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The interesting link between Prithviraj Kapoor, Ramsay Brothers and the first committed Horror Film in India - By Bobby Sing (Did You Known - 91)

06 Jun, 2017 | Did You Know!

Till the early 70s, the horror genre in Indian talkies was actually without any scary figures or bloodshed with its main focus on a frightening suspense or mystery with a pinch of horror and even comedy seen in films such as Mahal (1949), Madhumati (1958), Bees Saal Baad (1962), Kohra (1964), Woh Kaun Thi (1964), Bhoot Bangla (1965), Gumnaam (1965), Anita (1967), Ek Paheli (1971) & more. So the genre was being partially exploited in a pretty decent manner which was not really dreadful or gruesome in the literal sense. In other words, a more focused, scary horror movie with an ugly looking ghostly figure was still awaited.  
Incidentally Pyar Kiye Ja released in 1966 had one of the most famous scenes of Mehmood wherein he narrates the ambience/story of his self-written script to Om Prakash, hoping to get some instant finance for its making. The project happens to be of a horror film and the five minutes long sequence thoroughly entertains the audience with Mehmood making funny as well as frightening sounds and gestures to a visibly terrified Om Prakash trembling on his chair. The particular scene is still quoted among the best comedy scenes of Hindi Cinema, but probably no one could think of making a committed horror film at that time taking a clear clue from the same displaying some visionary guts.
However it all happened 4 years later (as it was destined to be) when The Ramsay Brothers actually found their Horror formula watching their father F. U. Ramsay’s Ek Nanhi Munni Ladki Thi (directed by Vishram Bedekar) released in the year 1970. 
The film didn’t do well and the family was just about to take a final decision about their film business when brothers Tulsi and Shyam Ramsay got hold of a very interesting clue in their repeated visits to the theater studying the audience’s reaction.
The film (which was not about any ghost) had a highly engaging sequence right in its opening 8 minutes in which Prithviraj Kapoor visits a museum to steal his ancestral dagger in the disguise of a tall, scary ghost wearing an ugly mask, frightening gloves, a creepy costume and a bullet proof jacket. The police officers arrive at the venue and starts firing at him as he is slowly coming down the stairs but the bullets keep bouncing off his body scaring the gunmen too. Taking short steps like a ghost he next reaches the car, drives away and on the road, scares another Sikh driver and a lady giving them a shock of their life. The film’s titles begin with a spooky kind of background music as the car keeps going and we see Prithviraj taking off his gloves and ugly mask sitting in the driver’s seat. 
This initial thrilling sequence got a surprisingly encouraging response from the audience and the brothers smartly noticed people thoroughly enjoying the unexpected scares, the teasing music, the ugly mask and the tall ghostly figure like never before. Taking the evident clue, they convinced their father to give it another try in the horror genre instead and that’s what resulted in a successful Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche strongly announcing their arrival.
Hence making an unintentional contribution, it was Prithiviraj Kapoor posing as the ghost in Ek Nanhi Munni Ladki Thi who actually became an inspiration for the introduction of dedicated horror genre in Hindi Cinema with the release of Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche in 1972.


(The instance was revealed by Tulsi Ramsay himself in a 2013 interview to DNA and now is also there in the latest book released in 2017 titled “Don’t Disturb The Dead – The Story of The Ramsay Brothers” published by Harper Collins)
The first two BTC articles on HORROR CINEMA in India can be read at the following links:
HORROR - The genre, which can still bring in the crowd with just marginal publicity and no Big Stars. 

Tags : Prithviraj Kapoor-Ramsay Brothers and the first Horror Film in India, Unknown Bollywood Facts by By Bobby Sing at Bobbytalkscinema.com, Did You Know section at BTC
06 Jun 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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