We’re off to exotic sunny India again for some Hindi styled horror goodness with a look at the recent DVD release of “Creature 3D”. Been a while since we watched a good old-fashioned monster movie, hopefully India knows what we’re lookin’ for. In any event, it stars the beautiful Bipasha Basu as our heroine, and I’ve always liked Hindi films with her so chances are pretty good I’ll enjoy this one too.
Our synopsis goes like this: “Pretty Ahana Dutt takes out a loan to open a hotel in Glendale, deep in the jungles of Himachal Pradesh after greedy land developers drive her father to suicide and steal away her family home. At first, the place seems to be a paradise, and the perfect place for her to make a fresh start and forget the tragedies of her life. Soon however, a new menace starts to stalk her and her guests, a terrible beast bent on feeding an insatiable hunger and one which seems poised to destroy her new life and all her dreams. Torn between a desire to run away yet again or stand and fight for life and love, which will Ahana choose?”
Yep. This one seems to have it all. Singing and dancing…. sweet syrupy romance…. and a hungry lizard monster/demon thingee. Looks like a certain crazy Catgirl’s gonna be one happy lil’ lady with this one. So what the heck are we waiting for? 😉
After the disappointing snoozefest that was “Zombeavers”, I wasn’t really sure my adorable wife was ready for another of my admittedly goofy foreign horror goodies… and I still owe her a movie she’ll like (Hopefully that’ll be taken care of once we get a chance to watch Disney’s “Maleficent” which popped into the mailbox over the weekend… I’m pretty certain that’ll be more her kind of film). But I’d been eagerly awaiting this particular DVD and luckily for me, it finally arrived straight from India on Saturday, just in time for a little mindless movie watching fun on Sunday evening. We had an absolutely hugely busy weekend at the restaurant, but with an evening off and about zero ambition for going out to do anything together, a nice night on the couch watching TV with Ting-ting and Carolyn seemed the perfect thing to relax and finish out the weekend. Well… that and catch the latest episode of “Walking Dead”…. gotta have your priorities. 😉
And I have to say… this one actually made a pretty good lead-in for that too. Although I had read some pretty disparaging reviews in the Indian media about it, I’ve rarely let most of those stop me from giving any film a try for myself, and this time out I’m glad I didn’t.
It’s a simple story. In fact taken as a whole its a pretty good modern version of a 1950’s or 60’s classic monster movie just like a certain wee lil’ kitten used to watch on TV back in the day. You remember those… you always get a hero, a heroine, some disbelieving local cops, and a brainy scientist guy along with a vicious hungry critter snarfing down all the poor innocent victims it can get its grubby talons on before being trapped and killed to restore peace and tranquility once more. Yep. That’s our game plan this time out too. The Indian press seemed to feel this made the film too “old-school” and too out-of-touch with a modern audience…. not all shiny and filled with complicated plots where good and evil are tough to sort out. Well. To heck with all that rubbish and nonsense. There are times when simple and uncomplicated work just fine, and “Creature” is one of those sort of films.
More importantly…. and surprising to me at least… “Creature” has Bipasha Basu in a role as our main character, heroine Ahana Dutt, that is actually a good strong female heroine for a change. Yep… something that I rarely encounter in a Hindi film. Yes, there is a male lead in this one too… it’s a Hindi film after all and almost all Hindi films are romance films at their heart… but rather than center the film on our Heroine and then steal her thunder away by having the male lead constantly doing all the hero stuff because she’s too weak… too emotional… just plain too “girly”… to get things done without him, here our Heroine needs no saving at the last moment. Nope. She’s got this. Just get the heck out of her way while she kicks monster butt!! Yay!! 🙂
Sure our Heroine has had it rough. Evil land developers drive her father to suicide to start with… she’s aware of her desire to shrink from further conflict… to wrestle with the same feelings of dread that drove her father to death. Still she perseveres to open her dream resort and make her life better… even if that means making a deal with slimy bankers that are smiling when they lend her the money only to wait and plot to take everything away from her at the first sign of weakness on her part. She finds new love and romance with Kunal (played by Imran Abbas Naqvi) only to find out his real reason for coming into her life… that he’s actually Karan Malhotra, the son of one of those evil land developers and he’s ashamed of the way he ruthlessly acted in causing her father’s suicide. Awwww crap… and he was pretty darn hunky too, but this just ruins any chance for further sexy flirty time. Then the monster shows up… killing her employees, her guests, threatening to bring everything in her life to ruin yet again.
Nobody offers to help her. Not those bankers… not the Wildlife Authorities… and she’s determined not to accept help from Kunal once she knows his real identity. There’s a scientist…. Professor Sadanand (played by Mukul Dev), with all the folklore about the monster, but somehow you know he’s not gonna last long once the going gets rough.
