This online store offers products derived from cult Indian horror films


For Sandesh Shenoy of Bangalore, every day is Halloween. He runs an online store of horror products, but niche.

Bollywood Crypt sells merchandise of Indian horror films from the 1980s-1990s, a period that saw a series of cheesy but hugely popular ghost films by the Ramsay Brothers. So think of the t-shirts of “Veerana”, “Bandh Darwaza”, “Purana Mandir” and “Mahakaal”, with bleeding eyes, bowed necks, monsters glowing with rage and victims running to cover themselves with candles and candles. lanterns.

It also offers t-shirts from “Mystics in Bali”, a popular Indonesian film about black magic, European supernatural hits like “Nosferatu” and “Haxan”, and fantasy horror writer HP Lovecraft and his octopus. encounter – fictional dragon character, Cthulhu. He also has key chains, mugs, fridge magnets, and crocheted vampires.

“I acquired the rights to Pakistan’s first and only vampire film, ‘Zinda Laash,’ and to Zibahkhaana, her first zombie film. I will also be releasing tracks from Ramsay’s ‘Saamri’, ‘Purani Haveli’ and the unreleased ‘Maut Ka Saya’, ”he teases of his upcoming collections. He is also keen to explore the Malayalee ghost films of A Vincent and AG Baby.

Fear tactic

Hollywood produced worldwide hits like “The Conjuring”, “The Exorcist”, “The Sixth Sense”, “Ouija” and Japan gave “Ringu”. Bollywood is hardly known for horror, so how is that a selling point?

“You are wrong. There is a cult following for the films of the Ramsay brothers, which made horror popular in India. People are discussing it on Facebook groups. Thanks to YouTube, young people, who were not even born in At that time, discover these films. My clients are between 18 and 50 years old, “he explains.

Even NRIs and foreigners are addicted. “Mondo Macabro, a UK-based film company, has released six Ramsay films on three DVD volumes, titled The Bollywood Horror Collection I, II and III. These DVDs were gone from their online store and shelves in no time, and a single copy of these DVDs today sells for no less than US $ 150 used, ”says Sandesh.

These Indian movies looked B-grade and there isn’t much to say about it. There were small budgets, the graphics were crude, the acting was fun, the jumps were too scary and the songs just came along. If we looked at them now, we would laugh more than squint in fear. So, what motivates them, we ask?

Sandesh says, “Horror movies from India or South Asia are pretty relatable. Our stories take place in the places where we live. It can be a village, a city, a building. In the West, however, a haunted place is often an abandoned castle, away from the city. In addition, we have our occult practices like black magic and mythologies, which arouses the curiosity of the international public. “

The Ramsay phenomenon died at the turn of the 21st century, but not before they gave us “The Zee Horror Show” to watch on television. The only other Indian filmmaker to have left his mark in this genre is Ram Gopal Varma, with “Raat”, “Phoonk”, “Bhoot”, “Darna Mana Hai”.

A lull had set in since, but things are gradually changing. Sandesh says: “Directors like Vishal Furia, who directed the Marathi film ‘Lapachhapi’, or Rahi Anil Barve, who directed the horror of the Hindi period ‘Tumbbad’, inject fresh blood into the swollen corpse. Then, “Pari” and “Stree” were pleasant. “

“The fear is real”

Bollywood Crypt is not its core business – Sandesh runs a metal and electronic music label, Cyclopean Eye Productions. But the horror film bug bit him very early on, thanks to his father. “Every week he would bring home at least 10 movies to watch. Plus, he was a palmist, so there was an occult vibe in the family, ”he laughs.

Explaining why he’s drawn to the horror genre in particular, he says, “You can fake love, but you can’t fake an emotion like fear. Horror films draw on this primordial, fight or flight instinct. And for fear that we do not realize it, “we are in the middle of a horror film”, he specifies. “The political and health crisis that we have been witnessing for two years is a real horror,” he explains. And it looks like he’s not in the mood to party this Halloween. “I’m just going to watch ‘Hellraiser’ over a drink,” he concludes.


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