The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies


The rest of the world thinks of America like that first roommate out of college: Sitting on the couch all night, telling swear words to Halo, farting into the robe they didn't ask if they could borrow in the first place, and just generally contributing nothing meaningful to the world at large. With one exception: Hollywood. We unquestioningly pump out the most crotch-burstingly awesome action movies on the planet. That's our thing. That's what we can point to and say, "here's what we do best."And we would be lying, because there is a small state in India called Tamil Nadu that's been churning out movies which prove, without a doubt, that they can do action every bit as well as we can, plus throw in a hurricane, eight bears, a dance number and a bitchin' goat jump on top. They're called Tamil films, and here are the scenes that put America to shame:

Superstar Rajinikanth, Murderer of Gravity

Tires squeal, citizens run in terror, screaming at the villains pursuing them. Just when all hope seems lost, one thug goes hurtling impossibly through the air. We see the foot that kicked him: It is wrapped in a second-tier running shoe. It may be a Puma. The foot lifts, and we are slowly introduced to the hero, the badass, the man that nightmares have nightmares about. He looks like Wayne Newton.


He's tubby, he's old, he's got a moustache that wants to sell you a used Ford Festiva, and he is
here to save the motherfucking day. And then, just when you're fairly confident the movie accidentally zoomed in on the wrong guy, this middle-school shop teacher starts kicking tornados into existence and shit goes all Matrix (well, okay, not quite "Matrix," as much as cheap, store-brand knock-off of Matrix; Motrix, if you will.)

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

This is Superstar Rajinikanth, India's answer to a question the world has always been afraid to ask: What if all of Bruce Willis' roles were given to Ron Jeremy? He's here to do two things: Kick ass and chew bubblegum...and
he's not even out of bubblegum. So he's just...I guess he's gonna do both then. What happens next is a blur of jean jackets and violence: Men are punched so hard they do perfect cartwheels, or are paralyzed with the power of hand gestures. Bodies are hurled into electric generators and vehicles; human beings have the very gravity punched out of them.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

Superstar Rajinikanth proves three things: Middle-aged porn stars can still kick ass, nobody's told India about physics yet, and the key to a bitchin' action movie is having a denim budget that absolutely dwarfs the special effects budget.

T. Rajender, Dance-fighting Ewok

T. Rajender is equal parts Chaka from Land of the Lost and old school Chuck Norris (before he fell so in love with himself that his ego deepthroated his career and forgot it wasn't supposed to swallow). As a general rule in Tamil movies, there are two ways any given conflict can pan out: Either an elaborate song and dance number will fire up from nowhere, with rhythm itself being judge, jury and executioner, or else a brutal and confusing fist-fight will erupt, scarring body and psyche alike. In this clip, both happen at once: Two men dance awkwardly, hoping the universe will let them settle the matter through song. When nature misfires and no grandiose musical number swirls into existence, it is clear that the uncaring cosmos wants the men to settle it with violence. They reluctantly oblige. The smug little Death Ewok is clearly winning the fight, in part due to the other men's willingness to listen to his lengthy, monotone lectures after every punch. Then, without warning, he deploys the Atomic bomb of Indian martial arts: He hurls himself through the air, cruelly forcing his opponents to catch him. This harms them somehow.


Music tries to burst through the fighting again, but to no avail: This matter must be solved with blood. T. Rajender punches a strange, crab-walking cripple to death, then forces a giant to eat a full and balanced meal with kicking.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

The fight is eventually finished when T. Rajender sings to the kick-fed man and, judging by the man's facial expressions, it is the singular most terrifying song in the history of the world. It is the song of the void: Its chords are the births of stars, and its lyrics are the heat-death of the universe itself.Its dance, on the other hand, consists of several adorable hops, a clap and a bitchslap.

Captain Vijayakanth, Flailing Pile of Fat and Death

As previously indicated by Superstar Rajinikanth, tubby older men with colorful shirts and mid-grade running shoes are death incarnate in Tamil cinema. And none are tubbier, more colorful, or more mid-grade than Captain Vijayakanth:

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

He looks like a cross between Horatio Sanz and a short order cook at a discotheque: Obviously these criminals are in some serious fucking trouble. Even moreso since they've flung their weapons aside, opting instead to tie themselves upside down to vines and hurl themselves from trees while windmilling like panicked fourth-graders. Eventually the good Captain realizes the only way to fight retardation is with more retardation, so he valiantly commandeers a vine of his own and fights them on their own terms: By drifting in small, slow, confused orbits, like somebody strung up a pinata made of ham.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

