Wow! Been hearing about this one for awhile and now, here it is, on U.S. DVD thanks to the folks at TLA Releasing. So…does “Pakistan’s first splatter flick” live up to the hype? Well, it’s not a life altering experience, nor will it go on to live next to the greats in the pantheon of horror cinema. But it sure is a fuckload of fun and it makes one proud to have the good taste to be a horror movie freak.
The format is simple as to not distract from the impending carnage – a group of loudmouth teens take a road trip to attend a rock concert. Tipping the hat to teen slasher flicks of the past, this road trip comes complete with a shady detour and a creepy old “You’re all dooooooomed” guy. Fortunately for us, better judgement is set aside and the teens continue along their ill-guided way only to find themselves being chased about by zombies and a murderous, morning star wielding goober cloaked in a bloody bed sheet. The result – we discover that Pakistani teens die just as nicely as the American ones.
We’ve all seen this movie before. In fact, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” will come to mind more than once during your viewing of “Hell’s Ground” as that classic film’s outline is used here as more than a rough blueprint – there’s even a hitchhiker type character the kids pick-up only to boot from the van later once the guy gets a little too creepy. So is this just a heartless knock-off of an American classic?
Filmmaker Omar Ali Khan has an obvious love affair with the horror genre, so much so that he funded this film himself through income he made at his chain of ice cream shops. He’s a big, talented fan who, through this particularly splattery flick, makes you goddamn proud to be a fan yourself. And, yes, “Chainsaw Massacre” is a heavy influence here, but “Hell’s Ground” boasts enough differences that it exists as its own film. The slasher film in a Pakistani setting and culture alone provides for a fresh, exciting movie experience. The zombies are a nice touch, too.
So, yes, I’d agree with much of the hype this film has been receiving over the past year and I’d like to add to it by saying that “Hell’s Ground” is an absolute must-see for any horror fanatic out there. Halloween has arrived early.