Color, 1991, 160 mins.

Directed by Partho Ghosh

Starring Madhuri Dixit, Jackie Shroff, Laxmikant Berde, Moon Moon Sen, Jaaved Jaaffrey / Music by Raam Laxman

Format: DVD - Indura (India)

Letterboxed (1.85:1) / Dolby Digital Mono

Now here's just what the world needs: a musical Hindi remake of Lucio Fulci's The Psychic! That's right, the classic Italian horror mystery with Jennifer O'Neill (known in Europe as Murder to the Tune of Seven Black Notes) was remade scene for scene in India as a sprawling song and dance slasher film, and Euro film fans will be left grasping at the fragile remnants of their sanity by the time it's all over. It may be a while before we get City of the Dancing Dead or New York Ripper on the Roof, but this will do just fine in the meantime.

The film opens with lovely Devi (Madhuri Dixit) experiencing a series of psychic visions while playing tennis. A killer clad in black gloves and a trenchcoat (what else?) murders a young woman, drags her body to a remote house over the credits (a fun homage to Blood and Black Lace here), and entombs her behind a wall of bricks and mortar. For no apparent reason, the film's prankster cop hero shows up with a bunch of guys in Michael Jackson Beat It outfits. Pretty soon they're all doing a full fledged dance number in which they spit water in women's faces, cover themselves with shaving cream, and thrash around on a table. Um... then the story kicks back in. Our heroine marries a nice older man and provokes another series of musical interludes, including one amazingly kitschy stint on a TV variety show. Eventually Devi winds up at the house from her vision and, thanks to a handy pickaxe, knocks down the wall to discover the woman's skeleton inside. However, the visions continue, and she is indundated with psychic clues involving a horse on a magazine cover, a cigarette smoldering in an ashtray, a plate mounted on a wall, a woman drowning in a swimming pool, and a printed label which reads "100 Days." It appears a nasty bald crime boss may have been responsible for the murder, and he soon decides to put our intrepid psychic out of commission. But is there more here than meets the eye?

An amusing pastiche of Euro cliches and Bollywood musical excess, 100 Days really must be seen to be believed. Actually this is even more of a straightforward giallo than Fulci's film thanks to the prevalent black gloved slasher and an increase in the amount of bloodshed, though the Indian setting gives the proceedings a distinctly off kilter ambience. The finale follows the Fulci original almost to the letter, with the protagonist meeting a Poe-like fate by misinterpreting her visions and relying on a handy watch chime when the police come a-calling. However, this version tweaks the killer's identity and lunges overboard to include an elaborate fistfight/kickboxing finale that probably never occurred to Master Lucio.

The DVD of 100 Days isn't up to the hi-tech 5.1 standards of more recent Bollywood efforts, but curious viewers should still make an effort to seek it out. A few shots are framed at 2.35:1 (and indeed the opening censor notification card lists this as Cinemascope); however, the bulk of the transfer is 1.85:1 but doesn't look terribly compromised. The print quality ranges from attractive to scratchy, and unfortunately no English subtitle option is included. However, the amount of dialogue is very low and seems to follow the Italian version almost to the letter.

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