Ananse (2010)

Straight out of Ghana comes yet another action packed masterpiece: Ananse!

Before we go any further, I should stress that there are roughly 80 languages spoken in Ghana, 11 of which are sponsored by the government. While English is one of these, this movie is not in English, and I don’t speak any of the 79 others, nor could I distinguish between them if asked, so I do not know what language Ananse is in. That said, I’ll attempt to break down the plot based on what context clues I could get.

A sort of spider cult built around Ananse ends up coming across some sort of demon-worshiping gang. The gang are bad guys that like to murder people. Unfortunately one lady they murder comes back as a ghost to kill them. Then the spider cult gets involved by going after the same group of demon worshipers. A mystic spider jumps out of a barrel of toxic waste in front of some guy’s house and turns him into bad CGI Spider-Man. Then bad CGI Spider-Man kills demon worshipers, as does the killer ghost woman, who also possesses cops and bad CGI Spider-Man to make him kill more of the demon worshipers. In the end, the spider cult goes back to being normal, the girl gets buried, and the guy who got turned into bad CGI Spider-Man finds religion and goes to church.

Yeah, that’s what I got out of this.

Look, this movie is bad. The acting is out there, though I won’t criticize it too much because I don’t speak the language…though the spider cult is full on ridiculous with the faces they’ll make. Yeah, I’m good. But the special effects, the use and timing of music, and the editing are all in the realm of horrendous. I think there was a fake storm halfway through this movie, and I still don’t know what it had to do with anything beyond that I couldn’t tell if it was bad CGI or bad practical effects.

Look, you may wonder why I’m typically harder on the few low budget films I see coming from Ghana than I was with Uganda’s first action film. After all, these are all folks dealing with no budgets and trying to make movies to reflect their artistic vision, and Ghanaian cinema suffers from a direct brain drain to the Nigerian film industry. Well, it’s actually a fairly simple reason. Who Killed Captain Alex? from Uganda was made as a wholly original production so a guy could live out a dream and share it with his village. He even deleted the original version a little after so he could have enough space on his computer to make a second film. Ananse from Ghana starts with a misspelled copyright claim and then blatantly uses Spider-Man. And that’s just one film, when in fact you’ll see the likes of Alien, Star Wars, Predator, The Matrix, Mortal Kombat, and so many other intellectual properties flat out stolen in many action, science fiction, and horror movies from Ghana. It’s a serious problem that I struggle to get past.

That said, Spider-Man has a seriously impressive package in this movie.

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