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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best Films to come out of India

8/10
Author: Monster-17 from United Kingdom
12 April 2006

I remember my parents renting this from our local Hindi video library in the 1980s. I remember seeing the poster in the shop window and Saamri's grotesque face staring lustfully at Arti Gupta's body. We used to love this movie when we were kids because it was really scary. I hear it was a tremendous hit and people in Bombay were crazy for it. The Ramsay Bros. are fantastic filmmakers and know exactly which buttons to push in order to get the right response from the audience. More than this, they had really fantastic stories that were based on old Indian myths and superstitions and delivered them with plenty of style and energy. Much like the Hammer Horror films of Britain, the Ramsay Bros. had a visual aesthetic that was uniquely their own and has never been replicated. It's a shame that they no longer make movies and have chosen instead to concentrate on India's burgeoning television market. At a time when I really couldn't hack watching glossy Bollywood musicals or listening to soppy Hindi love songs, the Ramsay Bros. movies were about the only thing we could watch collectively and really enjoy. 'Purana Mandir' is a perfect example of good Hindi commercial movie-making and deserves to be hailed as a Horror classic.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Knock-Out Bollywood Horror!! EVIL DEAD meets SOUND OF MUSIC?

Author: Jens Kofoed-Pihl (superhetero@hotmail.com) from Copenhagen
25 November 2000

If you want one Bollywood shocker, PURANA MANDIR is good place to start. Over two hours of over-the-top gory action with wild camera angles, stunning action scenes, creepy shocks and, eh, all the cheerful singing and dancing!

ONE THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN!

Argento-fans who're tired of Euro/US horrorflicks, should try this tasty hindi dish - you'll be coming back for more!!!

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Before there was Raaz, there was Purana Mandir...

10/10
Author: praks99 (praks99@hotmail.com) from United States
31 August 2006

Purana Mandir is without any doubt one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Bollywood horror movie ever made. Directed by the famous Ramsay Brothers, it has a powerful story that grips your attention right from the start, and never let's go.

The story concerns a demonic curse bestowed on a royal family, which forbids its daughter (Aarti Gupta) from marrying. However, she falls for Monish Behl. Before they can marry, they visit, with two friends, the old palace and the nearby temple where, hundred of years ago, an extremely macabre event had taken place...

Much of the credit for the huge success of this masterpiece has to go to the perfect musical score provided by relatively unknown music director Ajit Singh. The music is essential in making this movie genuinely frightening at times. Monish Behl and Aarti Gupta both give very sincere performances, Ajay Agarwal has a very strong screen presence as Samri, and it is a pleasure to also see veteran actor Pradeep Kumar.

The DVD recently released by Mondo Macabro (part of a 2-disc release including also Badh Darwaza) is the best this movie has looked for years. Unfortunately, it is presented in 4:3 aspect ratio, but this is how the movie was originally made.

I would rate this movie right up there with Raaz as the best Bollywood has given its audience in terms of horror.

And, oh, did I forget to say that Purana Mandir also has the most beautiful and haunting love song ever to grace the Indian silver screen, sung by no other than...Ajit Singh himself.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Classics although not classy

10/10
Author: Parveen Sodhi from United Kingdom
19 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had the misfortune to watch this film as a kid but saw it again only last year and it still scared the hell out of me. The whole atmosphere of the film is creepy - the gate to the house, the eyes in the paintings, the staff at the house, the windy weather. Also the little shocks that come up unexpectedly throughout the film! The blood shower, the possession of the caretaker, the child-birth possession at the beginning of the film! This film gave me sleepless nights for a few weeks and its absolutely great to watch if you're visiting your farmhouse or are going to a remote country trip where everything squeaks, and where there is limited electricity.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The best Indian horror film

7/10
Author: pcsarkar from India
14 November 2006

Yeah.. as a horror movie buff... seeing both Hollywood and Bollywood horror flicks, I would say that PURANA MANDIR is the best Indian horror film ever made, or at least, I have seen. The theme is great, the props, though cheesy, are creepy enough, the demon is really scary, the songs are good and the plot is plausible (for a change). The movie moves at a fast pace and there is never a moment of boredom, excepting some comic interludes. Ajit Singh, a nightclub singer, a talented music director (of very few films) and a true-blue Indian prince, manages to come with really hummable songs, including the signature song, WOH BEETEY DIN YAAD HAI, especially the version which Ajit Singh sings himself. A touch of eroticism in the movie is enough to titillate the audience. A watchable horror movie, by any standards. At least there is no vampire or werewolf theme, which Hollywood seems to specialize in .. Even though more than 20 years have passed since the movie was released, it has not dated.. there is nothing to date in the movie, excepting, perhaps the clothes that the lead pair wore and the car they drove. The movie has some really scary moments.. and I would really recommend it to all horror movie fans.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic....Freddy, jason, Leatherface and Saamri

10/10
Author: Liakot Ali from London
28 September 2008

Purana Mandir is example of great Indian cinema and at the same time low budget. Its low budget in terms of casting but the props and make up on the monster is still pretty good for the early 80s. Not good, but for its time its amazing and scary. Saamri is a terrifying monster who went on to do more films which include Bandh Darwaza and Saamri 3d. The guy that plays Saamri suited the role and did a good job. Monish Behl i believe makes his debut and does a decent job. Puneet Issar is average, Jagdeep is OK for some people, but i found him annoying. The girls are unknown and looks like will remain that way, but one of them did some mild nudity which was rare at the time. They are quite good looking, but compared to this generations of actresses then no chance. Ramsay family are magnificent film makers who have given one of the best horror movies in India. Purana Mandir and Veerana are great movies.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Just Brilliant

