22 October 2017 | BA_Harrison
Hokey Hindi horror.
Hindi horror Veerana opens with the hanging of an evil witch, Nakita (Roy Kamal), executed by Noble Thakur Mahendra Pratap (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) for feeding on the blood of locals. Soon after, Nakita's body is taken by her loyal followers, led by evil magician Baba (Rajesh Vivek), who performs a ritual that allows the witch's spirit to possess the body of Jasmine (Baby Swati), Thakur's ten year old daughter.
Years later, Jasmine (now played by the comely Jasmin) is still controlled by Nakita, and proceeds to exact her revenge on her unsuspecting father, and his family and friends, including his pretty niece Sahila (Sahila Chaddha), her hunky new pal Hemant (Hemant Birje), wannabe horror film director Hitcock (comedy relief Satish Shah), and servant Raghu (Gulshan Grover).
Clocking in at 135 minutes, I reckon that Veerana could have done with being at least 40 minutes shorter (although a running time of over two hours seems to be standard for this type of film); however, I still have no hesitation in recommending it to fans of the weird and wacky, the film delivering a huge helping of bonkers Bollywood excess, with, of course, a few song and dance routines along the way.
In addition to its genuinely unsettling witch, who boasts bulging red eyes and an evil grimace, Veerana delivers a little titillation (both Jasmin and Sahila showing as much skin as is permitted in such films), some really cheesy fight action, lots of hokey sets filled with tacky dime store Halloween props, strange rock-headed beings (whose stony noggins explode in the finale), impalement by golden 'Om' symbol, and a couple of truly inexplicable 'WTF?' moments (including a child playing a middle-aged man smoking a pipe, and a dead cat pulling Hitcock into the ground). Special effects are generally cheap and unconvincing, with the two best shots lifted from a couple of Western horror movies (the dog with a human head from the 1978 version of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, and the erupting eyeballs from David Cronenberg's Scanners), but the lack of technical prowess only adds to the fun.