Before we celebrate this comeback it is important the present generation gets a recap of what spooked their parents, uncles and aunts back in the day. This story is about the Ramsay brothers originally the Ramsinghanis, who flooded 80’s Bollywood with around thirty horror films exploring unmatched sleaze and gore. As pioneers of horror film makers of this kind they had a unique approach and untamed love for horror. Working with shoe-string budgets, the Ramsay Bros boarded buses with small-time actors, a sparse film crew, their wives and their mother and father and drove to a government guesthouse in Mahabaleshwar that cost Rs 12 a room to shoot their beloved horror – a concoction of sex and supernatural elements.
They shot on location, thus avoiding spending of any money on sets. They thought of costumes as a luxury therefore managed it from the actors’ personal wardrobe. All shooting equipment were borrowed and every department manned by the eight brothers. ‘Do Gaz Zameen’ thus shot ran to full houses and made more than ten times the money invested. Bollywood baddies Shakti Kapoor, Ranjit, Gulshan Grover were antagonists in these films and even stars like Parveen Babi, Shatrughan Sinha and Rakesh Roshan weren’t spared the horror in their early days.
In the late 80’s however people disagreed to get scared by the Ramsay tactics. Business started faltering as the evolving audience was no longer interested in haunted havelis, ‘pisach’ and ‘chudails’.
The same Ramsays are now back in the bay! A buzzing cast and crew in a single storey bungalow in Malad is ecstatic these days with the return of what we might expect to be the classic green eyed witch. But this is a comeback in every sense. Not just a change in format but also characterisation. Phir se Ramsay is a web series which according to Shyam Ramsay “is like old wine in a new bottle.” The witch this time gives the white saree a pass for a LBD, black boots, chunky bracelet and a nose ring.
Phir se Ramsay is the second horror web series from the youth-centric digital content portal 101. The Great Indian Ghost Stories, a collection of stories based on folklore was premiered some time back. “We think there’s still an audience for green-eyed ghouls, horny vampires and irritable zombies,” says Cyrus Oshidar, 101 India’s managing director and chief creative officer. “Phir Se Ramsay is a combination of old and new, sleazy, fun, over-the-top horror. Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.”