It’s acclaimed, it’s award-winning, it’s drenched in blood, and it isn’t modern art. It’s Pakistan’s first gore film and it’s freaking out the squares in Toronto this week.
Hell’s Ground (Zibahkhana in Urdu) is June’s selection for Rue Morgue Magazine‘s Cinemacabre series. The monthly event, held on the third Thursday of the month at the Bloor Cinema, features obscure horror films, both old and new, as well as the occasional premiere.
Omar Khan’s 2007 film is, in part, an homage to the slasher genre, but also features some heavy-handed horror clichés, like zombies, drug use and a van full of disobedient youths on their way to a concert. The central villain is a burqa-clad maniac who stalks the aforementioned youths. The London-raised Khan grew up absorbing the cheap UK horror flicks produced by Hammer Films.
Khan even brought some veteran talent to the film. Rehan, who plays Deewana, portrayed Dracula in Pakistan’s 1967 adaptation of the classic story, often known as either Dracula in Pakistan, or The Living Corpse.
Hell’s Ground has been cleared by Pakistan’s censors and was featured in film festivals around the world, from Sweden to South Africa, India to Brazil. It won the Best Film award at the 2008 RioFan festival in Rio de Janeiro and the Jury Award for Best Gore at the 2007 Fantastic Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
Called “supremely entertaining” by The Telegraph, Hell’s Ground screens Thursday night at the Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor Street West) at 9:30 p.m., and is released on DVD June 24.
Screencap courtesy of Rue Morgue Magazine.