Horror Master Tulsi Ramsay Passes Away

Tulsi Ramsay the shiver-giver  of the 1970s and  80s who, together  with his 6 brothers  constituted  a palladium  of horror  and supernatural thrills , is no more.

 Known to make  successful B-grade horror films , Tusli Ramsay who passed away on Friday, was  a guiding force in  the horror genre generating huge  amounts  of revenue from films that were made on a shoestring budget. One of the Ramsay brothers’ most successful films Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche was made at a budget  of  3.5 lakh rupees in  1971.B

It  made profits close  to 40 lakh rupees.

The Ramsays went on to make more than  30 horror films . Tulsi Ramsay  directed most of them including Andhera, Purani HaveliAur Kaun and many others.
Actor Anil Dhawan  to featured in several of these  including Aakhri Cheekh, Darwaza andAndhera, recalls Tulsi as an affable, hardworking man of integrity.

Says Anil, “I was sorry to hear  of  Tulsiji’s death.  He was a  very goodhearted  person. Full of life  and  the driving force  among the Ramsay brothers. He kept all the siblings together.”

Anil enjoyed working in the Ramsay horror  films. “They knew exactly what they wanted  and how to get it from their actors. No  time was  wasted  on  the sets. All homework was done from beforehand.Tulsiji was  a very sweet talker. He  gave respect  to  everyone.”

About the Ramsay films being considered downmarket Anil  lashes out, “What they did given their meager budgets no one else could do. Their films made money no matter what the  budget. It is a shame we  talk of   ‘A’ films and  ‘B’ ‘C’  films when the  thirdclasscompartments  in  the  Indian railways are  gone. As  far  as I’m  concerned there are  only the ‘H’ films and  ‘F’ films.  Hit or flop.And  the Ramsays  made hit films.”

Bappi Lahiri who composed  music  for many of the Ramsay fear flicks remembers TulsiRamsay as the  patriarch of  the  family. “After the death of  the patriarch F U Ramsay, Tulsikept the brothers together.  He  was a wonderful  human being . I composed music for several  of their  films, all hits.”

Dismissing the Ramsays’ reputation as sleaze makers Bappi says, “When I  composed music for their film Aur Kaun I  got Saraswati Mata  Lata Mangeshkar to sing the title song. Would she  be  part  of  anything of disrepute? Kishore Kumar also sang in  Aur Kaun. Then I composed songs  for the Ramsays’ Samri, Saboot, Guest House and Dak Bangla. I also did the music  in the Ramsays’ ambitious Hindi-Kannada bi-lingual  Inspector Dhanush. The death  of Tusli Ramsay signals the end of an era. Horror cinema  will never be  the same again.”

   In  2012 Ashum  Ahluwalia made a  critically acclaimed  film Miss Lovely starringNawazuddin Siddiqui  on the  horror-impact of  the Ramsay brothers. Ironically  while Miss Lovely was regarded as  classy critique  on a genre  of  cinema  , the Ramsays were  constantly scoffed at  for peddling horror and sleaze. When they did try to make a classy horror film Ghungroo Ki Awaaz in 1981 starring Rekha and  Vijay Anand, it fell flat  on  its  smooth face.

The Ramsays  quickly went back  to  doing what they were  best at.

Reacting to  being portrayed as sleaze peddlers  in  the film Miss Lovely , Tulsi Ramsay’s brother  Shyam  had said to me , “The fact is Ramsay is a brand name. We are a reputed family with decades of cinema to our credit. The whole film industry knows it. If someone still chose to portray us as sleaze hawkers it is not our problem.”

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