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|Directed by||Mahesh Kothare|
|Story by||Mahesh Kothare|
|Based on||Child's Play (1988 film) by Don Mancini |
|16 April 1993|
|149 minutes |
Zapatlela is a Marathi horror comedy movie, which was released on 14 April 1993. It was directed by Mahesh Kothare. It was inspired from the Don Mancini's 1988 Hollywood movie Child's Play. It was followed by a sequel Zapatlela 2, released 20 years later in 2013.
Ramdas Padhye, a ventriloquist and puppeteer created the practical effects involving evil doll Tatya Vinchu. The film starring Laxmikant Berde as Laxmikant Bolke, with Mahesh Kothare as CID Inspector Mahesh Jadhav and Dilip Prabhavalkar as Tatya Vinchu. This film was dubbed in Hindi as Khilona Bana Khalnayak.
The film begins with a car approaching at night. Tatya Vinchu (Dilip Prabhavalkar), a famous gangster and his henchman Kubdya Khavis enter the cave of Baba Chamatkar (Raghvendra Kadkol) in search for mrutunjay mantra, a voodoo spell which can transfer the soul of the chanter to any living or nonliving object. Tatya threatens Baba Chamatkar for his mantra. Baba, out of fear, gives it to him. CID Inspector Mahesh Jadhav (Mahesh Kothare), who is trying to arrest Tatya, raids his warehouse. Mahesh finds Tatya, and gives chase until Tatya hides in a post office. There, they fight and Tatya gets hit by a fatal gunshot. He uses the mantra to transfer his soul into the body of a ventriloquist's doll lying nearby. Meanwhile, Kubdya Khavis is captured and taken into custody. The police believe that Tatya is dead.
Gauri (Kishori Ambiye) returns from USA to India for pursuing PhD in Criminal Psychology. In the meantime Gauri's father gets transferred to Shrirangpur. She meets her brother Lakshya. Lakshya has a talent of ventriloquism, and Gauri gives him a doll as a gift she got from USA, which happens to be the doll in which Tatya Vinchu's soul is trapped.
Tatya tells Lakshya that he is not a doll, he is a criminal. Later, the Sarpanch of the village is insulted when Lakshya publicly makes fun of him. He takes all of Lakshya's belongings on the pretext of unpaid rent. He also takes Tatya Vinchu. Tatya Vinchu shows his true identity and kills him. Lakshya gets home, only to find his house completely ransacked by Sarpanch's men. An angry Lakshya goes to the Sarpanch's godown (warehouse), where he sees that the Sarpanch is dead. Just then, Mahesh comes in the scene and thinks that out of rage, Lakshya has killed the Sarpanch.
In jail, Lakshya desperately tries to explain, but fails to prove his point. The doll is also kept as evidence. Tatya rises from the evidence box and asks Lakshya about transport which would get him to Mumbai. Lakshya in fear of Tatya tells him. Post-mortem reports prove the innocence of Lakshya and he is freed. Mahesh and Gauri confess to each other their love. Tatya reaches Mumbai in the Cave of Baba Chamatkar, where he asks him how to get transferred from a puppet to a mortal human body. Baba disagrees to give him further knowledge, but Tatya threatens him and makes him tell. He understands to become mortal again he has gain the body of the 1st person whom he has told his name and that person is Lakshya.
Tatya goes back to Shrirangpur to gain the body of Lakshya. One night he climbs through the window and attempts to possess Lakshya's body, but Lakshya manages to lock him in the cupboard. In the morning Lakshya's lover Gangi takes Tatya out from cupboard and buries him underground, to cure Lakshya from his anxiety on the night's events. Tatya still manages to dig his way out and scares Lakshya. All the villagers think that Lakshya is going crazy and forcefully hospitalize him into a mental hospital. Tatya attempts to possess Lakshya again, but Lakshya escapes just in time. Lakshya, scared, runs away home.