When the low speed collisions do occur, Vijayakanth's attacks consist of making punching noises with his mouth that his hands have absolutely no intention of following through on, while his opponents fall more out of courtesy than damage. And you can't blame them for pitying him: Here he is valiantly battling evil, despite simultaneously battling advanced-stage liver disease. It's inspiring, really, because unless "vengeance" is cloudy and yellow, that's probably Jaundice in his eyes.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

Megastar Chiranjeevi, Horse Bane

The movie tells you, right off the bat, shit is about to get real in a hurry: It looks like the only thing our hero likes better than moustaches and butter is pastel and Asics.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

When the scene starts, he's in the process of breaking free from a paddy wagon, and the Indian police force tries to stop him by inexplicably destroying all of their vehicles as fast as they can - motorcycles ram into cars, jeeps hurtle through the air, police cars power-slide into buildings --regardless of whether the hero is anywhere near them, has done anything to them, or if it makes any sense for them to be doing it.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

When they eventually run out of cars, they bring in the horse brigade. And if you were hoping the Indian police would treat their horses better than their cars, rest assured: They do not. Horses are kamikaze'd into any and everything -- cars, ponds, the ground, other horses -- and please understand, these are actual dead horses we're talking about here. There are no "stunt horses" that can bend their necks like that and live. This movie has some sort of blood vendetta against the horse species, there can be no other explanation. Why else would our hero, upon stumbling across a miraculously still-breathing horse, become so enraged that he feels compelled to steal said horse, Tokyo Drift it beneath a semi truck and then ram it through every piece of plate glass in India.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

The movie ends by fulfilling every promise it made to us: With our hero murder-driving a horse through an inexplicably glass-walled bus, while jeeps fly through the air with no provocation, and every single car in the world explodes at once, completely apropos of nothing.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

Now, I don't speak Hindi, but I can tell you exactly what this scene is saying: "Your fucking move, America."

Balakrishna, Bringer of Madness

Don't be fooled. For a few minutes here, you're going to think this clip is nothing more than Indian men cosplaying Sam Fisher with a special effects budget consisting of Mom's Closet and Imagination.

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But I'm telling you, it's necessary. You need to see this part to ground yourself for the madness to come. Without it, your neurons would surely be overloaded by the arcing insanity of the man-thing they call Balakrishna. I promise you, after they're done pretending at Special Ops, every single person involved with this production flings their notes into the air, strips naked and starts power-raping logic to death. I will do my best to offer an objective description, but keep in mind that words can only do so much to describe the raging face of a mad god: The turning point comes when a sweet-ass Indian power ballad starts up, indoor windstorms arise from nowhere, and our hero displaces himself from time by waving his arms, then starts Quantum Leaping into the Indian equivalent of every badass that has ever lived.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

Watching this fight scene is exactly analogous to going insane: Slowly, frame by frame, your normal perception of reality ceases to exist. As your grip loosens, connections begin to thin. Scenes shift and morph seamlessly into other, completely unrelated scenes until, after a while, you kind of forget that anything was ever not like that. Now our hero is summoning the power of the ocean and a volcanic eruption.


Now he is cartoonishly pounding men into the ground like Bugs Bunny. Now he becomes a pillar, then explodes and is the god of fire for a second. Now you no longer recognize your loved ones - you're sure they've been replaced with dopplegangers somehow.

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Now Balakrishna is hurling men into the air who never appear again -- perhaps they achieve escape velocity and break orbit -- sailing off into depths of space to confuse aliens many light years and untold millennia away. Now he shoots fireballs from his eyes that become a Megaman-like orbiting shield. Now he masters electricity. Now you're hearing signals that tell you what to do; it must be the CIA controlling your mind.

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Now our hero summons an army of fiery pitchforks and goosesteps through them. Now he's Clint Eastwood. Now he summons the actual, literal sub-continent of India to fight with. Now you're sure those meds they keep trying to give you will only dull your instincts, so you won't notice when the pod people start taking over.

The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Moments from Indian Action Movies

Now Balakrishna is an ancient archer, and his legs are a burning panther. Now you are gone to the rational world, and forever will be.


I am truly sorry to have dragged you into this, but it's too late for all of you now. You see, I watched this clip on accident a week ago, not knowing what it would do to the human mind. Forgive me, but I was weak, and I could not bear the solitude of madness. So I constructed this article - this ruse - and gave it to the world, just so you could join me. And now, at last, I will have company; company in the screaming insanity that has become my existence.

You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you can google "Sultan Rahi" to see what Pakistan has to add to the discussion.

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