A Video-Primer in Lollywood Trash!


This bit of randomness was prompted by regular listener, Schizopolis (and others), who was intrigued by the homework assignment on the last Cinecast episode. One of the pure, unvarnished joys of my visit to the 2007 Fantasia film festival was my introduction to the horror-cinema of Pakistan. You see, the centre of Pakistani film production is in Lahore but since Pakistan puts out a metric tonne of musicals, this is not unlike their Indian neighbors – thus their national cinema was dubbed Lollywood. But spread throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, there was a thriving business of ripping off classic Hollywood horror (The poster above is for the film that kicked all of this stuff off, Pakistan’s Dracula – Zinda Laash.) Of course, the industry never really had the kind of money or polished technical gloss to achieve the golden age of Hollywood, so you got something that is so weird and otherworldly in execution. Cultural appropriation magic!

The fine folks at Mondo Macabro and critic/filmmaker Omar Khan, who produced and released Pakistan’s first slasher film, Zibahkhana (featuring a burka-man slasher, pollution-zombies and E.C. comics inspired titles) brought a sizzle-reel of Lollywoods genre efforts to warm up the Fantasia crowd for their film. And it was 18 or so minutes of unbridled awesome. They managed to cheat a bit and sneak in some footage of the Filipino midget martial artist and James Bond wannabe super-spy 00, Weng Weng just for kicks, so they cheated a little bit. I managed to get an collection of these clips (minus Weng Weng) on a DVD, although it just a jumble of stuff and was not nearly as tightly paced as that sizzle-reel. So with an hour or two to spare this evening, I made this video (below) that shows off some of the high points.


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David Brook

I almost wet myself when the guy came in with his ‘Ho, ho ho’s!’

I need to track some of those down for our video weekends (one coming up next week so keep your eyes peeled for my write-up). There are large communities of British Pakistanis living in and around Yorkshire so I’m sure I can find a few titles around where my parents live. Video shops are so few and far between now though.

Thanks for the video – nice work!