Directed By: Salim Suma
Starring: Joginder Shelly, Raza Murad, Alaudeen, Feroz, Poonam Das Gupta, Sapna, Arif, Mahendra Tiwari, Vinod Tripathi, Johny, Mahesh Raj, Madhu, Aman Sagar, Ranjit, Vicky
Some movies stay with you forever because there's nothing quite like them. SON OF Dracula is one of those movies. Thrown together on a hopelessly non-existent budget, it nevertheless has a strange energy endemic to the best poverty row productions that makes it a perfectly delirious watch from start to finish, and one of the strangest films I've seen in years. Out in the woods somewhere, a corrupt landlord has the twin bad habits of murdering his villager tenants and raping local women. Appalled by his conduct, some kind of wood demon (embodied by what appears to be a moss-covered stone sculpture that never moves) decides to exact revenge by using the man himself to create some form of demon spawn. He sends four beautiful witches to seduce the corrupt landlord, making room for lots of singing and sexy waterfall dancing as they try to bed him. Finally succeeding, the last of the four gives birth to the Son of Dracula (Dracula being, apparently, the moss-covered Bigfoot statue), a dime-store spook mask attached to a doll or dummy and dressed in a little cloak. The thing tows a weird line between gross and adorable, and has a tendency to pop up next to people sitting in chairs when it's not flying through the air via the magic of strings or some guy holding it just off camera. Needless to say, it's not very threatening, but it remains oddly compelling. The landlord has a number of sons that is difficult to parse, and they seem to get killed very quickly by the creature, which then continues rampaging through the village and killing people with impunity, making it a pretty poorly targeted instrument of divine retribution. Eventually a shaman is called to fight the Son of Dracula, the local police having proved themselves woefully incapable (in one scene, SoD makes their clothes disappear). The little Dracula can also take on a human form, which it mostly just uses to mess with the cops. Really, SoD can do whatever it wants, which is one of the film's charms. The plot of SoD is so haphazard it's almost impossible to quantify, but that's half the fun. The other half is the film's delicious, explosion-at-the-optical-house post production aesthetic. It would be very easy to write off SoD as cheap and incompetent (both of which it is), but it's not entirely lazy. While the monsters themselves look like they were thrown together in about 15 minutes by a student late with his art class project, the film nevertheless uses these beasties to delirious and often near-abstract effect, refracting them through a variety of prismatic lenses and slathering on stock opticals with delirious abandon. The opening credits feature some sublime narration alongside dancing red-and-blue skeletons redolent of the best neighborhood haunted houses, and the whole production has a congenially janky Halloween vibe that's oddly comforting. It may not be particularly spooky (or even comprehensible), but the film keeps the delirium coming fast and furious. Mix in a number of catchy (and sexy) dance numbers (they're about as cheap as a typical mid-'00s Kanti Shah production, though mounted and staged with a hell of a lot more enthusiasm) and C-film superstar Sapna in an early role as one of the witches, and you have the recipe for a truly tasty slice of B-film entertainment. It's not good in any traditional sense, but for those interested in exploring the outermost limits of cinema (think PSYCHED BY THE 4D WITCH meets MONSTERS CRASH THE PAJAMA PARTY), it should provide a satisfying watch.
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