10/10
Author: bk_connection from Copenhagen, Denmark
2 December 2004

This movie is just Brilliant, it has got everything from Horror to comedy to some soft sex scenes. Purana Mandir must be the most scary movie made in India ever. The actors has done some really good acting, and especially the Saamri guy has done it again. He is sure a good actor, and makes every little child and even grown up sleepless at nights, crying for their mothers to save them. The comedy part is Brilliant, Jagdeep is the Godfather in comedy. The actress is sure sexy, and she loves to show her body, even though its not even nice to look at...hehe

The Ramsay's has done a excellent camera work with some excellent story writing...to all you movie lovers, Purana Mandir is a must see, and don't watch it alone.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

India's Best Horror Film till date

9/10
Author: bhaskar-agnihotri from India
20 May 2010

This is the best horror film made in India with "Saamri" as India's answer to its western counterparts Freedy Kruger,Jason.It is time for the next generation of Ramsay clan to make films with fresh story ideas catering to the present generation.There has been never been such a favorable time to make horror films in India.Ramsay's have been the creator of this genre in India and what is needed is a fresh start with a gripping story, better special effects and great production values to match the international standards.If they were successful in times when the funds were limited and a limited market they can be successful now with the markets opening up and corporates backing fresh ideas.Calling RAMSAY'S WE WANT YOU BACK!!!.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Thakur, Haveli, and Saamri

7/10
Author: khayaal_e_yaar from Port Blair
7 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As far as the history of Indian cinema is concerned, there has been very little place for horror till date. Even today, the romantic and action films are sure to do more business than their horror counterparts. Its other story that Indian directors are not very professional with horror and their kind of story is closer to any of the push-cart kiddo comic than to a decent horror story. Seriously, I am now left with nothing in hand but a couple of Ramsay movies, that shine even today in the Bollywood sky of horror. Purana Mandir was one such attempt by the Ramsays that stands out even today when its compared to Bhatt's absurd ghost tales. Though Purana Mandir wastes a hell lot of time on pointless and mindless comedy sequences where the power of Puneet Issar seems dwarfing down under the magnitude of super suckers Jagdeep and Rajindernath to insulting levels, but at the same time it honestly keeps pace with the plot and uses similar elements of fear that the viewers would later see in Ramsays other hits like Veerana and Bandh Darwaza. The plot follows a similar Thakur-Haveli plot, but in a different fashion this time.

Years ago, a tantric named Saamri (Aniruddha Agarwal) roamed about the sultanate of Bijapur, terrorizing and killing the townsfolk. Finally he was arrested by King Hariman Singh's soldiers and sentenced to death for his inhuman and unholy offenses. Saamri is a vampire who killed several women and children and drank their blood to please his demon god. When Saamri is about to be beheaded, he puts a curse on the King's family. According to his curse, every women of the King's family shall die during childbirth. Saamri is beheaded with his head and torso buried at different places. It is believed that who so will put the head and torso together, shall give Saamri a chance to resurrect, whereby the resurrected Saamri will devastate everything that comes his way.

The film cuts to present times, where we see Suman (Aarti Gupta) and Sanjay (Mohnish Bahal) as love birds. Suman wants to marry Sanjay, but her father Thakur Ranvir Singh (Pradeep Kumar) is hellbent on separating the duo. Suman finally comes to know that she is the descendant of King Hariman Singh and being a girl she would face Saamri's curse and die at the childbirth. The evil image of Saamri appears and disappears before Thakur Ranvir Singh every now and then and torments him. Sanjay and Suman want to put an end to this curse and decide to pay a visit to Suman's ancestral palace. They also take Anand (Puneet Issar) and his wife with them. The palace is a hellish place and remains vacant even today. It is looked after by the caretaker Durjan (Sadashiv Amrapurkar) and a local woodcutter Sanga (Satish Shah). The two believe that a large sum of valuables is stashed somewhere in the palace and keep looking for it. They somehow find a box and believing it to be their booty-box, open it by mistake. Their mistake forms the crux of the story. Obviously the monster has to be resurrected else who would spend money watching the b-graders?

Aniruddha Agarwal as Saamri is the core attraction of Purana Mandir, and he solely overshadows others. He is so effective as Saamri, that the viewers feel mesmerized and forget about the protagonists. Jagdeep and Rajindernath with their sore performances have only extended the movie duration by an hour or so and could have been avoided by the directors. The lead pair is okay but Puneet Issar has given a great performance and his death really troubles the viewers. The background score is one of the most haunting scores and was repeatedly used in many other Ramsay projects including their famous Zee Horror Show. This soundtrack is still considered 'jinxed' by many. This is a fairly enjoyable film (overlooking the comedy) that can be relished on a dizzy Saturday night.

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Great location film

9/10
Author: chetanlakum4 from India
23 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

when i saw this movie first time i was Really happy that this Indian film maker is very good, because when in India people love to watch romantic movie then this guy dare to makes horror movie, i really salute RAMSAY FAMILY,not because they dare to makes horror movie but made great horror movie of India ever with some great location from Murud's nawab palace, i personally saw that palace, believe me it's looks really horror and heritage,

The story of movie is similar to other Ramsay movie like Thakur and haweli plot, but in this movie we automatically fall in love with them,

The performances are good from Mohnish Behel,Aarti Gupta and Puneet Issar, but the credit goes to AJAY AGARWAL and his MAKE-UP MAN,he was brilliant with his face expression,

After watching this movie i really becomes number one fan of RAMSAY BRO.

I REQUEST RAMSAY BROS. THAT PLEASE MAKE THIS KIND OF MOVIE AGAIN AND AGAIN BECAUSE WE NEED YOU DEAR,AND THANKS FOR GREAT ENTERTAINMENT.

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