ahead and that she has duped wealthy, dumb socialite Shanker into marrying her after which the plan is that she, her father and her aunt (if they haven’t died of lung cancer by that time) will murder Shanker and his entire family and usurp their millions. A simple plan by all accounts but sadly things go awry for the scheming troika as Shanker’s family aren’t too thrilled about having a cheap floozy as their daughter in law and a deadly plot is hatched to derail Shefali’s plans before she can snag the dim-witted Shanker.
Seasoned horror veteran Navin Nischal, still without a single silver hair in his gleaming jet black mane, schemes with the family and together they decide to do what any decent family would do in similar circumstances – they have their prospective daughter in law gang-raped, stabbed and thrown into a shallow grave!
But had they been familiar with Bollywood horror movies they would realize that soon enough the dead woman will arise to wreak havoc on those who wronged her, undoubtedly wearing the trademark white sari while she goes about the messy business of revenge wearing a layer or two of oatmeal, soot and black smudge and prone to breaking out into uncontrollable fits of laughter at regular intervals. And thus the devilish Shefali duly returns to wreak havoc on Nishal’s family and one by one in a series of increasingly bizarre mishaps, the clan is drastically whittled down in size. Who will stop the murderous vengeful spirit of gang-raped and brutally murdered ex-call girl Shefali…..or will she succeed in wiping out the entire despicable Nischal lot and succeed in avenging herself? Furthermore, who are the two mysterious, shadowy chain-smoking aunt and father figures who act as guidance counsellors to the diabolical Shefali and who we never quite catch a proper look at?
Though produced in 1999 and released the following year during Bollywood Horror’s darkest era – this film manages to set itself apart with its fast paced plot and the imaginative if hilariously staged death scenes that fortunately litter the film quite liberally. The acting is generally atrocious which only adds to the films odd charm – however seasoned horror veterans Navin Nischal and Kiran Kumar turn in well oiled performance showing exactly why they are desi horror movie Hall of Famers. Another star horror performer turning in an epic and quite memorable performance is Raza Murad who is given some stunningly banal yet brilliant dialogues during the way.
One or two death scenes are as terrifying as anything one is likely to encounter anywhere in the world – a scene where Shefali possesses as plastic doll who subsequently turns into a foaming mouthed vampire demon is a true gem while another when a buxom beauty is brutally flattened under the bonnet of a car has to be seen to be believed. In another gem, blithering, obese grand father has a terrible wheezing fit and is then kicked and pushed tumbling down the staircase to his death – a staircase consisting of about four steps! Sad to see Disco King Bappi Lahiri working on a miniscule project as this one, but his disco dross actually suits trashy z-grade fodder like this.
Despite its embarrassing flaws, hideously stale plot and kitchen sink production values, not to mention fairly risible acting and cringe-worthy dialogues, the film actually races along at a merry rate of knots and keeps the insane death scenes, however ludicrous, coming thick and fast. Khooni Shikanja is a cheap and cheerful piece of trash of a highly entertaining variety.