Rokto Pipasha (Review)

Rokto Pipasha

aka রক্ত পিপাসা aka The Vampire
Rokto Pipasha Vampire Bangla Rubel
2009BMDB Link
Written and Directed by Rubel

These vampires know how to have fun!

Bangladesh does their own version of Blade, all Bangla-ed up with plenty of fighting, yelling, dr4ama, people with giant swords, singing, child endangerment, ridiculous vehicles, cheap effects, scratched film, excitement, and only lacking in the budget. Rokto Pipasha is amazing cinema, and deserved a larger audience, especially in the West. Since the current audience in the West seems to be just me (There is currently literally nothing about this film written in English!), it’s time for TarsTarkas.NET to do what it does best, exposing obscure foreign fun to the masses. And as Rokto Pipasha is all over YouTube in a format where it doesn’t look too bad, there is really no excuse not to track it down. Rokto Pipasha does not have subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! You also don’t really need them to figure out what is going on. There are some vampires, some vampire hunters, and a lot of fighting. The villains are obvious, the heroes spend much of their time tracking them down or arguing amongst themselves, and the action sequences are rather well choreographed.

For those of you uninitiated with Bangla cinema, their action movies feature a lot of the things common in action cinema in India, Pakistan, and the Middle East. There is a lot of yelling and boasting by heroes and villains before they fight. There are dramatic zooms. A lot of dramatic zooms. In one sequence, vampire hunter Mr. T argues with four other vampire hunters, and we get a reaction zoom to Mr. T, then the first hunter, then Mr. T, then the second hunter, repeating for all. This happens multiple times throughout the film. The action is over the top, bringing in elements of martial arts and super heroes. The characters do punches and kicks that would kill normal people, but because they fight others who are super powered, they often do little damage, except for on whichever character is slated to die in that fight. All the main vampire hunters have a huge weapon, either a ridiculous sword or a scythe or something, and they walk around carrying the giant hand weapon in a world where guns exist. The soundtrack is packed full of stolen music. Rokto Pipasha came out in 2007, so there is no excuse. It’s yet another movie with the James Bond theme, as a weird remix pops up randomly during scenes where characters are looking cool. I also recognized tracks from Gladiator, Star Wars, Jaws, and various Westerns.
Rokto Pipasha Vampire Bangla Rubel
Most of the action either takes place in the middle of nowhere or in giant warehouse studios with large hand painted murals as set decoration. There are one or two actual sets that might be part of a hotel or something, unsurprisingly some of the musical numbers also take place here (as those parts will have higher budgets than the rest of the film). And even those locations have walls covered in huge paintings. I would also wager that if I watched more low budget Bangladeshi films, I would recognize some of the paintings.

One thing that isn’t common in Bangla cinema is the characters drive around in ridiculous custom monster vehicles. The cars would be 1000% not street legal in the US, and the vehicle choices make you obvious targets for whoever is hunting you. They also look ridiculous, even though they are awesome. Just check out the wealth of images I took of these monstrosities and try not to instantly want to watch Rokto Pipasha! Another thing that is rare is Western-style monsters like vampires, though films “borrowing” plots from American cinema isn’t that rare in Bangla film. Rokto Pipasha has concepts lifted directly from the Blade movies, but follows enough of its own path that it isn’t a straight ripoff, it just owes a heavy debt.
Rokto Pipasha Vampire Bangla Rubel
As Rokto Pipasha is obscure as heck, this will be another classic TarsTarkas.NET longread where I go over everything. Those of you who hate reading will enjoy the large amount of photos and gifs, and everyone will have a good time. Or else I’ll stab you with my vampire sword! The lack of subtitles means the character names are guesses, though I’m pretty sure I’m right about the main vampire hunter Blade ripoff played by Rubel being named Mr. T. The villain vampire in love is definitely named Romeo.

