Aaya Toofan (1964)

Although this movie was made in 1964, it very well could have been made in 1954 or even 1944 given the quality of its special effects. They are so very special! In addition, the heroine of the film is none other than the ever-fabulous Helen, opposite wrestler Dara Singh. Aaya Toofan was the source for this trivia post, and for my avatar as well. This is not to say that it’s a good film; it most emphatically is not. It’s really bad. Silly story, bad acting, the whole nine yards. But it’s B-movie fun for those who enjoy such things (I do! I do!), and of course there is Helen. And wrestlers. Lots and lots of wrestlers.

In a kingdom far far away, Raja Naagsen (Anwar Hussain) lives with his Maharani and his sister Rajkumari Chandra (Helen). On Chandra’s 18th birthday, he throws a big party. An evil magician named Kammo (Shyam Kumar) arrives uninvited, is welcomed and gives Chandra a box that houses a magical little dancing figure.

Later that night as she sleeps, the dancing figure is transformed into a demon who bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr. Potato Head.

The demon kidnaps Chandra and makes off with her. These scenes just cry out for the comic book treatment.

Chandra is rescued by a man with big muscles named Deepu (Dara Singh), who defeats the demon fairly easily with arrows, a pitchfork and some rope.

After a celebratory song and dance (yay, Helen!) Deepu takes her back to the palace, where her brother is overjoyed to see her. He promises to give Deepu anything he wants. Deepu wants Chandra. He tells the King that he is a Prince also, the son of Bharat, the King of the Sunderbahns.

Oops. Gratitude turns to enmity in less than a second! It’s Deepu’s turn to fight off the King’s guards and escape across the drawbridge, which he does.

The King has a mistress, a dancer named Kala (Nishi).

What he doesn’t know is that Kala has fallen for Deepu in a big way. So has the Princess. Chandra tracks Deepu down and confesses her love, but before it can blossom Kala intervenes with various nefarious plots involving a ring that she steals from the Princess. Chandra comes to mistrust Deepu’s love for her and has him arrested. Her maidservant Manju enlists the help of Deepu’s servant Mallu (Maruti) and his Stunt Snake to help convince Chandra that she is wrong about Deepu.

This also involves Tun Tun as Manju’s aunt, who sets her cap at poor Mallu.

They succeed in convincing Chandra that Deepu truly loves her, and she frees him; but the King—alerted by jealous Kala—catches them, and puts Deepu into a dungeon and Chandra under house arrest.

Our intrepid servants manage to free Chandra from her room (no guards in sight) and they pose as dancers to distract the guards at the front gate, while the Stunt Snake takes a key to Deepu so he can unlock his chains. Getting out of the cell is pretty easy after that.

But alas! Despite their best efforts, Deepu is caught and Chandra arrested again, this time on Kala’s orders. Kala doesn’t seem to get the concept of love as an emotion that can’t be ordered in like dinner.

When her demands fail, she has his eyes poked out.

The king arrives and is very pleased with Kala’s handiwork. The Princess’ defiance is not as welcome.

They are banished together from the kingdom. Can they survive, a blind muscle-man and a spoiled princess? Will the King ever figure out that Kala is the traitor? Will the magician who started all this reappear? There is much much more that I haven’t the energy or will to go into.

In case you are not sure this is your kind of movie, let me recap the highlights:

Mr. Potato Head Demon:

Lots of Helen (and a little of Bela Bose):

Dara Singh’s impressive physique, our view of which is not at all hindered by anything like, uh, clothes (and his manly little skirt has teeny pompons fringing it!):

Bad special effects:

A Stunt Snake:

Besides the Eye-Gouger-Outer, several other sharp Instruments of death:

Tun Tun:

And a happily ever after ending:

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25 Comments to “Aaya Toofan (1964)”

  1. Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho !!!! Yay !!! Delightful Review.

    I would watch it for Helen anyday.


  2. That’s why I watched it! :-)

  3. Is that the same Dara Singh who plays the uncle in KHNH and the grandpa in Jab We Met? Um, wow!

  4. Yup, it sure is. I am glad he’s still around :-)

  5. The director/s must be the Indian equivalent to Ed Wood!

  6. I am very impressed – you’ve actually seen one of the Dara Singh movies! Okay, most Hindi movies do require a willing suspension of disbelief, but this seems to take the cake. I think I’d like to see it….:-)

  7. I love B-grade. Where else can you have such fun? Does she actually say “My chest is at your service.” Or is that your idea? I do, do need to use it somewhere.

  8. Anonymous: Yes, in a way! I wonder if Ed Wood ever saw a Hindi movie…

    Madhu: Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you :-) It does have its moments though.

