VHS/Japan/fullscreen/English dub/Japanese subs
The Stick is not only the best South African film I have seen, its definitely in my top 10 list of movies of any genre I have ever seen.
The direction is engaging and the photography top class. The script is solid and very good in that its believable if you familiar with eerie world of witch doctor medicine, which makes it very scary. Underlying the story; the senseless killing and confusion of the South African apartheid state of mind is portrayed in a controversial way, which I thought added an interesting tension to the script. Most of which caused it to be heavily banned. So I don't think there are many people on the planet who have seen it. Lucky for those who have. The landscape and content make this film uniquely South African, but its one any horror fan would enjoy.
Truly a great and very different horror film.
BANNED FOR FOUR YEARS
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A masterpiece of anti-war psychological horror which was banned for four years in the country of its' origin. It has been described as an African version of PLATOON: well, no disrespect to Oliver Stone, but this gut wrenching tale is not a version of anything other than a brutal indictment of the terror that was the Angolan war, where men were sent off to die for something that not all of them believed in. Not all of them believed in the righteous crusade that the John Vorster and P W Botha governments launched against the so called "terrorists" who appear from nowhere, kill and vanish once more.
THE STICK is a brutal film with scarcely any humour in it (except for Gys de Villiers' startled reaction to the quick decaying witchdoctor). It has brilliant photography by the late Paul Witte, wonderful acting and a taut script. It is not available for sale on VHS and DVD, but really should be, as,along with films like THE WINNERS and KATRINA, it is one of the very few South African made films that people like myself do not have to wince at and apologize most humbly for.
To quote Don Coscarelli's PHANTASM selling line: "If this one doesn't scare you, you're already dead!"
When submitted for approval by the South African government they requested 48 cuts to be made. The director refused and the film remained banned until the 1990s.
More on these movies here.