Nigerian and Ghanian movie trailers have become somewhat of an internet phenomenon in the past few years. With their nonsensical dialogue and narration screamed at fever pitch, absurd video effects and general lack of adherence to the basic rules of filmmaking, they’ve captured the hearts of many an internet surfer. If you’re yet to join in on the fun, here’s one of my favourites:
After watching countless trailers and clips, I felt it was time to finally track down a film from Nigeria or Ghana. The first that I stumbled across was End of the Wicked, a Nigerian horror film/Christian recruitment video, and my life was never to be the same.
END OF THE WICKED
Nigeria, 1999, Teco Benson
Yeah, End of the Wicked is damaged goods indeed. But before I delve into its incomprehensible plot, let me give you a bit of disturbing background information on the people behind this idiocy. The company that financed End of the Wicked was Liberty Films – a company run by the infamous Helen Ukpabio. Ukpabio also wrote the film and features in a small but significant role. After doing a bit of research on Ukpabio, End of the Wicked loses a bit of its humour and becomes genuinely frightening. Ukpabio has an obsession with “witches” that has stirred up superstitions to the point of families leaving their children or even burning them to death. Check out this demented excerpt from Wikipedia:
In 1992, Ukpabio founded Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries with the aim of spreading her often literal interpretations of the Holy Bible to the people of West Africa. The belief most often associated with Mrs. Ukpabio and her organisation is a claim that Satan has the ability to manifest himself in the bodies of children by demonic possession and make them become his servants in the form of ‘witches’ or ‘wizards’.
Exploiting superstitious beliefs, particularly those related to spiritual or demonic possession or witchcraft, Helen Ukpabio’s organisation has grown exponentially throughout Nigeria and West Africa since its foundation. There are now major Liberty Gospel Churches in Cameroon, Ghana and South Africa as well as Nigeria.
Scary stuff, huh? But let’s not allow the film’s disturbing propaganda element to stop us from having a good laugh at its ridiculous content. Yes, let’s laugh in the face of Ukpabio. The actors in End of the Wicked speak English, but it is extremely hard to understand them due to their strong accents and the muffled audio. Background sounds and foley often drown out the words the actors speak. The film also cuts together scenes at random, often going on bizarre tangents and throwing in scenes and characters that seem completely irrelevant. Thus, it is bloody hard to decipher the film’s storyline. But I’ll try my best. From what I could understand, Beelzebub (Alex Usifo Omiagbo) – a dude in white-face and a permanently bloodied chin – wants to fill up his “blood bank”. And, for some reason or another, the remedy for this is to ruin the life of Chris (Charles Okafor), who seems to be simply just some guy. Chris’s mum (Patience Oseni) is a witch in league with Beelzebub and manages to recruit Chris’s kids turning them into tiny witches. The witches get to work fucking up the world around poor Chris by giving him back problems and bankrupting him. They also turn him against his wife, Stella (Hilda Dokubo), by morphing her face into something weird. Along the way, other characters show up and bad things happen to them.
A pathetic melting pot of ancient computer effects, horrible performances, goat sacrifices and rambling nothingness, End of the Wicked transported me to another dimension. I found myself in a trance. I was horrified, in hysterics and engrossed all at once. There is genuinely unsettling content in this film. The use of children as witches is very strange and very inappropriate. And the entirely unnecessary real animal slaughter is sickening. But, thankfully, the brutal animal slaughter is drowned out by the hilarious animal transformations, beautifully rendered by special effects company “Magic House of Macro” who use video effects that would have looked tacky in any era. While End of the Wicked features long stretches of dullness, plodding is not exactly the right word to describe the film. Rather, it is like a skit film with disconnected scenes of ever-growing weirdness. And like most skit films, some skits are boring, other skits are hysterical. For the rest of this review, I’d like to share some of the skits from the hysterical category.
Chris really can’t catch a break. In this scene, his children, along with a whole lot of other children, eat some sort of rice dish on his back. He then wakes up with back problems:
Stella tries to comfort Chris, but those bloody witches have done something stupid with her face:
Beelzebub helps this old witch to grow a big cock:
She then uses said cock to rape her daughter-in-law:
Some guy – I honestly couldn’t work out what he had to do with the main story – has his eyes ruined:
I won’t lie. Sitting through End of the Wicked is no easy task. This ain’t Troll 2. This is the real stuff – truly, truly horrible stuff. Yes, this is a bad film for the strong-willed. But for those that do manage to get through the agonising ninety-plus running time, you will be greatly rewarded. End of the Wicked is captured and plotted in a style that so viciously ignores every rule of cinema that it physically hurts to watch. I can safely say that I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m pretty sure I won’t see anything like it again… that is, until I watch another film written and produced by the evil Helen Ukpabio.
Oh and just in case you were wondering, End of the Wicked ends with a dog floating out of a dead woman while Helen Ukpabio watches on shaking her head sadly.