indian cinema heritage foundation

Srinivas Roy


Prolific make-up artist Srinivas Roy specialised in the distinctive make-up used in horror films, and worked regularly with the Ramsay brothers, who were the undisputed rulers of the horror film genre in the 1970s and 1980s. He is known for his work in films such as Purana Mandir (1984), Veerana (1988), Bandh Darwaza (1990) and Mr Bond (1992), among others. 

Roy first served as a make-up artist for the film Duniya (1984). An action drama directed by Ramesh Talwar and written by Javed Akhtar, it starred Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Rishi Kapoor and Amrita Singh. The plot depicted a man, Mohan Kumar, who is framed for a crime he didn't commit. He loses his wife, son, and freedom, and then he emerges from prison vowing revenge.

The same year, Roy worked on the horror drama Purana Mandir (1984), directed by the Ramsay brothers – Shyam and Tulsi Ramsay. The film provided ample scope for the specialised make-up needed for the character of the blood-thirsty demon Samri. The plot revolved around a rich young girl Suman, who learns about a demon Samri, an obedient servant of the devil, and its terrible curse brought upon her family for generations. She decides to go to her paternal village with her boyfriend Sanjay and his friend, to find out the truth. The film starred Mohnish Behl, Aarti Gupta and Puneet Issar. It was a thumping surprise hit and became the second-highest grosser of the year.  Made on a budget of Rs 2.5 lakh, it reportedly collected a total gross of Rs 2.5 crore. 

In 1985, he worked on Telephone, a Ramsay brothers’ mystery thriller starring Shatrughan Sinha, Parveen Babi and Marc Zuber. The plot revolved around Suresh, a wealthy businessman, who discovers that his best friend/ business partner Dinesh is extorting money, which prompts him to fire him. The disgruntled Dinesh then sets out for revenge, which involves blackmail and murder. 

The same year, the character Samri of Purana Mandir was brought back to the screen in the Ramsay directed horror, 3D Saamri (1985). Roy was responsible for the make-up of the characters in the film, starring Rajan Sippy, Aarti Gupta and Puneet Issar. The film revolved around Dharmesh Saxena—referred to as Saamri—a wealthy elderly man who is involved in dark magic. Aware that his health is fading fast, he arranges for his expansive estate to be left to his niece, Anju Trivedi. Dharmesh's stepbrother Takleefchand, however, has other plans, and he and a motley group of co-conspirators kill Dharmesh and inform authorities that it was a suicide. The next phase of their plan is to kill Anju, but before they can, they begin dying gruesomely, as Saamri rises from the grave to take his revenge.

Tahkhana (1986) saw Roy work on this Ramsay horror starring Hemant Birje, Kamran Rizvi, Aarti Gupta, Preeti Sapru, Rana Jung Bahadur, and others. The plot revolved around two sisters separated at birth and the search for a hidden treasure, which is guarded in a dungeon by a bloodthirsty monster.

In 1988, he worked on the Ramsay horror Veerana starring Jasmin, Hemant Birje and Sahila Chaddha. It told the tale of a beautiful young girl, unfortunately possessed from her childhood by a vengeful spirit, who wanders around lonely places to seduce and kill people, gradually becoming lost into a dark world of revenge and lust.

The Ramsay horror Saaya (1989) was his next make-up assignment. The film starring Shatrughan SinhaPoonam Dhillon and Danny Denzongpa revolved around a doctor who, after the death of his wife, keeps seeing her image and refuses to believe she is dead. 

The 1990 horror Shaitani Ilaaka saw Roy work on this Ramsay directorial that revolved around an evil sorceress who feeds the blood of new brides to a shaitan, an ancient and fearsome demon.

The same year, he worked on the Ramsay horror Bandh Darwaza (1990) that depicted the story of a wealthy male who banishes a demon, but years later his very own daughter resurrects it. 

In 1991, he provided make-up for Aakhri Cheekh, a Ramsay-directed horror starring Vijayendra Ghatge, Javed Khan and Sripradha. The film depicted the schemes of an evil man who kills young women after having romantic affairs with them. Learning of his heinous crimes, a group of four friends get him arrested and electrocuted. However, his soul returns and starts taking revenge on them and their respective families. 

Mahakaal (1994) saw him work on this Ramsay horror with elements of comedy starring Karan Shah, Archana Puran Singh and Johnny Lever. It depicted the tale of a demon who torments the family and friends of Anita in order to take revenge on his death, which was caused by her police-officer father. The rest of the film portrays how Anita tackles the demon with the help of her boyfriend.

Roy also worked on the make-up of a few non-horror genre films such as Ramanand Sagar’s romantic drama Salma (1985) starring Raj Babbar, Salma Agha and Farooq Shaikh. The plot depicted the competition between two friends for the affections of a singer. 

The mystery thriller Khoj (1989) saw him work on this Ramsay film starring Rishi Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah and Kimi Katkar. The plot revolved around Ravi Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor) and his wife Anita who are holidaying in Kathmandu. One night, Anita disappears suddenly. Ravi searches for her everywhere but in vain. He then files a police report about her missing status and Inspector Balveer Singh (Naseeruddin Shah) begins the search for her. The next day, Ravi gets a call from Father Anthony (Danny Denzongpa) saying that his missing wife is with him in the church, but when Ravi meets her, he claims that the woman is not his wife. Inspector Balveer finds all the evidence stacked against Ravi, despite his attempts to prove otherwise. The film explores the mystery of the woman who claims to be Ravi's wife.

The 1991 action drama Saugandh saw him work on the make-up of this Raj N Sippy directorial starring Rakhee Gulzar, Akshay Kumar and Shanti Priya. The plot centred around a woman, whose entire family was murdered by a cruel landowner. She vows that she will get her son and his daughter married someday.

The year 1992 saw him work on the Raj N Sippy directorial, Mr Bond, a thriller that combined action and adventure. Starring Akshay Kumar and Sheeba Agarwal, the plot revolved around Mr Bond, an honest, dedicated and capable police officer in the Bombay police force. He faces the toughest case of a lifetime when he must rescue some small children who have been abducted and are being held hostage by the underworld don Dragon.




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