Cracktastic Shikari-now with subtitles!

I feel Tom and his gang of subtitlers should form their own production company and give it a proper name! Any suggestions? In any case, another formerly unsubtitled and painfully unrestored vcd has been subtitled (thanks again Raja!) and given the Tommydan Treatment. I must say that I am blown away with how beautiful this dvd looks compared to the source files. I don’t know how he does it, but I’m glad he does.

With subtitles this already enjoyable film is rendered even more cracktastic and bombastic! I missed a LOT of plot points when I watched it without subs. Truly I am so grateful to be able to understand really what is going on in this imaginative and creative B-movie from director Mohd Hussain and music director GS Kohli.

To recap:

  • Glamor (Ragini, Helen, Madhumati and Rani)
  • Circus items
  • Ice Capades
  • Bubblegum pink lava
  • Fabulous dances
  • Jungle animals from all over the world
  • Godzilla(ess?) and her toothy little babies
  • Otango the mangy and angry giant gorilla
  • A snake pit
  • A mad scientist (KN Singh) turning humans into animals and animals into humans
  • Lunatic tribals led by the craziest chief of all time (Shyam Kumar)
  • A village decorated with skulls on posts and plastic hanging plant containers
  • Tun Tun
  • Psilocybin mushroom scenery
  • And much, much more! (I know! How could there be MORE?! But there is!)

Really, it’s not to be missed. My pal Todd will second that too! Get the pdf and the download and instructions (read them, they are helpful!), or watch the film which Tom has uploaded at Veoh: Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Enjoy! and as always please say thanks for the hard work that has gone into this. Thanks Tom and Raja!!! I owe you big time once again.

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52 Comments to “Cracktastic Shikari-now with subtitles!”

  1. Your friends are doing mighty impressive work there. Thanks for pointing in their direction!

  2. It’s been like Christmas around here lately! Another huge thank you to all involved. You are all greatly appreciated!

  3. There’s only one teeny tiny problem. Maybe it’s because I’ve been up too long – work last night and school this morning, but I can’t find the download link for this film in the pdf. The links are there for the wonderful previous releases, but not for Shikari. I’m probably just missing it.

  4. Oh, Thank you thank you Tom and Raja!

    I have always avoided this film becase of the faded colours. The song ‘tum ko piya dil diya’ a dearly loved song was all I tried to watch but always gave up in disappointment.

    I never imagined I would be able to really enjoy not only the song but the whole film!

    Thank you for your hard work and spreading such joy!

    • The color on the vcd is all over the place, sometimes faded and sometimes…well, the word virulent comes to mind. I don’t know what Tom did, as I said, but it looks a thousand times better. What he could do with a good print makes me want to scour the world for one!

  5. Wow, wow, wow, wow! Thanks to all involved for making this available with subtitles!!!! And to Memsaab for being the messenger of such fantastic news!

  6. Euh… I can see where are the download links for the other movies, but not for this one, I clicked on the PDF link, but the links on the four PDF pages are for reviews of Cracktastic Shikari and other things. Where exactly is the download link going to the Mediafire files? Thank you very much.


    • Jean-Claude…*shakes head* You really don’t like to read, do you?! :D

      The download link (mediafire) is highlighted in the post and is different from the pdf file (I think Tom forgot to add it there, but in any case he sent me the link and I’ve put it in the post). See comments above if you are still confused ;-)

      • I didn’t really forget, but hadn’t uploaded the files at the time I wrote the PDF, and thus didn’t have a link at that point. I’ll go back and add a link and replace the uploaded PDF. I apologize for any confusion.

  7. Fab work as usual, Tom & Raja. And Memsaab, for spreading the cheer. :)

  8. G8 all around team work and devotion folks, keep it up and thanks a lot for sharing this Goldie with us.

    Cheers .)

  9. Miracle! I found the link to download this morning, after a good night of sleep. Sorry Memsaab, it must be my venerable age (I’ll turn 70 in a few days)… In any case I have read the complete instructions by now, and was able to get the complete files of the previous movie, Wahan Ke Log, so I’m sure I’ll get the current one all the same. In any case (judging from the DVD of Wahan Ke Log) Tom and Raja made an incredible work in restoring the picture. As a long-time moviegoer (since the early Fifties, in fact) I have an immense respect for people like you.