So what sort of monster do we have here anyways? Well, it’s a critter called a “Brahmarakshasa”. That’s a mythological monster created when the God Brahma the Hindu god of creation, curses a wayward priest to become a half demonic creature with no salvation, unable to enter either heaven or hell but instead eternally condemned to roam on earth and suffer an unending hunger that can never be sated. Ummmm? Wait a minute? Wander the Earth? All freaky and monstery and …. hungry for meat… any kind of meat? But…. but…. doesn’t that mean Brahma has just unleashed an unstoppable killing machine on the rest of humanity? Sounds like a pretty stupid way to curse one guy if you endanger all those people who didn’t break Brahma’s rules…. Carolyn picked up on that right away as did yours truly and it’s kinda the hardest part of this movie to swallow. (Psssst! Any of you out there with some notion of the folklore behind this… if there is really any mind you… feel free to enlighten a confused kitten here… 😉 )
In a practical sense what we get for viewing pleasure is a big honking 10 foot tall CGI lizard/ demon thing with crazy sharp talons, that runs like a cheetah, climbs around like spider on any surface, and likes to rip people into manageable bloody bits for easy snarfing and snacking. Oooohhh!! Oooohhh!! And it’s also bulletproof… immune to being run down by a car… and mostly unkillable. Hmmmm? Well… wait a minute… it is crazy afraid of fire. You know, just like Frankenstein’s monster was. Sounds pretty darn useful, but for some unfathomable reason throughout the whole movie nobody ever tries to use that as a way to kill it. I mean… it lives in a big ol’ cave out in the woods near the hotel, so I have to scratch my head and wonder why nobody just backs up a truckload of gasoline up to that, pump it in, and just burn our freaky monster out. Heck… nobody even tries to whip up some Molotov cocktails to fend it off. Come on guys!! It’s worth at least a try…. 😉
So what the heck can our Heroine rely on to stop its rampage and save the day? Well it seems decades back, the villagers tell of a stout-hearted hunter who showed up and killed just oodles of these wicked monsters. Come to find out his son still knows exactly how he did it. With a gun that fires bullets dipped in the Holy waters of the temple pond of the Brahma Temple in Pushkar, the one and only temple of Brahma in the world. But this is effective only if they are dipped into the pond on the night of Kartik Purnima, which is ten months away. Too bad the bankers plan to seize Ahana’s land in less than ten days….
Still, there’s a slim hope. The hunter’s son still has his father’s old rifle… and seven holy blessed bullets for it. Guess they’ll have to do. One thing that truly sucks…. it’s this crazy single shot muzzleloader…. not exactly what you want to fight a frisky monster like we’ve got here.
That leads to our climax, as Ahana patches things up with Karan temporarily to face the monster with the help of the Professor and Inspector Rana (played by Bikramjeet Kanwarpal) the only trustworthy guy at the Wildlife Bureau. Naturally not everybody is going to survive…. it’s a fairly standard notion in these sorts of monster movies. The final battle leaves only Ahana and Karan… and much to both Carolyn’s and my own surprise, she’s the one to finally kill our horrid monster! But… but… seriously…. Hindi Heroines never get to be soooo fiesty and spunky! I’ve seen oodles of Indian movies and it’s just always the case that they end up relying on a man to save them. Not Bipahsa!! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed that for a change! So…. maybe this movie is a little silly…. maybe it’s got some glaringly questionable plot ideas…. but having a strong female hero in an honest-to-goodness Hindi film who saves the day is just such a breath of fresh air that both of us ended up happy as heck with this one! Bipasha… you go girl!! 🙂
So… our Heroine saves the day, finds it in her heart to forgive Karan for her father’s death and shares her new life and love with him in the jungle paradise of Glendale Hotel. Sounds like a wrap. Roll those credits!
Yep both Carolyn and I really liked this one. I give it an enthusiastic 3 “Meows” out of 5. It’s a slick, modern film with the feel of an old 1950’s creature feature. It’s got a feisty competent Heroine who shows us how it’s done when the chips are down. The CGI might be a bit lacking at times… especially when we see our monster doing long scenes like running or the like.. but is mostly adequate for the task at hand. Also both Carolyn and I felt they revealed our creature a wee bit toooo early in the story… but hey… I wasn’t expecting the suspense of say “Jaws”. Nope… things here are definitely more “Jurassic Park”. The Hindi DVD is presented Widescreen and All Region, with the excellent English subtitles I’ve come to expect. Oooohhh!! And there’s no blurry stupid 3D either!! Yay! Way to make a Catgirl happy! Don’t know if any of you Gentle Visitors are into Hindi film the way this nutty lady is, but if you were to run across this one you could definitely do far worse than give it a try for some nostalgic old school monster fun. Try it… 🙂
So that it. Naturally there’s also a Trailer, and here ya go, o’ Gentle Visitors!