Meanwhile, Mahesh gets the whereabouts of Baba Chamatkar's cave. He approaches Baba and gets the truth about the possessed doll. Baba says that the only way to defeat the doll is to shoot him between his eyebrows. Mahesh comes back to Shrirangpur, in order to save Lakshya. Tatya meets Kubdya, who has escaped from prison. He tells him about Lakshya, and Kubdya takes him to Lakshya's house. Tatya once again attempts to possess him. Mahesh reaches Lakshya's home just in time at Shrirangpur, where he and Kubdya fight. Meanwhile, Tatya chases Lakshya all the way to the terrace of the house. Mahesh injures Kubdya and reaches there just in time. But Tatya pushes him and he almost falls, hanging to the edge of the roof. Tatya then takes advantage of this situation and starts saying the mantra to possess Lakshya. When Tatya is just about to say the last verse, Mahesh gets up just in time and fires a shot from his gun, and it hits Tatya Vinchu in between the eyebrows. The doll falls down, now lifeless. Kubdya is taken in custody again.
The film ends with the renowned ventriloquist Ramdas Padhye giving a present to Lakshya in the presence of Mahesh; it turns out to be a doll. Due to his fear of dolls since the incident, Lakshya yells at Mahesh in fear as the movie ends.
- Mahesh Kothare as CID Inspector Mahesh Jadhav.
- Laxmikant Berde as Laxmikant (Lakshya) Bolke.
- Dilip Prabhavalkar as Tatya Vinchu and did dubbing for evil doll, Tatya Vinchu.
- Kishori Ambiye as Gauri Ghadge.
- Pooja Pawar as Avadi.
- Madhu Kambikar as Parobai Bolke (Lakshya's Mother)
- Raghvendra Kadkol as Baba Chamatkar.
- Vijay Chavan as Havaldar Sakharam.
- Jayram Kulkarni as Superintendent of Police Jayram Ghadge.
- Ramdas Padhye did dubbing for Laxya's puppet, Ardhvat Rao.
This film was inspired from the 1988 Hollywood movie Child's Play, a film by Don Macini. It was a horror film. As in Zapatlela, it opens with a serial killer (Charles Lee Ray) transferring his soul into a doll, Chucky after being shot dead by a police officer, and is given to a child, Andy Barclay, who is not believed to when he claims that the doll is alive. Chucky goes to meet his old voodoo master John in a similar manner Tatya confronts Baba and learns that the only way to become human again is transferring his soul into the body of the first person he told his true name to, who happens to be Andy, which puts him in the same danger Lakshya is subjected to by the living doll. Tatya is also shot dead by the same police officer that originally killed his human self after the cop was instructed by John that Chucky's weakness is his heart, just like how Baba does by telling Mahesh to shoot Tatya between his eyebrows to kill him.
Mahesh Kothare said he wrote the story of Zapatlela in a hotel room in a week. Name of the main antagonist, notorious gangster Tatya Vinchu, Kothare developed from the amalgamation of his make-up man's name 'Tatya' and ' Red Scorpion', which he seen in his childhood.
Evil doll Tatya Vinchu and Laxya's naughtiest dall Ardhvat rao are made and operated by Ramdas Padhye, a ventriloquist.  The voice of Ardhvat rao dubbed by Ramdas Padhye. Dilip Prabhavalkar dubbed the voice of Tatya Vinchu doll.
Due to the events that take place in the film, sound effects were much more advanced than in the previous Mahesh Kothare Films. The sound designer and co-supervising sound editor had perfectly mixed the sound to create the desired horror sound effects.[original research?]
A sequel to the film, titled Zapatlela 2, was released in 3D on 7 June 2013 with Adinath Kothare and Sonalee Kulkarni in the lead roles. It also features Makarand Anaspure, Sai Tamhankar, Mahesh Kothare, Madhu Kambikar and Vishakha Subhedar in supporting roles. This film got mediocre success. In 2017 Mahesh Kothare announced that he is going to make 'Zapatlela 3'.
After theatrical release Zapatlela became huge hit. It is a popular film in Maharashtra.
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