On a weekend trip to a rock concert five Pakistani teens become in the woods. Unaware of the danger they face, the group now have to contend with flesh eating villagers, a crazed holy man, and one psychopathic killer with a love for all things dead. The first ever major zombie flick to come out of Pakistan.
I’ve never met a fellow zombie from Pakistan. In fact, to be honest I didn’t even know we had a presence over there. Apparently I was wrong. Not only was I wrong about the living Pakistani dead, but I was wrong about the way in which we could work together in conjunction with crazed killers running loose in the wilderness as well. It honestly never occurred to me to use a Michael Myers type in getting fresh human flesh. The only real drawback is that if I don’t get to my food before said killer has been able to finish him or her off, it will all be a waste of time. I’m sorry but human flesh just doesn’t taste good once it starts to go cold.
Our film of the night starts off with five teens making up stories to be able to leave their homes and go see the latest band coming to town. The trip goes great for a while with the usual rampant drug use and sexual innuendo we’ve all come to know and love in our zombie films. That all changes when the group decides to take a detour to pick up some fruit for the road. Once back on track they find that they are on a completely different route than the one they had meant to take. Things go from bad to worse in only a short time when our teens find that they have wandered into zombie territory that began thanks to a chemical leak into the local water supply. They escape this situation to end up in ever more dire straits, running into a twisted holy man with a taste for human heads, a crazed mother with warped words of wisdom, and Pakistan’s answer to Leatherface. With several different horror movie tropes aiming to end the teens’ lives escape is going to be their only option, well, escape or death.
I didn’t have a lot of hope going into this, I’m not going to lie, but I was happy with the results. It’s not an amazing film so don’t expect to be blown away but it was a good flick and an interesting take on the zombie genre, just with some extra bits added into the mix. The effects are good, the acting isn’t at all bad, and the story, while a little off, goes along at a decent pace, again, not great but good. Where they did do a great job was with the creepy atmosphere, giving you a sense of what it would be like to be lost in a very dark forest with no one around for miles. Though I think they really had The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in mind when they made this movie because you could see a lot of similarities in how a creepy atmosphere was used in both films (though they use much more fog for Hell’s Ground). Hell’s Ground looks to have used quite a bit from the original chainsaw themed film (the gang all starts out in a van, there’s a creepy brother that gets picked up before going crazy, the killer is very reminiscent of Leatherface, and even the killer’s weapon seems to be their version of a chainsaw in its own way). I won’t say they just completely copied it and ran but you can easily see where someone might have been sitting down and thought to themselves, “What would The Texas Chainsaw Massacre be like if there were zombies?”
I also have to give them props for doing what they did in a country that really doesn’t want to have anything to do with a movie of this sort. They broke a lot of taboos doing this and could have put themselves at great personal risk, but I think they did it all because the filmmakers felt that the country needed to add something to zombie cinema culture. They must have felt that Pakistan had something to add, and after watching this I have to agree. It was a very different kind of zombie flick and definitely came out of left field to a shocked audience. I’m now excited to see what they might have inspired in their fellow countrymen after this film. I hope to see more coming from that part of the world in the zombie genre.
The movie did have a few falling points that kept it from getting better ratings though. The story goes a little too wacky at times, the zombies seem to be just thrown in there for the hell of it not adding much to the story but just meaning in for no real reason, and the video quality isn’t always what it should be. The effects, while good for a film of this sort, still lack a little when it comes to the gore factor as well. So while there are some good points to this film there are also some low points.
I would definitely go out and watch this one regardless of my complaints though. While you may not want to watch it a second time, it is worth it to watch it at least once. You can’t pass on something that’s a first for a country, and I believe the director deserves all the support he can get.
The Undead Review
Directed By: Omar Khan
Starring: Kunwar Ali Roshan, Rooshanie Ejaz, and Rubya Chaudhry
Released By: Bubonic Films and Mondo Macabro
Release Year: 2007
Release Type: Theatrical Release
MPAA Rating: Unrated