Once upon a time, I recapped an insane Christian book that claimed the devil created football as a tool to destroy humanity. The article’s popularity made me turn my recaps into a weekly series named “So You Don’t Have To“, where I find batshit crazy pieces of media (books, movies, etc) and recap them for your pleasure.
Today, I’ll be recapping the 1998 Nollywood horror movie, ‘Highway To The grave,’ starring Regina Askia.
I’m screaming at how fucking extra this poster is. Regina Askia’s character never turns into discount Medusa at any point in the movie so why this??
What do you get when you throw self-proclaimed witch hunter; Helen Ukpabio, prolific director; Teco Benson, and goddess of beauty; Regina Askia into an idea pot? You get “Highway To The Grave,” a movie about a beautiful witch who goes about destroying the lives of men unlucky enough to eat her snail. It’s a tale as old as Nollywood itself, with this exact plot recycled many times in movies like Nneka the Pretty Serpent, Karishika, etc.
We’ll never know why honorary Winchester sister, Helen Ukpabio, thought we needed yet another entry in this weird genre. But her decision to do so gave us another chance to gaze upon Regina Askia’s beauty so I can’t complain.
The movie starts with a woman running in the bush.
I’m confused as to why she went exercising in buba and iro but after a few seconds, it’s made clear that she’s running from something. And the thing she’s running from is a poorly-done CGI ball of fire.
The CGI ball of fire catches up to her, but before it can burn her to a crisp, she wakes up screaming.
It was just a nightmare.
She gets up and goes to her daughter’s room. As she’s watching her daughter sleep, we’re shown a flashback.
It turns out that an unspecified number of years prior, the woman struggled with getting pregnant. So she went to her neighbourhood Babalawo to find out why her womb wasn’t cooperating. After consulting the oracle using a calabash full of boiled eggs…
And a lone chicken feather as garnishing.
…the Babalwo informs the woman that her barrenness was a result of her husband’s village people playing Suwe with her womb. To help her get pregnant, he took her to a river to appease the spirits by swinging a goat over her head a few times and tossing it into the river.
I was gooped.
Not since the first Living in Bondage movie have I seen a real animal so casually murdered onscreen.
We return to the present day and the woman’s daughter — the baby given to her by the river spirits — is all grown up. Her name is Sonia (Regina Askia) and she’s standing at the side of the road looking confused. A man named Patrick stops his car and asks to give her a ride and she agrees. During the ride, Patrick starts to hit on her.
At first, Sonia seems like she’s into it. But then when Patrick attempts to get frisky by rubbing her thigh, this happens:
Fucking horrified, Patrick abandons his car and runs away. After serving Usain Bolt realness for a while, he runs into a friend of his who asks:
When Patrick explains what happened, his friend says this:
This is insane because this isn’t even a common occurrence. How the hell is he so sure of what he’s saying?
Patrick says he doesn’t know any Babalawos and his friend promises to hook him up with one. I pause the movie here to think of how common it is in Nollywood movies for characters to never bat an eye when someone they know just happens to have a Babalawo on speed dial.
Patrick’s friend takes him to a Babalawo who’s dressed like an ashewo nun.
The Babalawo tells Patrick that Sonia and her home girls in the marine kingdom have latched on to him. He says that the the only way to be free is for Patrick to walk around a market square naked at midnight.
Patrick completes this task and is ready to return to his life when Sonia appears in his living room like:
Patrick is so shocked by this, he falls over, hits his head on a wooden stool, and dies. Sonia returns to the marine kingdom and is given a promotion for completing her mission.
Her next assignment is to destroy the life of a man named Tony (Segun Arinze). She gets his attention by playing damsel-in-with-a-flat-tyre. When he’s done helping her, he asks her to go on a date with him later that night. She asks to go out the next day instead but he insists on it being that night because he’s getting MARRIED THE NEXT DAY.
At this point, I find myself rooting for Sonia because the men she’s met so far are just fucking awful.
They meet up later that night and and as they’re about to bump genitals, Sonia pulls her signature trick.
Tony passes out and misses his wedding. His fiancée is distraught.
Tony returns and attempts to apologise to his fiancée but she beats his ass with a shoe, causing him to leave the house they both share. As he’s wandering about, he gets run over by a Peugeot 504 and dies.
Obvious mannequin is terribly obvious.
At this point, I realise that this movie is just a super long montage of Sonia stressing men out until they die. I’m tempted to abandon the movie but I’m already halfway through so I proceed to finish it.
Sonia actually has sex with the next guy she seduces, taking his ability to have erections with her when she leaves. He goes to a doctor for help who then directs the guy to a Babalawo.
The Babalawo informs the man that the only way to get his erections back is to bring his mother’s head for rituals. The man is like:
He starts yelling at the Babalawo, who, in anger, makes the man run mad. At this point, the only thought I have about the movie is this:
Sonia’s next target is a pastor played by Tony Umez so it’s clear that he’s going to fall for her “fuck me eyes.”
And I was right.
He chokes to death on his tongue immediately after. The next guy is a chief played by Jide Kosoko. He attempts to have sex with her in his office and almost has a heart attack when she turns into a coffin.
LMFAO! Sonia is giving Loki a run for his money.
Chief finds out from a Babalawo — I’ve lost count of the number of them in this movie — that the only way to save himself from death is to move out of his house with his family and take nothing with him. Chief doesn’t have any other house so the Babalawo offers him a hut to stay in. There’s an unintentionally hilarious nightmare sequence of Sonia chasing Chief around with a machete.
It turns out that Sonia and her marine home girls are in cahoots with the Babalawo and the thing about Chief abandoning all his possessions was a lie. Chief’s wife, played by Helen Ukpabio herself in a very Shyamalan-esque cameo, goes to a pastor to complain. The pastor instructs her to bring Chief for deliverance but Chief tells her:
Sonia gets wind of Chief’s wife’s plans and goes to seduce the pastor in what has to be the skimpiest outfit of 1998.
But she fails because the pastor calls on Jesus and activates his pastorly powers.
The pastor goes to chief’s house to spiritually whoop the Babalawo’s ass. He prays for chief and his wife, and the movie ends.
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