Bollywood launches its first zombie films to win back viewers

MUMBAI,  (Reuters) – Bollywood is branching out from its traditional song-and-dance dramas and slapstick comedies with its first zombie films which filmmakers hope will entice younger crowds back to Indian films from Hollywood’s living dead.

Few horror films are made in Bollywood and those that do make it to the big screen tend to focus on ghosts and the after-life, which are common themes in Hindu mythology.

But this year, as Indian cinema celebrates 100 years, three zombie films made in Hindi are slated for release, hoping to compete with blockbuster U.S. zombie movies such as “Warm Bodies” and “World War Z”.

Directors Luke Kenny and Devaki Singh will release the first of the three Hindi films, “Rise of the Zombie”, on April 5, and hope twinning zombies with Indian filmmaking will appeal to younger audiences.

“We’ve been wanting to make something like this within the Hindi film industry set-up and we realized that within the horror film genre nobody has ever touched the zombie genre,” Kenny, who also stars in the film, told Reuters.

“Prepare to witness the ultimate human fear”, proclaims the film’s trailer, which shows photographer Neil Parker in the jungle fighting off a swarm of insects before transforming, writhing and screaming, into a blood-splattered zombie.

Kenny, who has worked as content head at a music channel and directed one previous film, a movie called “13th Floor”, said part of the challenge was to educate Indian audiences about the living dead as the country has no zombie folklore.

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