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AICN Intern Muldoon checks out the Pakistani Zombie Horror Film, HELL'S GROUND, at Fantastic Fest!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with AICN Intern, Muldoon and his look at the Pakistani Horror film... HELL'S GROUND. My understanding is the film is banned in its native land - but it's playing on our screens at Fantastic Fest... and seriously - we've got Russian Fantasy Epics, French/Iranian Animation, Chilean Martial Arts Superhero flicks... why the fuck not have a Pakistani Horror film? I mean, what would that be like? Well wonder no more, seems Muldoon has the answer and the answer is... KICK ASS! Here ya go...

Holy Shit. First off – this movie is pure gold. The line was way out the building for the super secret deluxe ultimate AICN screening of something and so instead of trying to get in, I said “Fuck it, I’m watching that Pakistani Horror Flick.” I went in to this thing with no clue what it was about, just as I try to do with most movies that play here at the Fest, so I wasn’t expecting some 20,000 dollar slasher/zombie/crazy people/stoner kind of flick. Most “Indies” that play at these fests are in the low millions… fuck that. The Pakistani director Omar Ali Khan and the guy who owns Mondo Macabre, Pete Tombs, deliver one of the most badass flicks of the year. I know, you’re going “calm the fuck down kid, how could a 20,000 dollar Pakistani zombie movie with no tits really be that amazing?” First off, this is the first Pakistani movie I’ve ever seen and I hope to see a shit ton more horror coming out of that place, because damn… It starts out with a group of teens heading to a rock concert. They lie to their parents, sneak some sexy clothes, get some weed, and hit the road in a toyota decked out with a painting of a chick getting hacked in half with an axe on the side… yeah. The whole time these kids are slipping in and out of English, so half of any given sentence would be subtitled, then bam it’s gone and then right back again a few lines later. Clearly the creators of this thing have seen every slasher/horror film from the eighties and specifically went out of their way to provide every cliché in the book of what not to do in a slasher movie, minus the boobs of course. They’ve got all the bases covered with an uptight virgin, a party dude, and a total bitch chick. There’s some talk of how the river water is polluted and people drinking from it start to mutate or something like that… The trouble starts when our groups of party animals decide to take a short cut and try to make it to the concert a little earlier. Anyone can tell you that that’s rule number one in a horror flick, if not rules number 2 and 3 as well. The group swings by this shady stand where these creepy old people sell some sort of stoner candy, like balls of cannabis or something along those lines, when the toothless old cashier warns the virgin of the group not to go down that road and to stay out of the woods. Of course she doesn’t mention that to any of her friends and they go on there way only to pull over after one guy needs to puke after that magical stoner candy upsets his stomach. Low and behold a freak monster zombie kid runs out and takes a chunk out of the guy’s leg as he’s blowing chunks into the river. They all freak out, more zombie things appear and go ape shit on the stoners and end up snatching one of them for lunch. They speed off and pick up some random medicine man who, after being in their van for five seconds, tells them he’s going to suck all of their blood and then whips out a decapitated head from his bag. They pull over and toss his ass out, but eventually run out of gas and oddly enough their cell phones stop working, so they pull over again… As if the movie isn’t retardedly bizarre enough, a random killer in a white burqa pops out and starts chasing them around. Unlike every other slasher, the guy didn’t carry a massive knife, fuck that he had a giant mace that he would swing around while running through the inconsistently fog filled forest after these people. Basically the thing ends with everyone dead, except the virgin who decides to stand up for herself and take revenge by tossing together a nifty weapon from a wooden stick and some barbed wire (cough* HIGH TENSION). She kills the dude and the movie’s over. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is no CHAINSAW MASSACRE or NIGHT OF THE LVING DEAD and for the most part it’s retarded and predictable, but it’s got something so incredibly captivating about it that it has it’s own place in the line of truly great indie horror flicks, which had been killed off by movies like CAPTIVITY and remake’s like HALLOWEEN. Go see this thing. If anything just watch it for the random comic book freeze frames that seem to pop up whenever. This is the most fun flick you will see, and definitely one of the highlights of this years Fantastic Fest, fitting right up there with SPIRAL and THE END OF THE LINE, which both kick an insane amount of ass themselves. -Muldoon
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:24 a.m. CST

    1st

    by Queerbait

    RAD

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Bollywood-style song-and-dance numbers with zombies?

    by Mullah Omar

    Those would put butts in seats for a 6-hour run time.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST

    (---)?

    by SanityKaos

    (---)?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Speaking of which...

    by Mullah Omar

    http://tinyurl.com/rp4x7

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:36 a.m. CST

    The Trailer for this...

    by Dr Uwe Boll

    certainly doesn't whet my appetite to see anything more. Crappy gore, cinematography straight out of a home movie (I admit, there's some good stuff there too - but we're talking 2 shots of good to every 50 of crap) and yes, it appears to be a "riff" on some very well worn horror cliches (methinks they've watched Texas Chainsaw and some dead flicks and combined them with "hillbilly pakistani's" - if such a thing exists to come up with a story that references the lot). If it were a bunch of American kids, instead of novelty-value Pakistani's I'd get the feeling that this wouldn't even get a release. One to miss. Anyone else at Fantastic Fest have an opinion?

