This is Dracula. I think he's channeling General Custer.
My original plan for the morning was an international watch-along of Ram Balram. But when House in Rlyeh's DVD would not offer up its promised subtitles, we had to come up with something else. That something else was Shaitani Dracula, which I went along with because apparently I am a total sucker for European accents even when they're typed. I had never heard of this film or its director/writer/producer/star Harinam Singh until last winter, when Keith over at Teleport City wrote it up in one of the finest pieces of cinema-related blogging I've ever read. As soon as you're done looking at the pictures here, hie thee immediately to Teleport City and laugh until you cry (which is what happened to me). And then hie to Die Danger Die Die Kill! to read another like-minded and like-styled report.
As someone who likes to know what's going on and why, Shaitani Dracula actually is a nightmare. To avoid repeating Keith word for word, I'll just say that you could watch this movie's scenes in any order you wanted and it wouldn't really matter. (It wasn't subtitled, but I don't think knowing all the dialogues would help much.)
Otherwise, not so scary.
Worse than its lack of clear plot, competent acting, and all those pesky elements most people like in their movies, it committed the cardinal sin of Hindi cinema: it's boring. IT'S SO BORING. House claims it held bizarre glee for him, and there's no use arguing over taste. I hope he'll explain why and how in a post sometime soon. Save for a few particular moments, I would rather have been watching anything else.
This is one of Dracula's handmaidens. She's obviously balancing on a wagon or some other rolling thing with a relatively small surface area, because they never show below her knees and her menacing arm gestures usually slip into "Whoa! I almost fell off!" Also, her wings are made from foam core roughly cut with a table knife, and sometimes she loses them with no explanation.
There's a goose. Nobody says anything about it, and nothing happens to it (thankfully).
Yet nobody cared to re-shoot the 30 seconds it spends in the foreground.
This is stock stage direction #1. I lost track of how many times the group reassembles into this rough formation. It's the only linear thing about the movie - good for ensuring maximum screen time to all these poor hacks, but bad for actual effective group communication.
The incidents of monster/human sexualized violence
This is the opening shot. Why, hello to you, cleavage-y rape!
are somewhat made up for by the scantily-clad women doing the critical information-gathering and monster-killing.
I realize the Buffy-like slaying might just be an excuse to set up shots like this, but I'll take what I can get. The men in this movie are completely useless, and the women end up doing fine on their own. Um...yay?
I wouldn't ordinarily encourage watching whole movies on youtube. It tends to hurt the eyes, and generally I feel it's important to compensate filmmakers for their work. However, in this case, Shaitani Dracula might have been made with the spare change found between the sofa cushions and its costs can be recouped by the same technique. More importantly, Shaitani Dracula is an affront to humankind. I'm genuinely shocked that someone could be so incompetent and so full of his own deranged vision that he'd have the gall to ask other people to be involved with his madness (it's one thing to be out of your mind; it's another to drag other people into it) and then release the thing into the universe. Someone should ask him what in Helen's name he thinks he was doing, but I don't actually want to know. Go. Watch. Be amazed. I'm feeling like a bit of a failure for disliking it so much - I fancy myself easily amused and I'd love to be able to roll with the D-movie boyz - so if you get some fun out of it, more power to you. And tell me of your findings. No-logic masala, atrocious item numbers, 80s fashion disasters, regressive social norms - all of these I can handle if other elements surrounding them are intriguing or delightful or even just comically bad. But this held nothing. It's stunning that someone made it, and it's maybe even more stunning that such entertaining and well thought-out, creative writing has resulted from it. The mind, it boggles.
For discussion: I'd like to inflict on House something that is the opposite of this movie. Help me think of something. It needs to be well-lit, full of original music, dancing, mountains of glitter, male skin, fashionable, tasteful costumes, and heartfelt moral lessons. Suggestions? HAHK, maybe?