    • Thank you for reporting back about Wahan Ke Log, Jean-Claude. I hope you enjoy the films.

      If anyone else has the problem, here’s an updated link to the Shikari.pdf which includes a link to the Shikari DVD files:

    • I’ve updated the link in the post to the new pdf as well…it’s really interesting reading if you are at all interested in the challenges that come with these awful source files!!!

      And Jean-Claude, as Tom said—thank you for letting us know the WKL download worked well for you :) It’s a bit daunting at first, but Tom has made it easy with his instructions. And it’s well worth the time spent downloading!

      • I find it easy to download from the VEOH link. It’s just one click and you are done. Of course the programme has to be installed.

        I ahve been able to download both successfully.

        • The veoh download tool is wonderfully easy, but the quality is not as good as the mediafire download :) Doesn’t matter to everybody, but does to some…

          • Oh Thank you for telling me that. I didn’t know about the difference in quality.
            So now I have to start all over again. :-)

  10. My sincerest thanks to all involved. This is indeed a golden age.

  11. “It is me, Tun Tun!”

    Thank you for the helpful instructions!

  12. Thank you so much Tom and Raja for all your hard work! And you too Memsaab!

    I can’t think of an appropriate name for your production company offhand but how about Masala Vista or Bollymatize?

  13. I should also compliment you on the truly inspired choice of screen cap to lead off this post. If one image could sum up Shikari — while at the same time being completely absurd and confusing — I think that would have to be it. I bow to you.

  14. If you form some day in the future your own video release company, not only I’ll buy your DVDs, but I’ll promote them among my friends in France, as many of us are interested for Indian movies. Many of them are available in specialized shops in Paris of course, but your own choice of titles is without equal.

  15. Just finished watching Shikari. Well done on the restoration and subtitles!

  16. Thanks for all the work on this one, specially for putting up the link for Veoh. Really enjoyed this over the top,unrestrained and unapologetic burst of Bollywood creativity! I would never have watched it, if I did not read about it here.

  17. The file Shikari-r01 is apparently missing in the Mediafire folder, and for this reason the process to re-unite the files remains stopped. What happened ? (I have all of the other files of course).

  18. I’ve just finished watching Shikari after successfully downloading it – the right way. :-)

    Thank you to everyone involved, especially Tom.
    The result is glorious. The colours beautiful, and the song I’ve always wanted to watch ‘tumko piya dil diya’, finally did and wasn’t disappointed.
    I also disovered other beautiful songs which I never knew belonged to this film, like ‘agar main poochchoon jawab doge’.

    Having learnt to do this I have also been successful with Bela Bose DVD, and Johny Walker. Only Minoo Mumtaaz is giving me trouble, but it is to do with my computer which is probably objecting to this sudden frantic downloading and burning :-D
    Hope to have this one too as soon as things get sorted out.

    The name of the present earworm is ‘ta din tana din, ta din din din’ (Bela Bose).

    • I was truly blown away by what Tom accomplished with the source video…I have the original vcd and it sucks. This is indeed a treat to watch, on many levels :) All of them are!

  19. Just wanted to add my thanks to Tom, Raja, and Memsaab for making this truly amazing film available! I never thought I would find this subtitled (and in such brilliant condition), splendid work!

  20. In your earlier review you mentioned “the film cuts abruptly to a cave of some sort. ” Actually a whole chunk of film had been brutally cut. You were reviewing the VCD version which often truncates old Hindi films because the films were too long on running time to accommodate in CDs (some are lucky to be spread over 3 CDs). I saw the film during the 70s (all those wonderful re-runs during the 70s and 80s in cinema halls) and enjoyed it and still enjoy seeing it on CD. I remember I had the same problem with the 2nd CD of Shemaroo not running in the player. I had to then copy the video file to the computer and re-burn it on a CD to run as a Movie file. I will try your friend’s link and see if he has the whole film with the missing bits!

