HELL'S GROUND (Pakistan, 2006)
New York Premiere
78minutes, Digital Projection, in Urdu and English with English subtitles
Watch [the trailer] on YouTube.
Ice cream mogul and Pakistani film historian, Omar Khan, has finally stopped saving the fringes of Pakistani film from the junkyard of history and he's made a movie. A horror movie. A very gory horror movie. Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets the Taliban, this flick, shot on Hi-Def, is about a gaggle of teens who head out to a rock concert and take a detour that leads them into the middle of hell. Stuffed with old school Pakistani actors (such as Rehan from the 1967 musical version of Dracula, Zinda Lash) and soaked in gore that was mostly scored from local butcher shops ("He wanted to use a real severed head for one scene," says the movie's producer of Khan. "We told him: no.") this movie shows a side of Pakistan you won't find on CNN or the Discovery Channel.
Shot during the rainy season when the Pakistani countryside erupts into radioactive green, with wild marijuana plants growing up to ten feet tall, HELL'S GROUND was shot on a low budget by first-time filmmaker, Khan, who managed to round up an impressive cast and crew for his flick, most of whom were eager to do something new after laboring for years in Pakistan's predictable television and film industry. The plot is bare bones simple: five teenagers who want to go to a rock concert hit the road in their Mystery Van. A protest against polluted drinking water is blocking their way and so they take an ill-advised detour through the countryside. Turns out that the problem with the drinking water is that it's been turning people into zombies. On top of that there's a mysterious killer hidden inside a bloody burqa racing through the forest who wants to introduce his cast-iron mace into everyone's face. As Pakistani garage rock warps the soundtrack and buckets of blood fly from the screen everyone learns 2007's most important lesson in geopolitics: teenagers in horror movies are dumb in every country and in every culture.
HELL'S GROUND is part of "From Lahore With Gore" a one-night-only tribute to Pakistani exploitation cinema that features the producers and director of HELL'S GROUND. HELL'S GROUND is the first production from the UK's Mondo Macabro, a video line that has spent decades sourcing and preserving horror and exploitation movies from all over the world, from Spain to Indonesia and from Bollywood and beyond. Pete Tombs, Omar Khan and Andy Starke have also assembled a reel of highlights from Pakistani exploitation movies that they will present exclusively at this one-night-only screening of HELL'S GROUND. So come and see the wild side of Pakistan, the side where ten-foot-tall marijuana plants grow wild, the side where mace-swinging madmen crush teenage skulls and the side that has zombies – midget, Muslim zombies – coming after your brains.
|Read more about Omar Khan and Hell's Ground at TIME.com:|
Postcard from Islamabad: A Horror Movie on the Doorstep of the Taliban
Official web site: zibahkhana.com