Nollywood: Early Birds That Graced The Tree And Kept Our Eyes Busy

By Ifeanyi Ndukwe, The Nigerian Voice Entertainment

Its been some hectic moments during the last first half of the year.

We could relax and reminisce a bit of some blockbusters of the early Nollywood that made the macaroni generation(of which i am inclusive) company. It was daring, scary yet fun to behold the screen those olden days.

I bring to you movies that held us bound. Take note, that some of these aforementioned movies may not meet your fantasy. Some others left us scared of our next door neighbour or our environment.

In no particular order, we will go through the list step by step.

*Nneka (the pretty serpent)*
If you happen to be in my league of scared kids, raise your hand.

Nneka The Pretty Serpent to my ranking is regarded as the first horror movie to explore the storyline of female demons sent to the world to seduce men.

Nneka, a mermaid disguised as a human, whose mission on earth was to go ruin married men. This movie practically made any child including l have sleepless night?

As a kid, l could recall the iconic scene at the beach.

"Tony, le mu anya ni ru(Tony, look me direct into my eyes)"

Do you care to turn off the lights when you are about to sleep? I bet you wouldn't dare. Germany based Sandra Achums plays a dynamic role in this drama.

The movie revolved around Satan and his followers, including Karishika, who was sent to the world to initiate men; tempting them with money, sex and their heart desires.

The score of the movie is ever scary and horrorous(permit me to borrow that word).

“Karishika Karishika, Queen of demons…” *2

The makeup artist of these movie did incredibly good job. The designs achieved the desired result of art.

*The Oracle*
Though this dramatic performance was scary. Howbeit, it was also entertaining. Greedy youths invade their deity shrine and steal the mask representing the gods.

The lead characters did that and the gods had a swell time haunting them and psychologically haunting us, the poor kids whose only crime was watching the film.

Pete Edochie, Ejike Asiegbu and Saint Obi gave us a rendezvous performance of dramatic action. What's most intrigue is the special effects manager who gave us a flying mask that could visit any defaulter of the traditional laws and customs. However, one question keep bugging my little 10year old mind, why didn't the gods kill the character of Nkem Owoh(Osuofia)? If you have the answer. Pls help me out, l am searching for answers.

*Koto Aye*
"Koto Aye,
Ewo, Koto Aye oooo"
That score alone sends a signal of fear and shock to the viewer.

This Yoruba movie was nightmares for a lot of us as we grew up.

The graphic details live rent-free in the head of any child who was unfortunate enough to see it, even till date.

One cannot forget, symbols such as Abija, a thorn-in-the-flesh sorcerer, the soundtrack, amongst other things that make the work memorable.

*After School Hours*
Is there any school child who didn't think twice about eating puff puff after watching this movie? It depicted the dangers of children sharing food with each other at school.

Almost every parent, including mine own parents who saw this movie gave very strict warning to their kids as regards collecting food from strangers.

Recall those loud cry,
"Puff puff. *2(with a cat mowing in the background).

*End Of The Wicked*
What I cannot in this movie was the role played by Alex Usifo. This 1999 horror film is acclaimed to be the first and maybe the last horror movie directed by legendary action director, Teco Benson.

It was highly criticized for its promotion of was blamed for a rise in witchcraft accusations against children in those days.

The movie boasted of a stellar of acts namely; Ramsey Nouah, Hilda Dokubo, Charles Okafor, among others.

This one made many persons traveling by road scared to death. Coincidentally, it also made so many accept and appreciate the presence of preachers in a moving vehicle. Stereotyping, any preacher as a Saint from God.

Zack Orji and Liz Benson would play significant roles here.

*Blood Money*
Zack Orji will trend after a professional stunt in this movie. The film addresses the issue of unemployment which is still topical today. Zack needs to up his game after meeting an old school mate played by legendary actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo(KOK). But things turn awry for him.

*Billionaires Club*
Coming to the early year 2000 was the intrigueing Billionaires Club. A film that celebrated affluence and influence. The film boasts of a stellar of who is who in the industry including the top highlife musician,Chief Osita Osadebe. Recall the meeting where everyone member turns to an animal. Billionaires club arguably had the finest special effects at that time. Kudos to the dynamic acting process of Tony Umez and mother-in-law, Patience Ozokwor. Inspite of the horror, we still find empathy in the latter character.

*Domitila (1996)*
Zen Ejiro is the torchlight shining light to accommodate and project new talents. Domitila will leave everyone mesmerized and salivating for more. Starring lmo born, Anne Njemanze as lead actor. This electrifying movie addresses the ills of prostitution.

*Glamour Girls*
Regarded as the father of Nollywood, Kenneth Nnebue comes up with this story of glamour and class. This movie was Emeka Ike debut and its evergreen. Little winder the remake was expedient. Featuring pretty Liz Benson, sexy Eucharia Anunobi Dolly Unachukwu, Ngozi Ezeonu and others. Glamour Girls is a topical story of sex and power. The acronym 'use what you have to get what you want' was the keyword popularised in the movie.

*Living In Bondage*
l guess l know what you are thinking. This one should have come first. Not to worry, the beat part of the soup is underneath. Emma Ayalogu in an exclusive interview with my humble self shares his experience regards the first ever film to be placed in VHS. It was just a roundtable meeting of friends and Kenneth suggested they dramatised it. And that was it.

Living in Bondage remains one of the ballads told from generations to generations. Even the remake 'Breaking Free' is exceptional.

Andy Okeke is a character that has etched his name on the lips of every movie fan.

What would you do foe the love of money?
Tade Ogidan is respected as an actor-director. You ask why? In my own definition, Ogidan paved the way for action crime movies in the industry.

When we thought it could not be possible, Ogidan displayed tenacity and resoluteness. Hostages was highly entertaining as well as captivating. Check out the movie that held us bound as kids of my age admired the use of helicopters by the Nigeria Police. It was mind-blowing. The likes of Paul Apel, Teco Benson, Tosin lgho, Kunle Afolayan have him to thank for breaking the jinx.

Unlike the others, Hostages entertained us especially as a kid who would pose for the role of the lead actor.

*Most Wanted*
Aunty Gene nwa Nnaji will seize the opportunity of debuting in this crime action alongside the likes of pretty Regina Askia, Slim Ibinabo Fiberisima, Liz Benson and among others.

The movie was a complete ensemble of mathematical arts of crime and class. I suggest we also have a remake of this iconic movie.

*Diamond Ring*
Nigerians are extraordinary. On one story, some individuals went to steal an oracle. Smiles, these ones in these story decided to steal from the spirits. Who does that? Desperate and greedy, these little muskatters would experience the horror of their lives. It features Shola Shobowale, Richard Mofe Damijo, Zainab Buki Ajayi and Teju Babyface.

*Evil Men*
Inspired by the song by Tony One Week Mounagor, Evil Men stares us in the face. It follows the story of wealthy men who devise means to kill and destroy. This movie served as a turning point especially for legendary veteran, Pete Edochie as a lead actor.

There has been clamour for the remake of these film due to its encompassing attributes.

Who will save the king? Who will sacrifice himself for the safety of the kingdom. Only men of integrity and character.

Recall that iconic scene that captures Charles Okafor moving heroically to sacrifice himself so that the staff of authority could be taken.

Aunty Amaka Igwe comes with these story of survival. Ahanna shocked the borders of the industry with many lingua interpretations. I bet every home had this movie in their shelf.

Ahanna was a story to behold. Special focus on the character of Peter who ceaselessly put life into the script. Find time to watch the it and the sequel.

Have a blessed week.