Bollywood Gyaan: F.U. Ramsay..'Baap' of Horror Films
This week Vikram Bhatt's latest horror flick HORROR STORY hit the screen. After the success of RAAZ, Vikram Bhatt has made many horror movies like FEAR, HAUNTED, DANGEROUS ISHQ, 1920: EVIL RETURNS but the younger generation may not be aware that the filmmaker who initiated a flood of Horror movies and is termed as 'Baap' of Horror Films in Indian cinema was F.U. Ramsay, father of the famous brothers Tulsi and Shyam Ramsay, who are better recognized than their father who started the trend.
F.U. Ramsay alias Fatehchand U Ramsinghani, was a Sindhi businessman engaged in electronic business in Karachi, Pakistan. However he had to move to India compelled by the ugly partition. In India he revived his electronic business by opening a shop in Mumbai's prime location at Grant Road but unfortunately his business failed and he tried his luck in film production, converting the shop into film production office.
Fortunately the movie RUSTOM SOHRAB, which produced in 1963 clicked and this encouraged him to continue the business. But by the late 60's the demand for historical movies had faded out hence he attempted a different kind of movie, EK NANHI MUNNI LADKI THI (1970), a thriller with a pinch of Horror element. However unlike the ghostly woman in white seen in the earlier hunted movies like MAHAL, BEES SAAL BAAD, WOH KAUN THI etc. Ramsay treated the Indian audience with genuine horror exposing them to a scary and horrible looking monster that was seen for the first time on Indian screen! The scene sent chill down the spine of the viewers. The movie did average business and the saving grace of the movie was the solo horror scene.
This gave birth to a series of horror movies featuring similar dreadful characters and more terrifying scenes.
His next movie DO GAZ ZAMEEN KE NEECHE (1972) was a full fletched horror movie and can be termed as India's first official Horror movie. This movie was directed by his sons Tulsi Ramsay and Shyam Ramsay. This movie also introduced his other sons Gangu Ramsay and Keshu Ramsay, who did cinematography of the movie. The movie was a super hit.
After this the Ramsay company continued to rule Bollywood as Horror Specialist giving many hits like PURANI HAVELI (1989), VEERANA (1988), TAHKHANA (1986), SAAMRI (1985), PURANA MANDIR (1984), SANNATA (1981), DAHSHAT (1981), DARWAZA (1978) and ANDHERA (1975).
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