Saturday, November 15, 2008

Samson (India, 1964)

Every once in a while I have an experience that leads me to think that it might be time to make some radical changes in my cinematic diet. For instance, last night I had this dream in which Dara Singh and Feroz Khan we're battling a giant rubber dinosaur that looked like it could have crawled out of an episode of the Japanese tokusatsu series Spectreman while starring in what was by all appearances an Italian Peplum.

Holy crap! That was no dream... That was Samson! Behold!


Feroz seems like he's trying to pass for Shammi Kapoor in this movie, but that does not spare him the mighty lizard's wrath.
It's impossible to over-stress the importance of teaching your dinosaur who the pack leader is.
Now, I'm far from a Biblical scholar, but it appears to me that Dara's lustrous locks are this movie's only concession to the original source material.

Arghhh! I'm dead.

But that's not all. Feast your eyes upon these other wonders that await you in Samson.

THRILL... to the midget with breath of fire!
CHILL... as terror strikes Legoland!
FEEL... vaguely uncomfortable at the sight of the barely pubescent but unarguably beautiful Mumtaz.
ILL... as more Dara Singh buffalo shots than you thought you'd ever see in your entire lifetime play before you're eyes within a scant 120 minutes.

Plus... the evil king receives sage advice from the world's tiniest life coach.

All of this and more... in Samson!


Rum said...

this must be the greatest movie ever made! Dara and Feroz and a teenagery Mumtaz, I have to find this now, does the midget actually spew out fireworks coz that would be awesome! The wrestling screencap is not as EEK-worthy as many of Dara's Punjabi movies which i was made to watch as a kid! He used keep his victims in crotch-lock for quite a while, then do his trademark of swinging them around!

Rum said...

sorry btw were there any item numbers here. It seems like the type of movie that needs a jig by Laxmi Chhaya?
A great find is "Tarzan goes to India" with Dara as Tarzan and a wayy to young Mumtaz, and Laxmi Chhaya!

Todd said...

Rum, I'm sorry you had to witness such an unwholesome spectacle at such a young and impressionable age. I'd hate to be on the receiving end of one of Dara's crotch holds; It looks like a fate worse than death! The funny thing is that the first guy that Dara Singh wrestles in this movie looks a lot like the big fat guy from Borat, and their match involves a lot of the same type of, um, uncomfortable proximity, if you know what I mean.

There are musical numbers in this film, to songs written by Chitra Gupta, which are just so-so. Laxmi, Bela or Helen would have really put the icing on the deliciously cheesy cake that is Samson, but I'm sorry to say that none of them made the scene.

Anonymous said... I'm falling off my chair at this review, Todd! Although I might not find Dara's crotch-hold as abhorrent as you do.

And I have Tarzan Comes To Delhi which Miss Rum refers to above (Rum, have you watched 2-3 films every single day of your short--so far--life? You have seen everything!)'s pretty high up on my stack to be watched soon.

Gotta look for Samson now too. Thanks for the excellent laugh :-)

Keith said...

Sir, you are truly doing the good work here, turning these films up. When first I started watching Bollywood films, it was to showcase forgotten gems and genres that showed Bollywood was far weirder and more expansive than the rom-coms and dramas that so dominated (and still dominate) the definition of Bollywood for many people -- especially the people prone to writing books about it. Part of what makes what we do fun is knowing that no matter what is discovered, something else just as cool is lurking just over the horizon.

Now get back to work and find me a Bollywood Frankenstein film. Not just a "back from the dead" film, but one featuring a flat-headed green guy who goes "unnngghhh."