Rubel aka Masum Parvez Rubel stars and also directed and co-wrote the film, along with some writers that I couldn’t find names for. He also delivers the explaination in the beginning and seems to be a big fan of the Blade series. According to a text blurb he put in the film, he “committer himself to give you a good commercial film”, so few films declare their intentions nowadays. Besides Rubel, actor Shakil Khan has a featured role as a villainous vampire in love. Actor names I couldn’t connect with roles include: Bipasha (is this Bipasha Hayat?), Moumita, and Elys Kobra. There is also a cameo appearance from Bangla action star Sohel Rana. The lack of English information in general on Bangla film is a big problem that I hope gets solved someday, and it is made exponentially harder by the few cast members that are mentioned in talk about the film just having a single name. I am eagerly awaiting someone to chime in down in the comments for who is who.
Rokto Pipasha Vampire Bangla Rubel

Mr. T (Rubel) – Mr. T is a loner, a rebel, a guy on a motorcycle who kills vampires all night and broods all day. So of course he hangs out with a ten year old girl that he kills vampires with. That makes logical sense. Carries a gigantic sword and is master of kung fu, wearing sunglasses, and shooting guns.
Karmila (???) – Karmila hangs out with the vampire fighting brothers and slays as many of the bloodsuckers as she can out of revenge. She also goes wandering off by herself at night all the time, often running into Mr. T and having long conversations that turn into romantic interests, though the vampire slaying comes first. Karmila seems to have the power to sense vampires. Karmila carries a big sword. She’s often called Mila.
Romeo (Shakil Khan) – A vampire lord who has discovered love, and his love for his Girlfriend has tempered his vampiric bloodlust, though he occasionally flashes fangs. Is served by the Four Snake Villains, and drives around in a giant monster car.
Scythe Brother (???) – Member of the vampire killing brothers who carries a big honking scythe as he kills vampires. Lives the longest of the brothers.
Sword Brother (???) – Member of the vampire killing brothers who carries a big honking sword as he kills vampires. The least developed of the main three brothers.
Arrow Brother (???) – Member of the vampire killing brothers who carries a big honking bow and arrow as he kills vampires. Also occasionally uses other weapons. The most rash of the brothers.
Random other Brother (???) – Member of the vampire killing brothers who spends most of the movie in bed and off screen, only occasionally jumping into battle to tackle a big opponent. Injects himself with some sort of drug, it seems like he was turned into a vampire and represses it or something, but isn’t on screen enough for this to make a difference in anything.
Girlfriend (???) – Romeo’s Girlfriend, who is still a human but loves her vampire boyfriend. Possibly named Karina. Mr. T is hired by her father to retrieve her from Romeo.
Partner (???) – Mr. T battles vampires with the help of a tiny girl, because bringing a young child into constant danger and murder scenarios will always end well. She ends up some vampire dinner! Oh, Partner, you were destined to die from the moment you appeared!
Three Idiots (???) – It’s not a movie unless three unfunny guys randomly show up to annoy characters.
Random Ghost (???) – Thankfully the Three Idiots are later harassed by this Random Ghost. Anyone who harasses the Three Idiots is a winner in my book!
Four Snake Villains (???) – The Four Snake Villains serve Romeo and battle the Vampire Fighting Brothers. I don’t think they are vampires, they are just fighting masters who may serve Romeo because they are evil or because they will get vampire powers at some later date. Or would, if they weren’t killed one by one as the movie progresses.
Dancing Villainess (???) – She starts out as the item girl for tiny vampire guy Lukanda, but ends up ruling his empire and attempts to destroy Romeo and Mr. T, possibly because they won’t date her.
Lukanda (???) – A partying vampire lord who spends most of his time dancing to his girlfriend singing, hanging out with scrawny guys, and being carried around and having weapons put into his hands. Often found on top of pedestals. Wears skull shirts, because of course he does. Has magic pelvis thrusting power. Do not stare directly at the pelvis!

Rokto Pipasha Vampire Bangla Rubel
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