The Stranglers of Bombay (1960)

Article 2136 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-20-2007
Posting Date: 6-18-2007
Directed by Terence Fisher
Featuring Guy Rolfe, Jan Holden, Andrew Cruickshank

An officer of the East India Company investigates a series of disappearances in India. He comes to realize that they’re being caused by a murderous cult of Kali that specializes in strangulation.

At least one source of mine claims that this is based on a true story, though I haven’t found anything more at this time to back this up. If it is based on a true story, I’ve no doubt that some doctoring to the story occurred in this movie; much of it feels as if was plotted like a movie rather than a having been a recreation of real events. Still, it is a quite engaging movie and it did make me wonder about the true details of the cult. It’s well acted by all, and it’s quite brutal for its time. I like the touches of detail, especially during the scenes where the high priest indoctrinates the new members; the scenes where he relates the story of Kali’s battle with a monster (which explains why the cult uses strangulation) and the scene where he teaches a new member the methods of begging his way into caravan stick in the memory. There are rumors that two of the major roles were originally intended for Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee (the Guy Rolfe and George Pastell roles respectively), but I think the movie works well enough without the extra star power. “Doctor Who” fans will enjoy seeing the Master himself, Roger Delgado, in a small role.



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