While U.S. pop culture has had to stomach chest-waxing lycanthropes and sparkly, blood-sucking Lotharios (hide your tweenage girls!), Bombay spent years cultivating a cult series of ghostly b-movies. And praise the crate-diggers at Finders Keepers who give us respite from the soulless Hollywood blockbusters with a series of shoestring-budget insanity from Bollywood horror vaults.
Not every Bollywood flick’s dénouement is a wedding-come-wholesome-dance-party; a listen of Finders Keepers Bollywood Bloodbath would suggest India’s campy-praising horror industry prefers a drum circle séance to blithe nuptials. As fantastical as it is frightening, this set of rarities, ranging from the ’40s through the ’80s, includes upbeat tracks performed by Bollywood legacy A-listers Asha and Hemant Bhosle (“Sansani Khez Koi Baat”) and Lata Mangeshkar (“Bindya Tarse Kajra Barse”) and written by Bappi Lahiri (the retro-future disco of “Aafat”) and R.D. Burman (“Bindya Tarse Kajra Bars,” yet again) among other sensationalist composers.
Wild horn flourishes signal danger; delicate strings lead nameless protagonists to impending doom; maniacal stomping stays in tune with Moogs and wah-wahs over the undeniably funky groove, cultivating the sound of a bloody backroom cabaret. It’s a party that’s equally Bollywood and Bruce Campbell.