Khooni Mahal (1987)
|Cast||Raj Kiran, Raza Murad, Shoma Anand, Neelam Mehra, Jagdeep, Madhu Malhotra, Hussein, Jagdeep, Huma Khan, Satish Kaul, Shamshuddin, Gorilla,|
Khooni Mahal is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 1987. Mohan Bhakri directs this horror movie. Newer fans of Bollywood horror sometimes connect this name with sleazy movies and Z Grade cinema. The man might have slid down that road later in his career. But at least until 1987, he worked with recognizable and even famous actors. Khooni Mahal is a multi-starrer. The cast includes Shoma Anand, Neelam Malhotra, Javed Khan, Raza Murad and others. I am not surprised hearing this false information. There’s no definite source of information about Bollywood. Also, the industry is so big that there’s no one person or organization that knows or keeps a tab on everything. That’s the reason I give disclaimers for any and every information I give on this website. So, here’s my review of Khooni Mahal.
Four couples are off for a small picnic. While on their way, they need to camp because their car breaks down. While they are resting, they stumble upon a group of thieves who kill an innocent woman. The robbers now chase the eight people. As luck would have it, all of them need to take refuge in a old mansion. As they spend the night, the robbers attack the couples, but the couples outwit them. They tie them outside the mansion, and decide to hand them over to the police the next day. The robbers promise to avenge this. Little do both the groups know that a stronger, supernatural power resides in the mansion, and is out for blood.
Khooni Mahal is a good concept. I am not sure whether its a lift of any Hollywood movie. Even if it is, it was a good story for an audience who didn’t have access to the Hollywood flicks. And as for the reputation of Bhakri, yes, the movie has more sleaze than all the Ramsay movies combined. The screenplay is actually smart and doesn’t meander. After all, if you have four couples in the ‘couple-in-the-room’ trope, you are not going to waste footage on anything else.
Bhakri keeps his story pretty low-key. The movie is about a demon killing people, and being pretty good at it. You know its a kill-fest the moment the criminals get into the mansion of horror. Less of a guilt trip for the audience and the director. There’s one aspect that stands out though. In most of the Bollywood horror movies, there’s a religious artifact that defeats the demon. But in Khooni Mahal, the final boy and final girl use good old logic to defeat the demon.
The demon in this Bollywood horror movie is very much visible to the audience, even though Bhakri has the fog machine at hand at all times, so that’s another positive. Today, Khooni Mahal is infamous because there’s word that Neelam Malhotra did some hot scenes that came under the censor’s snippers before releasing. In hindsight, Neelam Malhotra was a horror movie staple. She did an amazing role in the Ramsay movie Shaitaani Ilaaka in 1990, and there wasn’t anything out of the way that she did in that movie. So, I don’t believe that she did anything out of the way in 1987.
So, watch Khooni Mahal for what it is – a low-budget, high on skin-show, fun mid-eighties Bollywood horror movie and you’ll be fine.
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