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Zibahkhana, Pakistan’s First Horror Film

Credit to Changing Up Pakistan Blog for reviewing the Horror Film released by a Pakistan entrepreneur and film maker Omar Ali Khan. Omar’s unique entrepreneurial skills can be best appreciated in this chain of desert shops across Pakistan called Hotspot which serves the people of Karachi and Islamabad with some mouthwatering deserts

Zibahkhana [which literally translates from Urdu to “Slaughterhouse”] which is also referred to as ‘Hell’s Playground’, this is to my surprise not a new production as it was extensively covered a year back in the TIME magazine when it premiered in Islamabad at a private golf club.

TIME, June 12, 2007: When it comes to slasher films, most American teenagers know the rules: Make sure the gas tank is full; don’t take short cuts through the woods; don’t pick up hitchhikers; and don’t — ever — split up. But here in Pakistan, where the capital city doesn’t even have a movie theater and the country’s barely breathing film industry hasn’t produced a scary movie since the 1970s, it’s hardly surprising that the local kids are new to the genre. So, the script of Zibahkhana, Pakistan’s first horror movie in a generation, could allow its teenage cast to make every fundamental mistake the genre allows.


I personally have been frequenting ‘The Hotspot’ in Karachi in the recent weeks and have frequently enjoyed the ambiance of this shop which is plastered with his extensive movie poster collection and figure heads. I distinctly recall viewing the poster of Zibahkhana at his ice cream shop, only assuming it to be just one more of his desi-spoof movie poster collection. And to my surprise today, little did I know that this was actually his own production.

The Express reviewed this movie just recently explaining the plot as….

The Express: A group of teens lie to their parents to drive five hours to see a rock concert. Of course they make a wrong turn and are set upon by zombies. Of course there’s a homicidal maniac on the loose. Of course that nice old woman hides a horrible secret. The movie is completely derivative, but that seems to be Khan’s intention.

Speaking a mix of English and Urdu, the Westernized characters — the virginal heroine, the pothead, the wild girl, the shy guy — are all so familiar you can predict the order in which they’ll be killed off, but that’s not the point. What makes “Hell’s Ground” so compelling as a movie rather than as a historical footnote is the inventive way Khan interprets these decades-old American archetypes through contemporary Pakistani culture.

After surviving the zombie attack, the teens must battle a clan of backwoods butchers only slightly saner than the family in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” The movie’s most frightening character is an unnamed killer clad in a white burqa and wielding a spiked mace, who is so malevolent and genuinely disturbing that he (yes, he) could become Pakistan’s own Leatherface. The movie wobbles a little in its rushed final act, and the twist ending is obvious. “Hell’s Ground” is flawed but fascinating. It’s as simple and entertaining as Khan’s insights into Pakistani culture — from its deepest anxieties to its escapist fantasies — are nuanced and thought-provoking.

Watch the trailer here, but be forewarned that it contains some explicit gruesome images.


12 Comments

  • MALIK AMAN |

    ok ok thumbs up for Mr Khan for creating a horror movie but yar come on open up ur brains after seen so much of hollywood horror films how can u expect us to be scared or facinated by looking at zombies in salwar kamiz hehehhe it was totaly hilarious .ZOMBIES IN SALWAR KAMIZ looked so funny oh god can not get my mind off from zombies in salwar kamiz just imagine if u haven’t seen the film

  • Tahseen Alam Khan |

    IS it a film or the real picture of Pakistan????? because we are experiencing Zibakhana in every nick a Corner of our Country.

  • Aamir |

    Yaar u guys na….I don’t know what to say to u……..Pakistani film hai na bhai……to Zombies bhi to Pakistani hi hon ge na…….And by the way Shalwar Kamiz is a national dress of Pakistan…….Horror nahi to Comedy film samajh ke dekh lo…….Waise bhi Har Pakistani punjabi film comedy hi to hoti hai……….

  • khurram |

    maan pakistan main iss film kee DVD kahan saa laa sakta hoon

  • Waqar |

    i want this movie………………………………….i cant get it in shops, cinepax pe bhi sirf 2 weeks k liye aai thi :/

    i need a link

  • adeel |

    I am a great FAN of Zombie genre. I dont think the movie has really something to watch….i have just seen the trailor ans heard the story. After that i wasnt interested in watching this movie as it is too boring and i believe i have better stories than this one

  • adeel |

    I am a great FAN of ZOmbie genre. I dont think the movie has really something to watch….i have just seen the trailor ans heard the story. After that i wasnt interested in watching this movie

  • rehmat |

    well would definetly appreciat it

    i dun know wotz wrong with the above guyz
    woteva it is its own paki movie and atleast v should appreciat it coz hez the man who atleast took some courageous step to do a lil bit contribution to the industry which has been spoiled by a damn rubbish stuffs
    for a decades.

    so thnx to Mr Khan for his wonderfull film[:)]
    n really appreciat his effort

  • akhter |

    Yaar rehmat.people above are idiots and nothing more… yeh log walaiti kuute hain.apni cheez acchi nahi lagti in ko

  • mistry |

    well well i didnt watch this film but i just wana say this is the first horer film of pakistan u should appriciate it.if we'll notice pakistani cinem is facing a huge fall down it need ur courage to improve itself.pray for it.

  • Pakistani Resources |

    Zibahkhana is an Urdu-English film directed by Omar Khan. This is the 1st horror movie of Pakistan which has been screened at festivals all over the world. I like this movie. We guys should appreciate Pakistani film industry work.