    Banno: Actually, HE says “My chest is at your service.” Even better! But you may use it however you like :-)

  9. Okay, I was about to ask the same question Banno did, so thanks for the clarification :-D

    How you pick movies like this, I will never know. But I am, as ever, utterly grateful. I don’t know when I will get around to watching Aaya Toofan, but until then, those sublime screencaps should suffice.

    Your post made my whole weekend. Keep ’em coming!


    ps: Have you ever considered watching and writing about any of the Ramsey Brothers horror movies? Or even Jaani Dushman? I think you might find them quite entertaining.

  10. Ramsu (and Banno): I don’t make up the subtitles, I just report them :-) I couldn’t make up stuff like that even if I wanted to!

    I don’t know how I pick movies like this either. *blushes modestly* I guess it’s just a gift, ha ha.

    I don’t actually like horror films…even the cheesiest ones frighten me. I am embarrassed to say that I do have Jaani Dushman (if you mean the one with Sunny Deol and Akshay Kumar and Manisha Koirala). Don’t know if I could sit through it again to get screencaps though! It was so bad it was just BAD. Maybe one of these days I will try, though :-)

  11. Excellent! :)

  12. Oh no, that was Jaani Dushman II. Which, unless JD was the name of a king in England or the name of a Star Wars remake, usually means there was a Part 1 sometime ago.

    The first part starred, I think, Sunil Dutt, Sanjeev Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha. Both were made by the same director, and the second one was to relaunch his son Armaan (who played the avenging ghost). I think both movies were equally bad, except the first one had the added agony of a star cast who could act their way out of a paper bag but chose not to.

    But if even cheesy scary movies frighten you, then stay away.


  13. Ah…I have not seen the first Jaani Dushman. I saw Nagin, which was bad enough (Sunil Dutt, Feroz Khan…). I need to take these B-type films in small doses lest I get tired of them.

  14. I love, love, love AAYA TOOFAN…it really is one of my favorite Bollywood films, but then I am a huge fan Dara Singh, and Helen makes such a wonderful leading lady!

    If you enjoyed this you must try to find some of Dara Singh’s other films like KING KONG, TARZAN AND KING KONG, HERCULES, and SAMSON. Lots of fun! Mumtaz and Kum Kum are Dara Singh’s other frequent leading ladies.

    As for the delightful Helen ,I recently picked up a one of her B movies on VCD called HAWA MAHAL, in which she and Minoo Mumtaz play undersea women (sort of like mermaids but with no tail and lots more clothing) who steal the souls of sailors. I love when Helen is given lead roles!

  15. Oh, I need a copy of Hawa Mahal!!!! I love Minoo Mumtaz too (Mehmood’s sister)…You lucky lucky man! Next time I go to India, I am going to buy armloads of VCDs and just hope that my DVD player plays them. Dara Singh has had a long innings in Hindi movies despite his lack of acting ability (maybe he got better) :-). Bless him.

  16. This movie was a hit in it’s time and they made a sequel to it (serious).
    The title was ‘Phir Aaya Toofan’

  17. Get out! Did Dara and Helen star in the sequel too????

  18. I dont remember Helen being in it, but Dara surely was.:)
    Didnt see the sequel.

    If I remember correctly, in the first one (Aaya Toofan), two pointed rods are pushed into Dara’s eyes and he goes blind, after which the title song breaks out – ‘Zindagi Mein Aaya Toofan’. Am I correct ?

  19. You are!!! Poor Dara. At least in this one he had Helen to help him get around :-)

    And BTW Sunny, it’s nice to see you here at MemsaabStory!

  20. Thank you Memsaab, my pleasure entirely. Lovely Blog.

  21. I found a stack of Dara Singh movies here http://www.induna.com/99-artistdetails/ Now waiting for my check to arrive. Can someone let me have a link for Aaya Toofan and Hercules?

  22. I’m not sure what you mean by link, but I got my copy at that most stalwart of movie stores, Nehaflix.com. I don’t know about Hercules, though.

  23. If you have noticed that Dara Singh’s dialogues are dubbed by some one else, beloging toa a small Punjab village, Dara Singh did not know how to speak hindi.

  24. I know that there are two very popular songs in film “Aaya Toofan”. One is ” Abhi Kamsin Ho Nadan Ho Jane Jana…..” sung by our great legend & maestro Mohammed Rafi Sahab & other song is ” Zindagi Mein Aaya Toofan…….” & this also sung by Immortal Rafi Sahab. Dara Singh & Helen looks nice in this film. I love Helen. She was the beautiful actress & perfect cabaret dancer of indian movies. She looked like Barbie Doll in her lifetime. Dara Singh is a Muscle Man. He is real Punjab Da Puttar.

    Prince Lalit Bhambhani
    Atlanta, Georgia ( USA )

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