Tuesday, August 3, 2010

ghana no do that.


Scarily I got a paid gig the other week, which meant having to brave public transport on a Saturday (Glasgow becomes a wee bit New Barbarians come the weekend).

Whilst waiting patiently for the train to Innsmouth I couldn't help (well I could but I'm nosey) but notice a hideously middle class, born again Christian couple discussing how they spend their holidays in Ghana (that's near Europe I think) handing over bags of old clothes to the locals whilst posing for photo's in a condescending manner whilst no doubt imagining that they're Brad and Angelina.

Some moderate Christians yesterday.


After hearing how poor and how grateful the locals are for the visits from the concerned western folk and how God helps them survive their pointless and dusty lives (plus how luxurious the local hotel complex they stay in is) I realised that not once had either of them even mentioned Ghana's burgeoning horror film industry.

Now pay attention, here's the science part.

Not long after the (non literal) home video explosion of the early eighties and the reduction (relatively) in price of home recording equipment and portable cameras (which gave birth - not like Splice so stop panicking - to the mobile cinema phenomena in a number of West African countries), the African film industry jumped at the chance to produce affordable (re: dirt cheap) movies with a local theme aimed squarely at the home market, taking in themes such as devout Christianity, gangsters, devout Christianity, possession, people trafficking, devout Christianity, police corruption, devout Christianity and fat ladies waving their arms about whilst crying.

Oh, and did I mention that the majority of the movies feature at least a wee bit of devout Christianity?

"Not more bloody foreigners with
their second hand football strips!"



And one of the most successful films in what shall now be called the
Ghanian 'Godly Horror' genre is C'Emeka Uba's Abro Ne Bayie.

A film so terrifying that it had to be split into two parts!

Enjoy.

Tho' don't expect too much seeing as half the dialogue and the credits are in Twi, a language that we failed to cover at The Dormston School.

Damn you teachers!



Abro Ne Bayie.
Dir: C'Emeka Uba.
Cast: Anita Acheampong and some other people.

Hunky, grey suited and shiny of shoed Vincent Opoku (apparently portrayed by Ghana's very own Wickey Will Smith) is an successful businessman and devout Christian (told you) with everything to look forward to in life.

He's rich in both monetary terms and his love for God, has a really hot (and incredibly bootylicious) fiancée named Brenda and a really nice car that isn't pulled by a donkey.

But his perfect life is about to take a nasty turn for the (supernatural) worse tho' seeing as his massive headed mum Dufie (not the Welsh singer) has made a pact to deliver her son's eternal soul to the Satanic underworld in return for a new dress and some cha-cha heels.


"Ah fell aff mah beanstalk Ian!"


Her plan to achieve sartorial ecstasy involves persuading poor Vincent to fall out with Brenda and start dating the black clad (and even more bootylicious if that's humanly possible) Natasha, who in reality is an evil sex demon in human form.

So he has the choice between the attractive yet staid Brenda, who even tuts at the thought of kissing before marriage or a leather clad, very dirty pillowed nymphomaniac she creature from Hell who gives out on a first date.

Hmmmm.....tricky choice.

Natasha: up the casino.


Within, oh minutes, Vincent is totally under Natasha's spell with her promises of letting him bite her in the back of his motor and a quick touch of her baps (chicken), leaving poor Brenda crying into her Pot Noodle and his evil mum organising a dinner dance (with Bingo) to reveal her new look.

Can anyone save Vincent (and his soul) from an eternity of forced and meaningless hot sweaty sex?

Luckily for Vincent (depends on your definition of luck tho' doesn't it?) his dad Tony and the local priest, Father Dennis Kwabina are ready to take on the hordes of Hell in an attempt to save Vincent's very soul....

And his reputation as a good boy.

"Laugh now!"


Clocking in at an arse numbing two and a half hours, Abro Ne Bayie may be cruder than your Grannie on Meth, shot as it is in harsh natural light with a bunch of non-actors obviously rounded up at the local job centre and effects achieved on an old Amiga. Cheap it certainly is but none of this stops it being bloody enjoyable.

But the greatest (and most refreshing) thing about Abro Ne Bayie is despite the films budgetary shortcomings the theme of demonic possession and temptation is played in such a deep and serious manner.

Almost as if this were a public information documentary on the evils of Satan.

And frankly, if I've got the choice between the ultimate evil looking like Linda Blair masturbating with a crucifix whilst Max Von Sydow wets himself over a big stone dog or the Devil and his minions on show here - some chubby bloke in a second hand Jedi cloak wearing a novelty old man mask from the market, a child in a skeleton suit, covered in facepaint with a plastic horn staple to his head and a really fat person covered in what looks like fresh cow shite in a Dolly Parton wig - I know which I'd pick.

Plus I reckon naughty Natasha would be worth it.

Just remember to get your Tetanus jag first.

"Shite in mah mooth!"


If only half of Hollywood's output was this entertaining (and had as many shaved small boys in facepaint throw around rooms by Vicars) then the world would be a much better place.

Tho' as a downside the thought of every major film using (the free demo of) Adobe Premiere's Eye Candy for their special effects is kinda disconcerting.

But that's a chance I'm willing to take.

Who's with me?

1 comment:

The Vicar of VHS said...

This is why I keep coming back to the Arena*--Ash keeps bringing us the World Itself via crap horror movies, exposing us to different cultures, varied traditions of folk art, and one or two nasty drug-resistant strains of flesh-eating bacteria.

*Well, that and the cosplay and "people you shouldn't fancy" series.

Kudos!