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Friday, June 3, 2011

Doss the Boss: Action Films of Director KSR Doss

We're back, baby! This episode is worth the wait: with Thrills Coodinator Todd of Die Danger Die Die Kill and Teleport City on board, we romp and stomp through the films of director K. S. R. Doss. "Color! Action! Pure cinema!" raves Todd. If you've never seen any of Doss's 70s films (the focus of our show), you're in for an amazing treat. Elements like frenetic fights, stylized acting, "dances like Laxmi Chhaya on crystal meth," and even the female players leaping in with reckless abandon add up to the feeling that Doss "is trying to destroy the concept of subtlety itself...there's no room for anything to be understated." And we love them!

In addition to summaries and details of a few of Doss's films in detail, we discuss his influences and techniques, common elements across the films, what the kick-ass female characters are all about, and the relationships between his work and today's Telugu action films (other than the Superstar Krishna and Son connection).

Todd's take of some of the films mentioned in this episode can be found at the following links:
Beth has also written up James Bond 777 and Mosgallaku Mosgadu. James Bond 777 is now available on Youtube.

You can listen to Masala Zindabad: Doss the Boss by clicking the player above, subscribing to our feed, on iTunes or downloading here.


  1. I wanted to add a sort of footnote: The part where I talked about these films being an "acceptable" way of displaying a woman's physicality within the conservative constraints of Indian cinema was informed by a book I was reading at the time: "Hindi Action Cinema: Industries, Narratives, Bodies" by Valentina Vitali. That should have been mentioned by me at the time, but I guess I just got too caught up in the thrill of the discussion. I would never want anyone to think I was actually that smart.

  2. I'm just sorry it took so long to get here Todd. I had a terminal case of ADD. :( On the plus side, I got rediscover all the awesomeness.

  3. I listened to this on my headphones at work, and was literally shaking and crying with silent laughter at points. I need to see these butt-kicking women and bank-robbing dogs right NOW!

    Only within the past year or two, I've become obsessed with Telugu films and this looks like a super fun place to start if I want to know more about the roots of the movies I love.

    There still are a few fighting women heroines. For example "Mysammaa IPS" has Mumait Khan as a police woman turned vigilante who goes after rapists. But it's more on the gruesome than campy side.

  4. Welcome to the blog Myrna and I'm glad you had such a good time! I must have cut a solid hour's worth of giggling from this epi and you can still catch it on record.

    I'd heard about Mysammaa IPS but hadn't actually read any reviews of it so that's good to know! The one I recommended to Todd is Arundhati which you should check out too if you haven't already! (My one recommendation!)

  5. 20 minutes into "James Bond 777" and I had to come back to say it is everything I hoped for. Awesome! I almost want to stop watching 'til I can find someone to watch it with me. It would be great to see with a group.

    Mumait can convincingly kick butt, but the film also exploits her sexy-persona, and basically every other woman onscreen gets raped. I did see "Arundhati" and it's better example of a heroine-centric film. On the success of "Arundhati," I think Anushka did a couple more films in the same vein but I can't recall their names.

  6. m-n - YAY!!!! That was precisely my reaction as well. I think you should go ahead and watch it - why deny yourself NOW when it certainly holds up to repeat viewings? :D

  7. Great Blog my friend, congratulations from: