Maut Ki Dahshat (The Horror of Death) (2004)
Cast: Aman Sagar, Shabnam, Rajesh Sabharwal, Rajiv Raj, Poonam Das Gupta, Brij Gopal, Rupal, Dimple, Shiva, K.K. Goswami, Seema, Jamura, Rohit Raj, Bhupat Patel, Gautam, Bhakti Kapoor
Director: J. Neelam
Synopsis: An secret potion turns a young man into a diabolical Ape with rape and murder on the agenda.
First encountered Maut Ki Dahshat over a decade ago and found it mesmerizing for various reasons. The plot is not particularly novel with the theme being one involving secret potions that promise eternal youth but those of us who know our horror movies (Wasp Woman, Countess Dracula, Rejuvenator among many) also know that these potions always lead to mayhem and disaster. Maut Ki Dahshat however remained burned into the memory due to the fabulous deadpan dialogs which were brilliant enough to be inducted into the ridiculously concocted “Mondo Bizarro” radio shows recorded in those days for The City FM89 broadcast to the unsuspecting world. “Aik Bandar ne aisi harkat ki?” asks Inspector Rekha with the higher authorities breathing down her neck to solve the rape of a young woman at the hands of a man who appeared to resemble an Ape!
It transpires that the potion of Eternal “male potency” has the power to morph a normal healthy man into a hulking beast with superhuman powers and a sexual appetite to match. Unfortunately, there are side effects and the dose also tends to cause excessive hairiness and a distinctly Ape-like appearance. In the opening introductory scenes young daughter of famed scientist Vipin Rai is Seema is ravaged one night, but her cries of distress are noticed and she is saved just in time from the filthy cluthces of the rubbery Ape on a sex rampage.
While Seema’s family come to terms with her attack, the brilliant Inspector Rekha slowly begins to unravel the mystery but not before several women have been attacked, groped at length and occasionally raped by the Horrible Hairy Thing in his spree of wanton crime and violence.
At the very outset we are shown a healthy youth take the lotion and sprout tufts of hair at an alarming rate. In just seconds the healthy young lad is transformed from normal young man into a deranged gorilla with a sex drive that is off the charts and he prowls the city for new victims to ravage. It’s a terrible situation and the entire city is mortified for their mothers, wives and daughters as Inspector Rekha battles against time to stop the serial rapist-murderer before the death toll mounts any further.
Alas There is no stopping the Rubbery Ape with a serious case of slack jaw and a bevvy of beauties are attacked and apparently rubbed and groped to death. And in a breathtaking, almost Hitchockian twist our likely heroine is also horrendously pressed to death by the said Rubbery Ape which then leaves matters in the hands of the dashing inspector Khan.
Meanwhile it seems as though the Ape has a particular fascination with Scientist Vipin Rai’s daughter Seema who he returns to repeatedly to torment. Vipin Rai you remember is the creator of the potion that allows men to retain their masculinity, virility and physique for a lifetime….it is also a potion that halts gay “issues” and helps a man remain a “true man”.
Vipin Rai’s formula is also protected fiercely protected by his protégé Ajay who has helped his scientist mentor working tirelessly on the serum for years . But who could have stolen the formula that has now turned a supposedly law-abiding young man into a marauding sex-mad Rubber Ape? Soon it dawns on the police that the thief of the formula must also be the serial killer and rapist.
After several more deaths, all without one drop of blood in sight (the victims are rubbed and pressed to death) slowly the case starts to crack and in the climactic scenes finally the identity of the Ape is revealed as the effects of the potion runs out and he resorts to human form.
It’s a riotously awful film relying primarily on a man in a rubber suit for any of the misplaced horror it may have to offer but the moral of the story redeems it perfectly. The moral being that if you use unnatural substances to try to retain your youth, vanity and virility, things are bound to go awry and you will soon turn into a Psychotic sex starved Rubber Ape with a displaced jaw. If you take substances to increase your masculinity, your physique and your strength, eventually it will rebound on you with deadly results.
Maut Ki Dahshat is a searing critique of “cosmetic surgery” and steroid use and ought to be watched the world over especially screened at gyms where the youth are all readily injecting themselves and popping all sorts of substances which one day might turn them into a Killer Rubber Ape. The world needs more socially relevant horror such as Maut Ki Dahshat; a triumph for producer-director J. Neelam.
Amazingly entire songs have been lifted from other movies and Asha Bhosle’s fabulous sizzling cabaret number from Johnny Mera Naam makes a complete appearance and is possibly the most enjoyable part of the movie. Plenty of Ape attacks to keep horror hounds satisfied, not nearly enough nudity for the normal cheap trash horror flick but then the dose of morality adds some gravitas to a surreal situation. Some of the drunken comedy sequences are the stuff of true horror and if you make it to the end, you should commend yourself on considerable reserves of determination. A potent indictment of the horrors of steroids and “aesthetic” surgery. A relevant and topical film.