Advertised as Pakistan’s first gore film, the batshit crazy zombie/slasher film Hell’s Ground is a lesson in exactly why it’s never smart, in any country, to take unknown shortcuts on long trips through the middle of nowhere. On their way to a concert, a group of young adults do just that in an attempt to make up some time, and instead they run into all sorts of trouble, from zombies to a burqa-clad killer.
Vicky, Simon, OJ, Ayesha, and Roxy all hop onto a rather eccentric bus to drive to see a concert. It’s not long before the drugs come out, and OJ detours the group off the main road to a chai shop with some… special snacks. When those snacks come back to bite him, they pull off on the side of the road to allow him to purge (a.k.a. let him out to puke somewhere other than the van). It just so happens that this particular stretch of nothingness is inhabited by zombies, one of which attacks OJ, who narrowly escapes. The group drives off in a hurry as a horde of gut-munching zombies stagger toward them. Further adventures along the road include a site where black magic looks to have been practiced, picking up an immensely disturbed hitchhiker, and ultimately breaking down in the middle of the forest only to be met with the aforementioned burqa-wearing maniac.
The acting is about what you’d expect from a low budget horror, and it’s mainly a one-film cast. The only recognizable face is Rehan (Dracula In Pakistan), who warns the group that they are on the road to hell, and there’s a bit of humor thrown in when OJ asks if he was a vampire in a movie one time.
Obviously the real reason to watch ‘Pakistan’s first gore film’ is the gore, and there’s plenty of it. From zombies chewing on innards to severed heads and human-slaughterhouses, it’s a bloody good time. That being said, it’s not pushing for a goriest movie of all time record or anything, but there’s enough of it to please a gorehound and still have room for some horror and general weirdness. Although the story makes little to no sense, there are plenty of eerie moments and loads of creepy atmosphere. And apparently there is a random pack of zombies wandering through the forest somewhere in Pakistan.
Just as Living Hell (2000) is commonly referred to as “A Japanese Chainsaw Massacre” because it’s basically Japan’s answer to A Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it’s safe to say, especially since there are so few to choose from, that Hell’s Ground is Pakistan’s answer to the backwoods classic. In order to not spoil anything, I’ll limit it to that statement, but the influence is obvious.
In short, Hell’s Ground is a unique watch, incredibly entertaining, and absolutely oozing eerie atmosphere and gory goodness. And let me just say, some crazed killer growling like an animal wielding a huge flail and wearing a burqa is damn near as frightening as a hulking madman wearing a human face as a mask and wielding a hammer, if not more so. Just remember: no backwoods travel in Texas, and no shortcuts in Pakistan. Safe travels, fellow geeks.