HELL'S GROUND / ZIBAHKHANA (Omar Khan, 2007, Pakistan)
The makers of HELL'S GROUND really did themselves a disservice at Fantasia by showing a collection of bizarre clips from "Lollywood" (Pakistani) films before beginning the feature. With segments from other Pakistan fare like HASEENA ATIMBUM / ATOMIC BEAUTY (Saeed Ali Khan, 1990), DA KHWAR LASME SPOGMAY / THE CAT-BEAST (Shehnaz Begum, 1997), and more, the audience was prepped for some absolutely bizarro fare.
What they saw in HELL'S GROUND, however, was not bizarre. Rather, it was the same, lame crap that connoisseurs of amateur horror cinema have seen time and again; bad acting, horrible production values, and a lame script. The only difference between this and any number of shot-on-video craptastic horror films that flood my mailbox every month is that the cast is speaking Urdu rather than English. The winking in-jokes ("Look, there's a Leatherface doll!"), the casting of has-beens (Rehan from THE LIVING CORPSE makes an appearance, surely Lloyd Kaufman or Conrad Brooks would have been in a U.S. version), and so on. HELL'S GROUND hits all the marks of bad cinema. In any language, it stinks.
HELL'S GROUND holds the dubious distinction of being the only film at Fantasia that I walked out on.