Saturday, 4 July 2020

Betaal (Netflix Series)

Cor blimey, mate, it's the undead British Empire coming back to haunt us, so it is!

This excellent Indian series (four episodes, so an evening's watch if you get hooked) is a bit like a hybrid of Aliens and The Fog. With zombies. It is essentially, as I think the trailer makes clear, one of those concepts that is fairly simple but offers endless permutations. The result here is a blast, and I mean a blast of musket balls.

The time is the present, more or less. A crack squad of elite Indian commandos is sent to a remote hill region where terrorists (the Maoist Naxals) are supposedly hampering construction of a new road. When they arrive the Baaz Squad discover what appear to be ordinary villagers in the grip of an absurd superstition. The locals believe that if an old British tunnel abandoned during the Mutiny of 1857 is reopened large-scale awfulness will ensue. The authorities don't care about this nonsense of course, and proceed to evict the locals and reopen the tunnel. Extreme wackiness ensues, with a bucket of blood and a lot of screaming.

Ghost Story Ambience

"It was on just a night as this," said Farnsworth, "that I first met Andy Williams. No, not that Andy Williams, the other one. Who's story is this anyway? As I was saying, I was taking a rest-cure in Norfolk at the lodge on the estate of Lady Lily Savage - no, not hat one, stop interrupting..."