Slasher Films in the Pakistani Cinema

Topics: Horror film, Slasher film, Final girl Pages: 8 (3411 words) Published: April 20, 2013
Pakistan is a developing country that has been struggling for decades in its many eras, ranging from business to the cinema. Despite the tussle, it has managed to develop its film and television industry rapidly. “Lollywood” is a term that was coined back in the day to glamorously describe the cinema culture of Pakistan. Though, as we all know, in comparison to Bollywood and Hollywood, Lollywood, in majority has not been much popular. Nevertheless, upon profoundly observing the television industry of Pakistan, one learns that it is much more refined and efficacious in contrast to the film sector. Particularly, in the present times, the drama or television industry, as you may call it, is flourishing not just locally but all around the globe, reaching out to many Pakistanis and providing them with twenty four hours of fruitful entertainment. Pakistani Cinema has touched upon a variety of genres which predominantly revolve around documentaries, dramas, thrillers, horror, romance and action. This paper will, however, depict and deliberate upon a subgenre of horror films; slasher films in Pakistan. A slasher film is preeminently defined as a horror film which involves the use of an unearthly weapon such as an axe by a psychopathic slaughterer who mainly pertains to aggressively slaying a number of victims. These movies follow specific cinematic techniques where close-ups and special effects are used in a variety of ways, primarily representing women as sexual objects. The conception of showing the “Final Girl” rescuing herself is the foremost ideology a slasher film ordinarily focuses on. Over the years, Lollywood has managed to accomplish the two most successful horror films using the true slasher and storyline techniques; Zinda Laash (“Dracula in Pakistan/The Living Corpse”) and Zibah Khana (“Hell’s Ground”) produced in 1967 and 2007 respectively. It is interesting to know that the recent production; Hell’s Ground makes continuous relations with the thirty year old film; Zinda Laash. However, the two devour excessive amount of differences; in regard to the slasher film techniques and gender based critique which will be discussed in this essay. “Dracula in Pakistan” was filmed in the late 60’s; however, when released, it sprang a cascade of fear amongst the Pakistanis. According to (The Indian Express, 2012), a woman from the audience was agonized by a heart attack. It was also the first movie produced in Pakistan to be categorized as “X-rated” along with being screened at two international film festivals. (IMDB) Zinda Laash is considered as a plagiarized production; an elucidation of Hammer’s Classic “Dracula.” (The HotSpot Online) The plot begins with a scientist; Dr. Tabani accomplishing his test experiment to gain immortality followed by the introduction of his assistant; a buxom woman who discovers the “dead body” of the scientist and decides to store it in a coffin. To her astonishment, the corpse comes to life and she is his first victim. The story continues with a somnolent traveller, Dr. Aqil who does not consider the rumors of the existence of the immortals to be true, entering the mansion of the “Khabees Rooh”. Though, he soon discovers the veracity and chooses to end the cycle of plague, but is evidently futile. The film further revolves around a Dr. Aqil’s wife-to-be; Shabnam, who is also a victim of Dr. Tabani and how immortality fails her appallingly. As petrifying Zinda Laash might have been in the 60’s, it most certainly isn’t disturbing in relation to the modern day standards. One might find it rigorously monotonous but humorous at the same time as it depicts alluring and peculiar dances by women. Zinda Laash strongly caters to the “Male Gaze” throughout the hundred minutes of its run time; from the introduction to the climax and the conclusion. Throughout the course, the audience experiences a range of dance numbers by either one or many women. The initial portrayal of the sexuality of women instigates...
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