With the passing of Shyam Ramsay on September 18, said to be the chief architect and main brain behind the famed Ramsay Brothers from Bollywood’s house of horrors, an era has truly come to an end for the horror genre in Hindi cinema. Whenever someone says the word ‘horror’ the first name that comes to mind is that of Ramsay who had made a killing at the box office in the 80s and early 90s with their unique brand of horror.
Shyam’s brother, Tulsi Ramsay passed away in December 2018. But Shyam’s contribution to shaping the fear-filled fortunes of the Ramsay Brothers was immense say those who knew the family intimately. Made at a reasonable budget and featuring tacky often cheesy tropes of the horror genre with plenty of sex and sleaze thrown in for crude measure, Shyam Ramsay and his brothers carved a terror niche on celluloid.
Shyam is survived by his wife son and daughter. Actor Anil Dhawan, last seen in the 2018 hit Andhadhun, was one of the regular actors who worked with Shyam on his horror films. He was not aware of his death until told by this writer. “He was very decent person. To go at just 66, is not fair. We did many films together. Our big hit was Darwaza. I enjoyed working with him,” said Anil.
In 2014,Ashim Ahluwalia made a high-acclaimed film Miss Lovely based on the life and cinema of the Ramsay Brothers. But this did not go well with the brothers. Livid, Shyam had told this writer that he saw this film as nothing short of slander. “The fact is Ramsay is a brand name. We are a reputed family with decades of cinema to our credit. The whole film industry knows it. If someone still chose to portray us as sleaze hawkers it is not our problem.”
For those who loved the horror genre and had their own memories associated with it, the end of Ramsay brothers is immeasurable.