Thursday, May 31, 2012


Lest anyone think I've totally abandoned watching schlocky horror movies for snooty art house thrillers, here's a return to my roots. Hisss is my first Bollywood Horror movie. Well, to be more precise, it's my first Bollywood movie. I tend to avoid musicals like the bubonic plague. Song and dance are the cornerstones of Bollywood, so their films didn't seem like a good fit for me. It didn't help matters that a fair amount of material also seemed to focus on fluffy romances. However, as I started to see more Bollywood films delving into fantasy, sci-fi and horror. It felt like a good time to broaden my horizons with something vaguely familiar.

An ugly American abducts a Nagin/snake goddess' (Mallika Sherawat) mate, demanding a cure for his brain tumor, in exchange for its safe return. Snake Goddess goes on a rampage to find her lover. Meanwhile, an overburdened cop (Ifrran Khan) investigates a string of bizarre killings involving cobra venom.

The Species influence is kind of hard to miss.

Hisss has a little bit of everything: superhero flick, revenge story, female empowerment, creature feature, musical, love story, comedy and an attractive lead in Sherawat. Khan gives the film a much needed boost of credibility. It's like a poor man's Species -- minus the nudity but added music. Lowered expectations are a must. Apparently, nobody told Bollywood. The film bombed with both critics and audiences. Writer/Director Jennifer Chambers Lynch("Boxing Helena") made a documentary about her hellish experience making the film.

This might be more interesting than the actual film!

Surprisingly, I wasn't traumatized by the occasional music video montage. Nowhere as grating as I had feared. Lynch didn't get the love story she wanted, but this isn't a disaster. If you can sit through Cockroachasaurus on SyFy, you can get through this...

I have an affinity for ancient myths and legends so perhaps I'm grading on a curve. But wouldn't it be cool if we gave ghosts, vampires, werewolves and zombies a rest and looked for more interesting monsters? Or at the very least, what makes the zombies/werewolves in your script different from all the rest?

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