ANYAB (FANGS) is an oddity worth rediscovering! An Egyptian take on THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, this eye-popping musical madness manages to cram horror, science fiction and even social commentary into its running time while charming with its outrageous costumes and action.
It’s 1981. Egyptian cinema is about to unleash an oddity on unsuspecting audiences which even by 80’s standards is a maelstrom of weirdness. No one will know what hit them.
Enter ANYAB, which is Arabic for FANGS. This ambitious and brilliant discovery from yesteryear will make you question all that you think you know about Arabic cinema.
On one hand, the film is a straight adaptation of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. Instead of the transvestite Frank N. Furter, we get a coven of vampires, all of whom are dedicated to seducing our heroes into the horror of their world without ever missing a jaunty beat in the songs that they sing.
However ANYAB's ambitions are much wider than that. In between the crazy costumes, the horror references, the disco numbers and the action, we get a running commentary on the social situation in Egypt. Whether it’s the unemployment of youth, the class war or poverty, the film digs deep within 80’s political geography to find interesting and universal statements to pass on.
Everyone, by now, knows the story: the lovers whose car breaks down, the gloomy mansion and the weird convention occurring within the mansion. ANYAB takes this basic framework but goes full tilt mad in its adaptation by throwing in every reference to vampire lore filtered through an Egyptian sensibility. There’s simply nothing like it.
Special mention must go to Ahmed Adawiya, a popular Egyptian singer, who plays the role of Dracula with relish. He is not only a vampire but also a representation of hope for the youth of Egypt.
ANYAB is a cynical satire, a crazy musical, an over-ambitious epic and more. As a directorial debut, it’s unbelievable. As a rediscovery, it’s unmissable. So come and join the the celebration of this unique creation and maybe you’ll be invited to the vampires’ dinner! (Evrim Ersoy)