Tulsi Ramsay, who directed several movies in the horror genre during the 80s and the 90s, passed away on December 13 at the age of 74. Tulsi Ramsay, along with his six brothers  – Kumar Ramsay, Shyam Ramsay, Keshu Ramsay, Arjun Ramsay, Gangu Ramsay and Kiran Ramsay – was instrumental in popularising the genre of low-budget horror films. Tulsi Ramsay, himself directed popular movies like Purana Mandir, Veerana and Bandh Darwaza, among others. All of these were some of my some of my favourite guilty pleasures growing up. He also popularised the horror genre on television with the Zee Horror Show TV Series in early ‘90s.

The seven sons of FU Ramsay initially ran an electronics shop in Mumbai but found themselves lured by the glamour of Hindi films and became synonymous with cinema that combined sleaze, superstition and gore. Their ticket to success was the 1971 film Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche, which was shot on a budget of INR 3.5 lakh over 40 days with a crew of 15 and managed to rake in over 40 lakhs at the ticket windows.

What Yash Chopra was to the romance genre, the Ramsey brothers were to the Horror genre. The iconic director who passed away has left behind an audience that directors to this day are still struggling to scare or even thrill for that matter. Even though there have been some great horror movies that have been made in India over the years, they still haven’t quite managed to come as close as to the films Tulsi sir used to make. He left a benchmark for the horror films produced in India and as many people that have come close to the set standards, no one has yet been able to reach, leave crossing the benchmark set by him.

I, personally, loved the kind of films that he used to make. Horror with a tinge of Erotica and films that were made on a low budget without any VFX as such and they worked. They spooked the audience upto the hilt. They provided wholesome entertainment, had a good story and the audiences just loved it. Even today, I watch his films and it just makes me nostalgic.

May his soul rest in peace.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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