Kafan was released in 1990 when lots of cut price Halloween masks were widely used. Veteran 'Vampire Killer' Javed Khan has done justice to his role and Jamuna plays the regular scream queen. The story is about 4 men and a black magician seeking immortality and other supernatural powers. The movie is incredibly long and one wishes it to end up soon, but that's not the case, one is also excited to see so many evil gizmos till the final scores are settled by Lord Almighty thyself. A twisted tale of vengeance, where a victim of rape becomes a witch and possesses Jamuna.
The film begins with two Tantriks, one of which is sane and Mr. Goodie-to-shoes, while the other is a devil worshipper. Raza Murad and his 3 other friends want to be immortal and for this they are taking help of the evil black magician. The black magician asks them to bring a virgin girl for sacrifice. Two of the partners happen to find one girl Poonam, but paralyzed by lust, rape her till she faints. The rapists don't disclose anything to their friends. The ritual starts, and Poonam soon transforms to an evil hag, kills the black magician and is now after her tormentors.
Javed Khan is a police inspector and is in love with Jamuna. Their relationship is going on fairly well when things get disrupted and Jamuna begins to see things that happen far away. Yes, she receives telepathic signals when something unpleasant happens somewhere. At first Javed disbelieves her but when all the accidents are proved, he understands that something is fishy. Meanwhile Jamuna is haunted by the evil forces and her body soon becomes the home of Poonam's vindictive spirit. Under the effect of evil spirit she goes deranged and becomes the sole representative of the trauma-stricken Poonam. Soon after the city is under threat of a horrific witch, who would destroy anything on her way. With much difficulty Javed Khan is able to finish the series of havoc once and for all.
There are several scenes of mayhem which make the movie exceptionally better than most of the other contemporary Bollywood movies of horror genre. The haunted building shown in the film is fairly eerie and reminds me of Lucio Fulci's hotel cum portal to hell in 'The Beyond'. The movie is long but beautifully manages to create anticipated space for horror. Some scenes are filmed so nicely that one can surely feel the sense of isolation even when surrounded by his whole family. The good thing about Kafan is that it highlights only those cheesy, tension-clad, sleazy moments, that viewers expect from a good horror film. The dance numbers by Jamuna and Javed Khan and comedy sequences by Johnny Lever, Huma Khan and Tina Ghai are infantile and also the loop holes in the plot. Shortening the movie by an hour or so (removing the comedy sequences and useless dance numbers) could have qualified it as a pure saga of horror.
What I like about Kafan is that it teems with those aspects of Bollywood horror that most of the other Bollywood horror films miss. To be honest it doesn't feature stolen elements, retrograded scenes, insufferable comedy and has very few dance numbers. It's a demonic, chilling, undoubtedly cheap, Desi chute-the-chute ride of horror.
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