The cult section of the literary world

World Horror Cinema: Pakistan

By Sam Reeve

hell's ground posterTitle: Hell’s Ground (Zibahkhana)

Year: 2007

Language: Urdu and English

My rating: 8.5/10

I loved the living shit out of Hell’s Ground. It’s like a more exotic, Pakistani version of House of 1000 Corpses, and with a few zombies thrown in for good measure. If you fail to see “Pakistan’s first gory film”, you’re a fool. Just look at the poster! For me it was love at first sight.

A group of five teenagers from Islamabad go on a road trip to see a concert. They get lost on the back roads as any horrific road trip movie goes, and run into all sorts of trouble: zombies with a ‘mysterious’ disease, a crazy shaman with a severed head in his bag, and burqa man, a psychotic killer who wields a mace. No doubt the van breaks down, decreasing everyone’s chance at survival.

Like House of 1000 Corpses or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a bunch of the screwed up, evil characters turn out to be part of a big family. It was something I wasn’t actually expecting and it was an interesting twist.

zibahkhanapic

There were so many things I loved about Hell’s Ground, including that its flaws were seldom noticed against the colourful background of backwoods Pakistan. The characters were standard, as was the acting, and you could tell from the beginning who the final girl would be. This hardly mattered when you saw zombies in saris, a killer in a motherfucking burqa, and heard the amazing tabla music that played during the most intense scenes.

zibakhana-film

I think enough of Hell’s Ground that I’ll be showing it to friends this weekend. If you’re not convinced yet, check out the trailer below. At the bottom you’ll find the full movie with English subtitles.

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