Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Dracula (1999)

Your Daily Dracula – Dracula (1999)

In this ramshackle Hindi horror movie, ‘Dracula’ seems to be a generic name for vampire … or, rather, a sort-of vampire who looks a bit like Joe Spinell if he were playing Indian Freddy Krueger and constantly sticks out his bloody tongue while brandishing bloody (or red-paint-stained hands).  He only actually bites someone on the neck late in the film.

The plot is an overpopulated hash – a snake-charmer transforms a cobra into a belly-dancer (Jyoti Eana) who wows a quartet of evil tantriks and leaves behind a mcguffin gem (a ‘nagmani’) everyone is after, and a bunch of girls along with their male pal (who has a thing for hi-vis outfits) visit a cemetery where wooden grave markers with anglo names like ‘John Boon’ wobble and they all get menaced by the Dracula (who seems to be the reincarnation of a thakur the supposed heroines did a bad thing to).  A stern priest, who looks like a baddie but is the Van Helsing type, turns up to defeat the monster but takes an inordinate amount of time getting round to it.

Directed by Bhooshan Lal and written by Rajesh Kundan, the film is full of scenes of girls shrieking as villains slowly clutch at them and their clothes coincidentally fall off.  There’s a crowded soundtrack featuring several songs about Dracula and a cacophonous sound collage (trigged by an endlessly repeated lightning strike clip) which includes laughing, thunder, groaning and what sounds like a chimp being grossly msitreated.  There’s also a scarred housekeeper who lurks behind a curtain and the crooked tantriks come back from the dead with grotesquely fake plastic fangs.


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