Saturday, November 29, 2008

sartorial horror in the Ramsay Brothers' Purana Mandir

Yes, picking on the fashion in a 1984 horror film is like shooting fish in a barrel. Consider it tit for tat for filmmakers once again punishing the most sexually forward female character with a gruesome death. They wanna play cheap and easy? Fine, can do. We're all lucky I couldn't be bothered to put 1990's Bandh Darwaza back in the DVD player to get screen captures.

This is about the best thing we see our heroines wear, other than a few nice but unnoteworthy salwar suits.

Some general fugitude. I have to say this for the costume department (Sayyed and Mukesh D. Upadhyaya, according to imdb): they are certainly not afraid of trying out hats. This one is less fugly and more curious - she looks like a cigarette girl in a 1920s movie palace.

Why, god, why?

Pink Greek goddess? Leopard print swim skirt ensemble?

Is the extra flap in the front of the skirt a carrying pouch for the hat?

My favorite single outfit was this apron-front romper - yes, it has legs - that Arti Gupta wears for a beachside tryst.

You'd think the Raja's daughter could muster up something better than a fast-food staff uniform.
Mohnish Bahl thoughtfully complements it with his calculator watch (not actually fugly - just funny, 24 years later).


Even the evil corpse-eating, child-killing, rapist monster gets a snazzy embroidered jacket, almost like a prize fighter.

To close, a montage of the costumer's favorite accessory: braids on our heroines' heads, whether thin cords, woven with ribbons into their hair, or looped across their foreheads à la Olivia Newton-John on the cover of Physical.

But who cares, when there's such cute young love!