APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Zapatlela (1993)

April 4: Remake, remix, ripoff — A shameless remake, remix or ripoff of a much better known movie. Allow your writing to travel the world (we recommend Italy or Turkey).

In Mumbai, Tatya Vinchu (Dilip Prabhavalkar) and his henchman Kubdya Khavis (Bipin Varti) enter the cave of Baba Chamatkar (Raghavendra Kadkol), a wizard who knows the Mrutyunjay Mantra, a mantra that can place someone’s soul into another body or object. They’re being tailed by Inspector Mahesh Jadhav (Mahesh Kothare), who has been obsessed with catching Tatya Vinchu. He tracks him down to his warehouse headquarters and they get into a shootout, at which point Mahesh fatally wounds Tatya Vinchu. Before he passes on, the criminal uses the Mrutyunjay Mantra to transfer his soul into the closest thing nearby: a doll.

Yes, that’s right. This Indian Marathi-language film, directed by Kothare, is Child’s Play.

Mahesh’s boss Superintendent Jairam Ghatge (Jairam Kulkarni) has a daughter who has just Gauri (Kishori Ambiye) who just came back from the U.S. And she has another relative —  seriously, this gets a little confusing keeping track of who is family with who — called Lakshya (Laxmikant Berde) who is a ventriloquist. He’s in love with Aavadi (Pooja Pawar), whose father Constable Tukaram (Ravindra Berde) has already arranged her marraige to anotehr cop, Constable Sakharam (Vijay Chavan). As you can imagine, the doll with the spirit of Tatya Vinchu ends up being owned by Lakshya.

He starts his reign of terror by killing Lakshya’s evil landlord Dhanajirao Dhanavate, a crime that lands our protagonist in jail. He’s cleared of all charges, but Tatya Vinchu leaves for Mumbai, where he discovers that the only way out of the body of the doll is to possess the first person he revealed himself to, who would by Lakshya, who has now been sent to a mental institution as he can’t stop screaming about the possessed doll. Mahesh and Gauri also learn from the wizard that the only way to stop the killer is to shoot the doll directly between the eyes.

Mahesh Kothare wrote the movie in a few days — I mean, he pretty much just remade Child’s Play, so while this is impressive, is it? And he named Tatya Vinchu as an amalgamation of his make-up man’s name Tatya and the translated name for a movie he loved, Red Scorpion. Seeing as how the Dolph Lundgren Red Scorpion was only five years old when this was made, I assume that it was not the movie he was referring to.

In 2013, there was a 3D sequel madd called Zapatlela 2. It was also remade as Ammo Bomma, which is kind of funny that it’s a remake of a ripoff. I mean, Dolly Dearest and M3GAN did the same thing and no one really was all that upset, right?

You ucan watch this on YouTube.

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