The 1960′s were golden years of Pakistani cinema. The bulk of the content were comedies, musicals and dramas. In 1967 the first Pakistani horror was made.
Zinda Laash aka The Living Corpse aka Dracula in Pakistan is about a doctor who tries to find an elixir that would grant him immortality. The formula that he creates kills him and turns him into a vampire. The film borrows from Hammer’s Horror of Dracula but features a more Pakistani feel to the proceedings. The film caused some problems for the ratings board. A couple of scenes had to be trimmed because they were too sexy and it was the first Pakistani film to receive an adult rating.
By the 1980′s Pakistan’s film industry started to shrink. The government in power was trying to Islamicise the country and started enforcing harsh restrictions on the industry. Suddenly only people with degrees could work on movies, there were increased tax rates, etc. The industry almost vanished but it has managed to hang on.
There has been a slow recovery starting in the 2000′s and that’s were today’s film came from. In 2007 director Omar Khan made Pakistan’s first gory slasher zombie film, Zibahkhana aka Hell’s Ground.
The film follows a group of teenage Pakistani youths who are on a road trip to a rock concert. Along the way they encounter a doom-saying roadside prophet, flesh-eating zombies and then the plot switches gears and the movie becomes a Texas Chainsaw Massacre homage complete with a freaky hitchhiker and masked maniac. The maniac is wearing a blood soaked burqa and wields a spiky ball and chain thing. The whole thing is extremely low-budget by entertaining nonetheless. It doesn’t seem to matter what country you’re in, there is still vampires, zombies and maniacs lurking in the cinemas.