Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Bollywood zombies revisited

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies had me wondering what else could be improved with judicious zombie additions.
The Bollywood dance numbers saved Bride and Prejudice from Austin tedium. But imagine how much better Bride and Prejudice and Zombies could be! Thriller-style dance numbers, modified to Bollywood. And if the movie were released in format allowing for continuously variable zombies* for the home audience....
Then I wondered why there were no Indian zombie movies. I had a few candidate hypotheses, but none were terribly satisfying; I think this was my best one:
Horror films as a genre seem very thin market in India. A Bollywood-style zombie movie would then be very thin market indeed. If it's tough to do a low budget Bollywood film - Baumol's cost disease on the troupes of singers and dancers - then those films will target mainstream Indian cinema, not niche products. And a Bollywood zombie movie would be a niche of a niche: you kinda need the mainstreamish version of zombie movies before you can do the Shawn of the Dead treatment. My ideal Bollywood zombie movie would be genuinely terrifying, with dance intervals to relieve tension rather than as comic relief, but the Shawn of the Dead version would be much easier to pull off.
So it's again the curse of high fixed costs mixed with idiosyncratic preferences. If there were a few million Erics around, we could have Bollywood zombie film festivals on Seasteads. But there would be other problems.
Susmita Das today points me to a new Indian zombie movie: Rise of the Zombie (IMDB).

Here's one review:
There can't be a more fresh start in Bollywood and Luke Kenny takes full advantage of it by promoting his film as a blood spewing gore horror fest. However, what he doesn't put in the promos is the endless romantic saga that keeps running in flashbacks every five minutes. The romance track overshadows even the main plot after a point what with all the flashbacks and love songs. How Neil turning into a zombie has anything to do with his heart being broken has no justification whatsoever.

So, our very first zombie appears more a heartbroken rockstar (courtesy all the rock music playing in the background and a love gone sour track running in parallel) than a scary and spooky monster. He starts off by preying on ants and lizards, not quite the goriness you expect. But as the film graduates from being boring to sleep inducing, even the tastes of the zombie rises from insects to people. But by then you are already bored of the monsters incessant hunger pangs.

On the up sides, the film is a mere 90 minutes so sitting through it does seem possible. Luke also tries making up for his bad script sense by raising the technical aspects. Full marks on the make-up department for the transformation of Luke's character into a zombie gets brilliantly handled. Even the sound work in the spooky portions deserves a mention. The cinematography too is impressive.
Here's the trailer: The review gave the film 2/5 stars. There's Bollywood singing, but not the big dance numbers that would have pushed up costs. Sadly, if the film is rather poor, it's less likely to build the kind of demand that could yield the Bollywood zombie film for which I've yearned lo these many years. Alack, alas...

* In the original post, I wondered whether e-book formats could incorporate continuously variable zombies. Set it to zero, for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and you're left with lousy Jane Austin. Set it to Maximum, and there isn't a page without some kind of zombie event. Do read the original post...

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to make a film about two people made into zombies following a terrorist attack on Wellington's main newspaper; they then find love, but only after a series of hilarious mishaps. I've heard that there is a growing market for the Dom bomb zom rom com