Saturday, March 7, 2009

Masala death trap! Warrant's terrible room of clocks

I'm a bit skeptical about whether Warrant's terrible room of clocks, if put in practice in the real world, would work as demonstrated. Then again, maybe it only works on Dev Anand because he's so old. All of those clocks could simply be reminding him that Wheel of Fortune is coming on in five minutes and that he's going to miss it because he's locked up in Ajit's basement.

Dev becomes the subject of this particular torment when he falls into the hands of Ajit's character The Master and his rollerskating right hand woman Saloni. What do they want? Information! And obviously the lengths they will go to get it are limited only by their imaginations -- which, admittedly, are fairly limited. First, Dev is fastened to a chair and doused with some cold water, and when that doesn't break him, The Master orders Saloni to "enmesh" him in her "web of love", which turns out to be far less interesting than it sounds.

Finally it's determined that only the room of clocks can crack a tough customer like Dev. After fitting his victim with a pair of earphones, The Master holds forth about his "latest scientific invention", telling Dev that, once started, the ticking of the room's many clocks will become gradually louder, within just sixty seconds reaching the point where his "eardrums will burst" and his "brain nerves will break". All of this suggested to me that The Master doesn't really have a firm grasp of the nature of scientific invention. What exactly is he claiming to have invented? Clocks? The idea of sound amplification?

Once things have been set in motion, The Master and Saloni, in true Bollywood villain fashion, retire to a more comfortable part of their underground lair to drink highballs.

Meanwhile, Dev tries desperately to drag his chair over to the control panel so that he can shut the device off. But it's too late! The torture has begun!

...and it's not very long at all before we see Dev succumbing to its effects.

My favorite thing about the terrible room of clocks is how it doesn't have just one kind of clock in it. In fact, it looks like someone raided Goodwill and took every clock they had.

You'll also notice that each of the clocks is set to a randomly different time. They don't even perform the normal clock function of telling you what time it is, which just makes the room of clocks that much more evil.

Ultimately Dev is able to free himself from the room of clocks with the help of a special wristwatch loaded with secret gimmicks that we didn't previously know he had. Why he had this watch is unclear, given that his character is just a jailer and not a secret agent or an international master criminal, but it's certainly a stroke of luck that he did. He then makes his escape from The Master's lair by stealing Saloni's roller skates and performing lots of obviously stunt-doubled backflips.

The terrible room of clocks exists on the opposite end of the death trap spectrum from the one in Main Balwaan in that, while obviously a lot of thought went into Main Balwaan's death trap, Warrant's was just as obviously made up on the spot -- influenced, no doubt, by the large number of clocks that could be found in the prop department. Still, this does not take away the fact that it is every bit as weird as the Main Balwaan death trap, and every bit as deserving of its place here. Terrible room of clocks, Masala Death Trap! salutes you!


Anonymous said...

I hope and pray that there was at least one cuckoo clock.

I have been searching for a masala death trap worthy of its own post, but have been shockingly disappointed on that score numerous times this week. Shockingly!

houseinrlyeh said...

Ooh, I sympathize with Dev Anand. Looks like the most terrible of all death traps to me. Not being Dev (or deaf), one clock without amplification would be enough to slowly drive me insane.

Todd said...

Memsaab: I was hoping for one of those cat clocks with the moving eyes, but no dice. Still, an impressive assortment nonetheless.

Don't give up hope. I know that Azaad and Main Balwaan are hard to top, but I remain confident that there are plenty of other noteworthy death traps awaiting us.

House: Okay, I'm no fan of the sound of a ticking clock, myself, but I don't think it would be enough to make my "brain nerves" break. The sound of a clock's alarm, maybe.

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Uggh- mispellings galore led to deletion of previous comment- sorry!

Love Warrant- lets not slight the power of the roller skate either - it renders villains and heroes more effective apparently :D

TheDoug said...

Your posting prompted me to move my clock ahead one hour due to Daylight Savings Time. Thanks for the Masala Death Trap reminder Todd!!

Keith said...

An alarm clock where every time you press the snooze button, it just makes the alarm that would be torture.

On the otehr end of the spectrum, I also wanted to invent an alarm clock where every time you press the snooze button, the clock dispenses Korean chicken wings from Bon Chon.

Todd said...

Shweta: I love Warrant too -- not the least for its inclusion of a roller disco femme fatale. When I was skimming through it to make the screencaps for this post, it was hard to resist just watching the whole thing over again.

Doug: Thanks. It hadn't occurred to me that this post was so "timely". Agh!

Keith: Such a device sounds like it would be a fine addition to your ultimate masala-inspired lair.

Beth said...

Dev's hair? Now that's torture.


I'm having a ton of fun looking at what else the writer of this has come up with: a few things I really like and a few I really don't. Sounds like his most awesome torture device ever was Yuvvraaj.

Todd said...

In the case of Yuvvraaj, are you saying that the film itself was a torture device? Because that certainly wouldn't be a first in Bollywood.

Beth said...

Yes I am, and no it wouldn't. I'm lookin' at you, Kyon Ki.

loyalcasanova said...

Actually its copied from the Alistair Maclean Novel : Puppet on a chain. (Also a b-movie on the same)