    • The DVD I made is sourced from the same Shemaroo VCD as in memsaab’s review. If hers is missing parts of the movie, so is mine. There has recently been released a DVD version of the movie, but I understand it’s in black and white. I don’t know if it’s more complete.

      For me, one good reason to watch the movie is for the exquisite dance featuring Ragini and Helen:

      • Thanks for the prompt reply. I was daunted by the sizes of the files to be downloaded. I was interested by your comments on the colour correction. Most Hindi films were made in ‘Eastman colour’ which of course also varied in quality as the years went on. The earlier films were often of such ‘Gorgeous’ color (note the Capital G). And yes even we found the faces unnaturally pink! It could have been owing to the Eastman color and excessive use of make up – especially during songs! And when I saw it last in the cinema hall, the colour difference in the ice show sequence was obviously different – most likely it was shot by a hand held camera of a live show of gora performers – the color tone definitely indicates a different kind of film stock (sort of a documentary or high end news reel type of shoot) – like also the inserts of actual wildlife shots.

  21. Ah yes Tom, that song is a great favorite of mine too. But a B/W version on DVD! I have heard of a B/W film being released as a Color film – but who would want to make a color film B/W?!

  22. Yes, I did what I could to improve the ice dance scene, and improved it quite a bit, but I’m afraid it was so messed up it was beyond my poor powers to fully fix. I attribute a lot of the problems with the early color films to poor storage practices and the Indian heat. Rarely did anyone ever think long term and do such things as storing original negatives (or even pristine positives) in climate-controlled rooms. When the DVD period came around they didn’t even create new NTSC masters for NTSC DVD, but used the old PAL VHS tapes made 20-25 years earlier as their sources for the DVDs. The cumulative result has been a complete disaster for those of us wanting to watch these films in anything resembling decent quality.

    Who would turn a color film into black and white? The Indian DVD companies. Are you familiar with the 1957 joint India/Russia production of Pardesi? The Indian VCD version is cropped and black and white. The Russian DVD is 16:9 and in glorious and very colorful widescreen.

    Don’t be intimidated by the size of the DVD files. There’s no hurry. If you have any sort of a broadband connection, get them a few at a time. After several days at most you’ll have the files ready to decompress and then burn to DVD. Just follow the included Instructions.pdf.

  23. Salim, I can vouch for the fact that others have been daunted by Tom’s d/l—but have come back in droves to say it was well worth it, and not as difficult as they feared :) Tom’s instructions are very easy to follow too.

    My hatred of Indian dvd/vcd manufacturers and what they have done to Indian cinema knows no bounds. There is no atrocity that they will not stoop to, including just making dvds directly from the vcds (on which they have butchered the original), turning a color film in B/W (Zimbo being another example!), cutting out whole scenes and many songs…it is just horrifying. People who have seen these movies in the cinema hall are very lucky indeed! and people who have collected vhs tapes (poor quality of those notwithstanding) are too, because they are often the last hope one ever has of seeing a complete movie (Teesri Manzil being a good example of that).

    It’s bad enough that there were no good storage practices and that the climate conditions in India were not conducive to preservation, but these companies have made a bad situation much, much worse for we fans.

  24. Unfortunately this sad situation – negatives or original prints lost, DVDs made from old VCDs or even VHS, etc. – seems common to several other countries, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, etc.
    The lack of interest of local audiences is another aggravating factor. What can you make, when on a Filipino website a 1990 movie is described as an “old film”…
    Most of the Filipino movies made before the 1980s are apparently lost for ever, even the ones described as classics.
    A kind of cultural tragedy.

    • Honestly if I’d known then what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have embarked on my journey into Hindi cinema…it is truly heartbreaking. I just have to laugh when self-important people begin discussing the “globalization” of Indian cinema; the reason Indian cinema is never going to be that popular with western audiences is not because of film/story content, but because dvds are practically unwatchable and very rarely subtitled well, if at all. This is true even of films from the 80s and 90s and it only gets worse, the further back you go. And as you say—it’s allowed to continue because local audiences just shrug and accept it.

      It’s why much of Asian cinema remains pretty obscure, as you rightly point out.

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