|The Evil Dead, 1981|
I was chatting with my friend online about some must-watch horror flicks and the usual suspects’ name came rolling… The Blair Witch Project, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Rosemary’s baby etc etc. I recollected my first brush with cinematic horror… I was perhaps in Class 4-5 then… and we used to hire VCR player and cassettes during our summer vacations and such other times. The movie in question was The Evil Dead, which was highly ‘recommended’ by the movie rental person. We brought the movie along with 3-4 other movies from many genres like ‘action’, ‘adventure’, kids (Famous Five series). Even now my brothers make fun of me when they recollect that once I asked them to bring the Amitabh-in-aluminum movie named Ajooba (some Russian collaboration period drama)!! But the case in point is that we brought the Evil Dead VHS tape and started watching it around 830pm (late start to get the feel of horror more!!). In the movie… the hero, heroine and friends rents a secluded house which the previous owner has sold off at throwaway price… and from then onwards things got creepy… the death by numbers continued and in turn the dead friends turn into zombies and starts attacking the remaining ones… which started to give us goosebumps…
The childhood bravado was the only thing that prevented me from going hyper although my big bro closed his ears at the slightest hint of zombie action… his philosophy was perhaps NO HEAR, NO FEAR!!
In the later part of the movie, something happened that could not be described merely in words. The movie was a Hindi dub and hence many of the dialogues were lost in translation. One of the female leads was killed and became a zombie and was locked inside a cellar by the guy… she manages to break open the lock and starts singing a song… “Haal kaisa haie janaab ka.. kya khayal haie aapka…” in all her bloody elegance!! It was a piece of cinematic brilliance (!) and we all started laughing out loud… it was so hilarious… and for a moment we forgot that we were watching a horror flick!! So much so for my first experience of a horror movie!