They are the legendary kings of horror. The Ramsay brothers have given Hindi cinema cult classic horror films, which may or may not scare you but will definitely entertain and humor you. Their style of filmmaking may not have had the finesse or technological support of today’s films but they were high on entertainment value. Creepy looking monsters, seductive leading ladies clad in negligees, spooky houses in the middle of nowhere – they had created a niche of their own. Back in the day these films did a good job at spooking and scaring people and also making money at the box office. But today, if an interesting dose of mindless entertainment and laughter is what you need, just catch one of their films.

Pandolin picks out ten popular films made by the Ramsay brothers that are sure to amuse you.


Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche: This 1972 horror film directed by Ramsay brothers, Tulsi and Shyam, was a runaway hit. It in fact laid the foundation for several horror titles from the Ramsay brothers in the future years. The central character in the film is a scientist who is killed by his wife and her uncle only to return as a zombie and take revenge. The film also uses some weird metaphors to signify intimacy, two scary looking dolls and the likes. This could well be one of the first zombie (or Ramsay’s version of one) movies in Hindi cinema.


Andhera: Though not a runaway hit, Andhera (1975) performed fairly well for the budget it was made in. The film features some recognisable faces including Anil Dhawan and Kanwaljeet. Andhera is a suspense thriller with elements of horror wherein a young girl’s past catches up with her leading to scary twists and turns. She has to fight off an evil spirit and a living man, both of whom want her dead. So apart from a horrific creature with devil like fangs and creepy claws you can also enjoy some murder mystery like conspiracy in another one of these classic Ramsay films.


Darwaza: Released in 1978, Darwaza features almost all the same actors as the previous films from the Ramsay brothers. The film marked the debut of Shakti Kapoor who plays a baddie. So Darwaza is set in a haveli that is cursed and there is a werewolf like creature who is out to kill everyone. The protagonist, played by Anil Dhawan, is sent away to the city to escape the curse, but returns to find the answers to his recurring nightmares. And what follows is true Ramsay style horror. The producers had even announced a cash reward to anyone who dared to watch the movie alone.


Aur Kaun? : Though a horror film it has an unusual seductive tale – a dead lady and a living, breathing man. The plot of Aur Kaun? (1979) revolves around a young Sachin Pilgaonkar, the protagonist, who is seduced by a lady. However the lady dies and her corpse comes back to captivate Sachin and fulfill her incomplete desires. Wonder how that works! The music of the film was composed by none other than Bappi Lahiri and it even had a popular song sung by Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar. The film was directed by Shyam Ramsay and also featured character actor Om Shivpuri.


Purana Mandir: This film marked a grand comeback for the Ramsay brothers after a hiatus of around three years. And Purana Mandir (1984) went on to become a box office success. The film revolves around a devil-worshipper Saamri who indulges in heinous acts and curses a king and his entire family. Several decades later the king’s great-great-great grand daughter and her lover set out to investigate the tale of this curse that is deterring them from getting married. Purana Mandir is a complete masala entertainer with romance, mystery, horror and even comedy thrown in. The film has a parody of Sholay’s famous scene with Jagdeep playing Gabbar Singh. It made Saamri a legend of sorts and also gave way to a sequel some years later.


Saamri: The film is best remembered for its iconic creature ‘Saamri’ who started a trend of creature features. Saamri (1985) is the story of a wealthy landlord who worships Goddess Kali and is called as Saamri. He becomes the victim of his relatives’ greed and is subsequently killed by them. But Saamri soon returns from the dead to, guess what, avenge his death. Though this film had nothing new, it is still amongst the popular films in the Ramsay filmography as the horrendous looking monster Saamri managed to successfully frighten people. Interesting to note is that the film used 3D technology which technically makes it India’s first 3D horror film. The Ramsay brothers also got into a dispute with Vikram Bhatt over the same.


Tahkhana: A tale of two separated sisters, a hunt for a hidden treasure and a scary demon summarises Tahkhana (1986). Tahkhana builds on the favorite plot of Hindi cinema where siblings often get lost and keep looking for each other throughout the film. This 1986 film directed by the Ramsay brothers had a few known faces including Hemant Birje, Puneet Issar and Imtiaz Khan, a favorite of the Ramsays. The film is more like a treasure hunt with various amusing characters and elements thrown in, and of course the scary monster who guards the treasure. If you’re looking for an adventure film with some chills and thrills, this one won’t disappoint you.


Veerana: This 1988 film is best remembered for its good looking actress who indulges in various acts of seduction throughout the film. Veerana is a cult horror favorite that is remembered till date. Two thakur brothers get a notorious witch killed but the witch comes back to possess the daughter of one of the two men. The witch’s partner in crime is a tantrik who wants to immortalize her. The possesed girl is a beautiful seductress who keeps killing men at the behest of the witch. Finally the witch is captured and all is fine and dandy. Such was the popularity of this story with its ensemble cast that the Ramsay brothers are planning a remake of the film in 3D. Now that sounds like something to look forward to.


Purani Haveli: A Ramsay film is incomplete without an ancient, menacing looking haveli. So dedicating the name of a film to this popular phenomenon is only but natural. On a serious note, Purani Haveli (1989) revolves around a family that purchases an old mansion oblivious to the deep dark secrets it holds. The mansion houses a terrifying monster who is imprisoned in the dungeon but has evil powers that kill anyone who comes to the mansion. One day his cage is accidentally opened by one of the chararcters and he sets out to kill everyone one by one. But divine intervention helps the surviving characters to escape from the monster. Purani Haveli was one of the last watchable films from the Ramsay filmography.


Bandh Darwaza: This 1990 film came at a time when Hindi cinema was undergoing a change with varied content coming in. And keeping with the trend, even the Ramsay brothers did away with their patent monster, introducing a new creature – a bloodsucking dracula cum vampire. But the vampire too like all other creatures from Ramsay films is hungry for women. The music of this film was given by noted musicians Anand-Milind. The Ramsay brothers did make a few forgettable films after Bandh Darwana. However Ramsay movie lovers found solace in the equally scary, entertaining TV series, ‘Zee Horror Show’.  

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