New Delhi: What Yash Chopra was to romance in Indian cinema, the Ramsay brothers were to the horror genre in the 1980s and 90s. Filmmaker Tulsi Ramsay, who died on Thursday, leaves behind an audience directors are still struggling to scare and thrill. Even with horror movie offerings like Pari and Stree and web series like Ghoul abound, there seems to be no match for the Ramsay fare.

Tulsi Ramsay, with brothers Kumar, Shyam, Keshu, Arjun, Gangu and Kiran, spawned a series of low-budget horror films down to the 1990s. Known for movies like Hotel, Purana Mandir, Tahkhana, Veerana and Bandh Darwaza, he also ran a production company called Tulsi Ramsay Productions in Mumbai.

The seven sons of FU Ramsay initially ran an electronics shop in Mumbai but found themselves lured by the glamour of Hindi films and became synonymous with cinema that combined sleaze, superstition and gore. Their ticket to success was the 1971 film Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche, which was shot on a budget of 3.5 lakh over 40 days with a crew of 15 at a time when the average Hindi film took 50 lakh to make.

Legend has it that Ramsay brothers put the team up at a government guest house in Mahabaleshwar, borrowed cameras and got actors to bring their own clothes to finish shoot. The film set the cash registers ringing and made about 45 lakh, giving birth to an entire genre that acquired cult status over time.

Tulsi Ramsay who also directed the Zee Horror Show TV series in 1993, had been complaining of chest pain for a while.

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