If you love cinema, you should love the good, bad and ugly! That’s the guiding principle of author Amborish Roychoudhury’s book ‘In a Cult of Their Own: Bollywood Beyond Box office. An advertising professional and movie junkie, Amborish celebrates Hindi cinema the way it ideally should be – without questioning its motives, sans any high brow intellectualizing and trying to look at the ‘art’ in the banal. Perhaps this is why true Hindi film fans love this genre called the ‘so bad that it’s good’. Meaning, movies that addle your brain, insult the true craft of movie making and shock your wits with their sheer stupidity but are so entertaining that missing them means you are cutting out a major part of the fun from your life. Over the years, some of them have even gone on to become cult classics. Not in the traditional sense but in the way bad art becomes a cause to celebrate!

Amborish’s book is unique because he really doesn’t define what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ the way a critic would. What he does, is list movies that may not have worked at the box office (that great standard of success) but have supremely interesting behind-the-scenes stories to narrate and are guaranteed to bring out a smile to your face.
He does, of course, raise a toast to movies that have enriched our lives – gems like Kagaz Ke Phool, Chashme Buddoor, Chameli Ki Shaadi and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar to name just a few.  These are films that find a mention in every cinephile’s must-watch Iist. But there is also the other side, outright ludicrous-WTF-fun fluff like the Ramsay horror films, Clerk, Suraksha and the like. Never heard of them? Well, these gems deserve their due attention too! The bottom line: It’s as tough to make a bad cult movie as it is to make a good cult movie.
While have cherry-picked some of the must-watch entertaining ones from Amborish’s book. Go ahead, get informed!

1) CLERK (1989)


What it’s about: An honest clerk (Manoj Kumar) is forced to join hands with an evil man (Shashi Kapoor), the current husband of his ex-girlfriend (Rekha) because of poverty. Also throw into the mix, a super patriot father (Ashok Kumar), two Pakistani actors (Mohammad Ali and Zeba), a brother who robs a bank (Manoj’s real-life brother Rajeev Goswami) and a whole lot of rubbish.
Gems you mustn’t miss:
•     The scene where Ashok Kumar suffers a cardiac arrest but gets miraculously cured when he hears a patriotic number. Docs, take note!
•     Rekha, playing Manoj Kumar’s girlfriend, picks up cigarette butts discarded by Manoj Kumar and smokes them as that’s her way of ‘touching his lips’.
•     Anita Raaj who is madly in love with Manoj Kumar’s character gulps the smoke emanated from his mouth after he takes a drag. Her way of ‘kissing him’!
•      Zeba’s character sells her blood to buy alcohol for her suspicious husband.
•     Shashi Kapoor is so evil, he cooks up a plot to kill the Prime Minister.

2)      SURRAKSHA – Gunmaster G9  (1979)

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
What’s it about: Mithun Chakraborty plays Agent Gopi (Gunmaster G9) who has to save the country from the machinations of the wicked Doctor Shiva and his minions
Gems you mustn’t miss:
•         Gunmaster G9 flies off a cliff with his car, chased by goons who fall to their deaths. But our superspy survives. Why? Because his car has a parachute that pops up when he pokes a button on the dashboard.
•         G9 saves another agent, Jackson, who had been held captive and tortured by the enemy. He has lost the use of his legs but G9 makes a special crutch for him that can transform into a gun.
•         G9 also owns a special cigarette lighter, that puts people to sleep upon pressing a button.
•         At one point, enemies bury G9 alive. He drills his way out of the grave.
•         G9 is also a playboy and is seen cavorting with a bevvy of beauties even as national duty calls.

3)      RGV Ki Aag (2007)

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
What’s it about Ram Gopal Varma’s tribute to Sholay starring two of the country’s best actors Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal
Gems you mustn’t miss:
•         Amitabh Bachchan, playing Babban – RGV’s version of Gabbar Singh – has a cough instead of a wicked laughter that Gabbar had.
•         Babban has a kid brother named Ambar Singh played by Sachin, who played a young boy Ahmed (whom Gabbar kills in the original Sholay).
•         Iconic Sholay dialogues get modified. In Sholay, Gabbar asks, Kitnay Aadmi The. Here Babban asks, “Kitney”?
•         Basanti (famously played by Hema Malini) is Ghungroo played by a little-known actress Priyanka Kothari and Dhanno, the horse becomes Laila, the rickshaw
•         Babban’s dialogues are full of contemporary politics including references to CIA, Al Qaeda, Iraq etc

4)      Gunda (1998)

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
What’s it about: A cult classic of the cult classics, this Mithun starrer is a must-watch if you claim to like Bollywood. No wonder it is rated higher than Cape Fear, Faceoff and Philadelphia on IMDB. Yes, seriously.
Gems you mustn’t miss
•         The dialogues are fantastic. One sample: Dikhne mein bevda, bhaagne mein ghoda aur maarne mein hathoda (I drink like a drunkard, run like a horse and hit like a hammer).
•         Mithun’s father has a moustache in one scene, it disappears in another and reappears in the next. Without any reason.
•         The names of the characters are memorable. A villain is called Lambu Atta.
•         In a scene, the heroine beseeches Shankar, the hero to gulp his drink without ice or water.
•         A character Lucky Chikna creates a hanging brother, with cots hanging on ropes.

5)      Deshdrohi (2008)

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
What it’s about: A simpleton (KRK) comes to Bombay and gets sucked into crime. This film introduced the phenomenon that is KRK.
Gems you mustn’t miss:
•         KRK romancing three actresses who have acted with the Khans in the past – Gracy Singh (Lagaan), Hrishita Bhatt (Asoka) and Kim Sharma (Mohabbatein)
•         KRK has vada pav in the morning, the vendor quarrels with him – it’s evening. And then the vendor slaps him, it’s morning. It all happens in the same scene.
•         Gracy Singh riding a bike and fights goons.
•         IN the climax, in a showdown politicians, KRK asks them to sing the national anthem. Yes, really.
•         The end of the film which has an ominous sign ‘The Beginning”.

The Real Classics
1) Kaagaz Ke Phool 
Cinema at its unadulterated best – with fantastic performances, great depth, incredible timeless music and pathbreaking cinematography

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed

2) Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
The best political satire Indian cinema has produced

3) Katha

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
The hair and tortoise tale set in a chawl with delightful performances and real humour.

4) Andaz Apna Apna

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
Slapstick comedy at its best

5) Mera Naam Joker

The 5 WORST Films of Hindi Cinema Revealed
An ode to love and the pains of growing up, this was Raj Kapoor at his cinematic best.




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