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 3:54 a.m. CST

    @ Mullah Omar

    by tomthumbstallywhacker

    You beat me to it! That was all I could think of when I saw this headline. Perversely, I actually enjoy this more than the original....

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Omar Khan directs this movie

    by CuervoJones

    He knows a lot about exploitation and weird movies. He´s a Mondo Macabro guru.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:17 a.m. CST

    Pakistani zombie movie?

    by DocPazuzu

    Sold!

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Hahahahahaha!

    by DocPazuzu

    Thank you, Mullah Omar (never thought I'd ever type those words) -- that clip is the funniest thing I've seen in ages.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 5:31 a.m. CST

    If you want more Pakistani hilarity...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...you must check out "International Gorillay" from 1990. Words can't even begin to describe the awesome power of this movie. Among the highlights are a crack team of commandos dressed as Batman (!) and Salman Rushdie (the film's villain) being destroyed by a trio of flying, laserbeam-shooting korans. <p> Essential viewing.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 6:27 a.m. CST

    Wow, flying laserbeam-shooting korans?!?!

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    <p>I must indeed check out "International Gorillay" from 1990; that's impossible to resist. Thanks for the tip. <p>And HELL'S GROUND sounds great, glad to see south-asian film of any kind getting coverage!!! <p>Those posting about "telugu thriller," I hope nobody here is daring to make fun of Chiranjeevi!!! Seriously, the guy is a one-in-a-million combination of Charles Bronson, Fred Astaire and Jackie Gleason... truly a megastar in every sense of the word. Once you have seen Chiranjeevi in action (I recommend "Big Boss" or "Anji" (Diler-- the hindi version)) you'll understand his cult following.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Doc Pazuzu

    by CuervoJones

    I´m trying to get that movie for a long time. It sounds like the craziest movie ever.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 8:28 a.m. CST

    CuervoJones

    by DocPazuzu

    This guy is selling it on DVD with English subtitles. Can't vouch for the quality, though: <p> www.kultflixxx.org

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Thank you Doc

    by CuervoJones

    By the way, i like your comments.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    just like Bon Jovi and Def Leppard...

    by gernblanston67

    Their music is still shit 20 years later. This sounds like every other crappy horror movie that tries to pay homage to crappy 80s slasher films that are still crappy 20 years later.

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 1:11 p.m. CST

    As the lone Pakistani (probably) on this website

    by Harami

    I have to say that, although I have yet to see this film, I have heard only negative things about it. I hope the next mainstream crossover Pakistani film that comes out highlights our culture better. Maybe a nice comedy drama so that people have an insight into true proper Pakistani culture. Similar to what Iranian films have done for Iran. I just dont think that our culture can produce proper horror films. They will be seen just as third rate Indian knockoffs which are in turn seen as third rate Hollywood knockoffs. And I defintiely think we should not have a political slant in our first few movies. Maybe a Pakistani superhero movie similar to Mirageman would work(something good-natured but still adult in nature). In addition it would be something endorsed by the country rather than going through back channels. Weed and sexy clothes etc are not a part of mainstream culture here (and neither is religious extremism, no matter what you might think).

  • Sept. 24, 2007, 11:46 p.m. CST

    I wasn't aware AICN had an internship program.

    by Miracleman

    Hmm.

  • Sept. 25, 2007, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Interview with the producer

    by Frobisher

    There's a cool interview with the producer of the movie at: http://readyformycloseup.blogspot.com/2007/08/podcast-bolly-horror-and-making-of.html where he talks about meeting the director, their favourite horror films and why it turns from a zombie movie into a slasher flick and back again.

  • Sept. 26, 2007, 12:41 a.m. CST

    What is Pakistani Culture?

    by tarantan

    Weed and Sexy clothes not urban Pakistani youth culture? oh yeah??? so what dyou reckon the urban rich youth of Pakistan as depicted in this movie sit around the house reciting holy scriptures? maybe in your part of town they do.

  • June 8, 2008, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Voted BEST FILM at RIOFAN Film Festival

    by tarantan

    I am told Coffin Joe Mojica approved