Guts and glory

2011-04-27 00:00

IT may not win them any Oscars, but A ttack of the Indian Werewolf has found an odd niche audience, mostly Durban Indian youth who can see the funny in it.

Common slang is thrown around, like, “Come on ek sê let’s vye larney” — a lingo unique to young Durbanites and other Indian communities to be found in places such as Port Shepstone and Pietermaritzburg.

The Witness caught up with Masood Boomguard, the brainchild behind Werewolf, who shed some light on his seemingly brainless endeavour.

The spoof starts in a Tongaat sugar-cane field where two indentured labourers­ are going about their business cutting cane when they stumble on a magic potion … and so the legend begins.

Brandon (Neville Pillay, East Coast Radio jock) is a timid electronics store clerk whose life is turned upside down when a chance encounter with the mystical jadoo bean transforms him into a ferocious wolf-like creature from which no one is safe — let alone his cheating girlfriend (Avashnee Vandiar) and abusive boss (A. K. Khan).

Brandon’s spontaneous transformations into the beast cause him to unleash bloody carnage across his town and it is up to his best friend, the over- the-top Kuben (Sanjeev Singh), and his childhood sweetheart, Samantha (Kajal Maharaj), to find a cure for the jadoo bean’s curse and put an end to the havoc­.

“It is just a great laugh — don’t expect any Hollywood-style special effects — that’s just the beauty of it. It’s a low-budget laugh-a-minute flick,” said Boomgaard.

He also admitted that the movie was surprisingly well received and expressed respect to the community for not taking it the wrong way.

“Even [Durban] Deputy Mayor Logie­ Naidoo is duped into playing a role — something he still regrets, it would seem, and, yes, we are sorry Mr Mayor, but it’s all in the name of fun,” quipped the funnyman.

Boomgaard, a journalist by profession­, believes he has just tapped into an explosive market and that this could very well be just the tip of the samoosa­.

“Movie makers can have a field day, and it seems that the audience in Durban, and possibly other cities in the country, are either very open-minded or simply starved for entertainment. Either­ way, there is great potential.”

“It took a video recorder, a few good buddies and a whole lot of fun and games, and there you have it, a hit movie (well, maybe just a little hit). But nevertheless, imagine if we really did put our minds to it,” he said, adding that in which case it may have not worked.

Social networking played a crucial part in marketing the concept and in its run-up.

“Facebook had profiles of our characters allowing the public to communicate with them directly, and YouTube also played trailers and previews, enticing the public with what promised to be a silly, low-budget laugh.

“One of our cast members, Mahmood Docrat, who plays Inspector Perumal, the man charged with solving the werewolf mystery — had a Facebook profile and the unsavoury character used vile profanity to build his character ahead of the movie. When it premiered briefly at Suncoast last year, the audience knew exactly who our characters were and their personas, and the familiarity is what made it a success.

“YouTube ran our soundtrack, ‘I get the stekkies [the girls who are easy on the eye] you get the bats [the girls not so easy on the eye], which was an instant hit — hundreds of hits over a few hours was the litmus test we needed.

“The International Durban Film Festival­ also gave Werewolf a chance to feature at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre where it filled the house with fans. At the film festival we really saw the fruits of our labour. The audience was completely into it and a huge applause and standing ovation from an appreciative youthful audience was heart-warming.”

Again, Boomgaard stressed, there was nothing of substance that could be learnt from the movie, but “the barrage of criticism we expected never came. We obviously toned down the swearing, but the implied profanity was definitely there — so to say we were outright rude would be an outright lie,” he said.

Anant Singh’s Videovision saw the potential in Boomgaard’s creation and it has now hit the stores.

“We were really fortunate to clinch a deal with Videovision which has made a global mark in the movie business, something that still stumps me when I think about it,” Boomgaard said.

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