The Spectaculary Bad VFX Of Bollywood

Post Production 25/04/2019 3 min read

Do you know the cycle of bad things? First, there is a kind of bad. Then there’s really bad. Then there is so bad, that it circles around and becomes good again. That is the level on which some of the many visual effects from Bollywood lands.

To be fair, Bollywood has really upped their general production quality over the recent years and added larger budgets to their films, but there have been some doozies in the old days of low-budget special effects.

Let’s back up for a second. If you’ve never heard of Bollywood, it’s basically the Hollywood of India. It’s the film production hub located in Mumbai. It’s responsible for over 40% of all box office receipts in India, making it very similar to Hollywood in the United States.

The term “Bollywood” is derived from “Bombay” (the former name for Mumbai), and “Hollywood”. You get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, Bollywood churns out a lot. And just like Hollywood, some are good and some are terrible.

Although Bollywood is most known for musicals, there has been no shortage of action films to come out of the production hub. And with them, comes special effects galore. As we mentioned, they’ve gotten a lot better in recent years.

Take this 2013 remake of Commando for example.

But, we’re not here to discuss the great VFX from Bollywood, we are here to discuss the “spectacularly bad” ones. So, let’s get to it.

First off, the horses in India must be pretty special. As this scene points out, they have major agility and the ability to keep running in the face of major obstacles.

Note the wires around 2:05 holding the (we hope fake) horse’s legs together. Also, note the first appearance of the amazing Indian “flying cars”. We aren’t sure what kind of engine these little cars are hiding, but they sure can take to the sky.

We’ve got to “hand it” to the makers of this next film. There’s a joke in there that will make sense in a minute. They know how to create an epic crash. And have we mentioned the flying cars?

Directors like Michael Bay in the US take liberties with concepts like gravity and physics in their movies, but in Bollywood, they take it to a whole new level. Check this out to see what we mean.

Let’s explore physics a little more and the way it doesn’t affect Bollywood actors. This scene (featuring the Indian love child of Jackie Chan and Pitbull) doesn’t require much gravity.

Not only can our hero practically fly, but we can even hit his foes without even being close to them. It’s a wild ride in this hand to hand combat, low budget, Matrix-style scene.

But really, there’s only one thing we want to learn to do in life, and it’s the sunglasses trick at 4:00. Not to be missed.

It’s important to note that a lot of these scenes are probably a little tongue in cheek. Perhaps the makers know that the VFX are bad and they keep them that way on purpose. Even newer films like the one in the clip below sport these crazy stunts and effects in them, along with a good helping of comedy.

Regardless of if Bollywood puts out astounding bad VFX on purpose or not, it’s clear that these movies are fun to watch. YouTube is littered with scenes from Bollywood called “Worst Scene Ever” and the like. And many of these clips have millions of views.

It’s really true that you can come full circle from bad to good, and then maybe even to epic.