Dak Bangla – “Rest House”, India, 1987 – reviews

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Dak Bangla (“Rest House”) is a 1987 Indian supernatural horror film directed by Keshu Ramsay (Haveli) from a screenplay by Kumar Ramsay (Purana Mandir; Dahshat; Darwaza), and produced by Reshma Ramsay. It stars Rajan Sippy, Swapna, Ranjeet, Mazhar Khan and Marc Zuber. The synth-heavy score was composed by Bappi Lahiri.

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A young couple is locked in an intimate embrace at a large dak bangla (rest house). They are interrupted by a deep knocking sound from somewhere beneath the rest house. An evil force (we do not see who or what) suddenly issues from somewhere and murders both of them.

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Next, the film introduces Ajay (Marc Zuber), a middle-aged man looking for a job. He spots a job opening, manager of the dak bangla at Chandan Nagar, in a newspaper, applies for the position and is rather promptly given the job. The head manager- played by Viju Khote- informs him that the previous manager committed suicide. He explains that it remains unclear why, but the local townsfolk seem to think the place is haunted…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The film has all the usual distractions one has to expect from an Indian flick, song and dance numbers, comedic subplots, uneven action sequences, etc. But it makes up for most of that with an atmospheric setting, lots of cobwebs and stormy nights, and–of course–there’s a murderous mummy buried in the basement just waiting for a chance to stagger about inflicting grievous harm on everyone in range.” Kurt McCoy, IMDb.com

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“The horror elements are handled extremely well and had there been released in the US this probably could have made a bit of money with the horror crowd. It’s very much like the low budget horror films of the 1970’s and 1980’s, with a few Euro-horror twists from the 1960’s thrown in … The problem is that this is a Bollywood production so there are some weird asides. Romance, comedy and music all come into play and they take away from the main thrust.” Unseen Films

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Cast and characters:

  • Marc Zuber … Ajay
  • Rajan Sippy … Raj
  • Swapna … Sapna / princess Sapna
  • Ranjeet … Shakal / Khursheed Khan
  • Mazhar Khan … Shakal’s brother
  • Anil Dhawan … Thakur Mansingh
  • Praveen Kumar … Ozo / mummy

Supported by- Aloka, Beena Banerjee, Preeti Ganguly, Yogesh, Saleem, Geeta Bhansali, Dilip Dhawan, Rajendranath, Narendranath, Leena Das, Viju Khote.

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