International Gorillay

International Gorillay

aka International Guerillas

Written by Nasir Adib
Dialogue by Zahoor Ahmed and Sikandar Khanna
Directed by Jan Mohammed

International Gorillay
Salman Rushdie – Evil and OCD sufferer.

International Gorillay is the greatest James Bond movie ever made. It’s also an amazing cultural artifact from a time not so long ago with things were very different but also very similar to modern day. The true life story of Salman Rushdie and The Satanic Verses that International Gorillay is a reaction to is by itself something worthy of a movie. But a ridiculous action film warped history tale…that’s something better! First, let’s just ignore the gigantic irony of using Western movie elements to make a film critical of Western culture. Because that’s part of the point, this is simply a cash grab to make money off the latest craze!

International Gorillay
This, and our amazing collection of Diane Fossey memorabilia!

But to understand what the massive anger and protests and political football was that created International Gorillay was, we have to go back to the beginning. The title The Satanic Verses comes from the name given by Western scholars to a story about verses that were replaced in the original telling of the Qur’an.

International Gorillay
Brain scrambling, divine intervention style!

In the old days, the city of Mecca was the usual potpourri of religions, with all sorts of random gods that specialized in various things. At the gates to the city were three shrines to the goddesses Allāt, al-‘Uzzā, and Manāt (each was considered a daughter of God.) Due to the location of these shrines, merchants and traders would routinely stop by one of the shrines and give offerings. Thus the families that controlled each of the three shrines obtained wealth and influence in the city. Muhammad did not belong to any of those families, he grew up as an orphan raised by his uncle, but would marry into a different influential family. What Muhammad did do was retreat into the wilderness to pray, and during one such retreat at the age of 40 in the Cave of Hira, he had his first encounter with the angel Gabriel, who would tell him the scriptures that would eventually become the Qur’an.

International Gorillay
International Gorillay takes a stand against franchise rebooting!

Gabriel would tell Muhammad the verses, who then recited it to his followers to memorize. At this point most of his followers were illiterate. They would begin to learn how to write so they could record parts of scripture on all sorts of objects. Muhammad pushed monotheism, which lead to his followers being persecuted in Mecca by the followers of the various other deities, especially the powerful families that controlled Al-Lat, Al-‘Uzzá, and Manāt. Muhammad continued to add new scriptures over 23 years, and it wasn’t until after Muhammad’s death that the Qur’an was collected into one volume.

During one of these trips, Muhammad told a scripture that spoke praise to Al-Lat, Al-‘Uzzá, and Manāt, and added them to God’s pantheon. His followers rejoiced, and it seemed the persecution would end with the acceptance of the goddesses. But, a little while later, Muhammad returned from another trip with the news that the passage he had recited was not accurate, and instead gave a corrected version that dissed on Al-Lat, Al-‘Uzzá, and Manāt.

International Gorillay
Flying folding chairs?!?!

There are a few stories as to what transpired. One tale is that Muhammad had been tricked, the prior visit from the angel Gabriel hadn’t been from Gabriel, but from the Devil in disguise, who had planted untrue scripture in a test of temptation much like Jesus went through. Another theory is that Muhammad was tempted to end the persecution of his people by accepting the three goddesses into the Muslim pantheon, but later decided against it/was chastised by Gabriel. Other scholars say that it wasn’t Muhammad that was mistaken, but some of his Meccan followers who changed the verses to try to ease their persecution. Due to how the Qur’an was compiled, the original version of the text was never included in a collected volume, and even the story does not exist in the original work, but is found in outside sources (relatively contemporary biographies of Muhammad.) The term “Satanic Verses” is a Western invention, coined by Sir William Muir in 1858 and were considered a minor debate in the religion. The “satanic” verses in question were in Surat An-Najm [53:19-20]:

Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzzá
and Manāt, the third, the other?
These are the exalted gharāniq, whose intercession is hoped for.

And are replaced by this accepted version at [53:19-23].

Have ye thought upon Al-Lat and Al-‘Uzza
And Manat, the third, the other?
Are yours the males and His the females?
That indeed were an unfair division!
They are not but [mere] names you have named them – you and your forefathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority. They follow not except assumption and what [their] souls desire, and there has already come to them from their Lord guidance.

International Gorillay
This version of Multiplicity sucks.

The whole thing would be relatively unknown today had a young Salman Rushdie not heard of the tale and years later decided it would make a good title for a book. Rushdie began work in 1984 on what would be his fourth novel. Having grown up in a Muslim family in India, most of Rushdie’s work is set in the Indian subcontinent region.

International Gorillay

International Gorillay
He’s stolen everyone’s sideburns!

Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses is a tale of two characters who personalities mirror those related to the historical founding of Islam, and features magical realism and dream sequences. I have not read the book, but from what I’ve read from excerpts the controversial passages are largely located in dream sequences of a character suffering from mental illness. The book does not take direct aim at Islam or its prophet, but appears to humanize Muhammad (similar to how The Last Temptation of Christ did). There is also an obvious parody of Ayatollah Khomeini, which I would guess is the thing that set Khomeini off more than anything else.

The Satanic Verses was published in the UK on Monday, September 26, 1988. Within two weeks, the book had been banned in India, and on October 10th, the first death threat against Rushdie was recorded. Over the rest of the year, the number of threats increased, public reading events were cancelled, and there was a demonstration where The Satanic Verses was publicly burned. Bomb threats were also sent against his publisher, Viking Penguin.

By February 1989, The Satanic Verses had become the favorite choice of political groups to use to agitate crowds and sew discord. February 12th saw over 2000 protesters in Pakistan storm the U.S. Information Center in Islamabad. The police responded by opening fire, but that did not stop the protesters, who burned the American flag and effigies of Rushdie on the roof. It is believed the event’s real purpose was to destabilize the Bhutto administration. Five people were killed.

International Gorillay
Welcome to Delta Airlines!
International Gorillay
It’s the Pakistani version of Magic Mike!

Two days later on February 14th, 1989, the hammer fell. Dying Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie. It read

I inform all zealous Muslims of the world that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses — which has been compiled, printed and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Qur’an — and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them quickly, wherever they may be found, so that no one else will dare to insult the Muslim sanctities. God Willing, whoever is killed on this path is a martyr.

That morning, Rushdie went on a TV show, where when asked about the situation, he said “I wish I’d written a more critical book.” The press had begun to follow Rushdie around, so he made a quick visit to his agent, and went to a memorial service with his wife for his friend Bruce Chatwin. He would not be able to return to his home. The police had contacted him and advised he go into hiding (contrary to reports, the police didn’t provide safe houses, only guards) and Rushdie’s main concern was for his young son with his ex-wife. Making what plans for contact they could with 1989 technology (the magic of answering machines!), Rushdie and his wife Marianne Wiggins stepped out of the limelight.

It was thought that the whole thing would blow over in a few weeks. Because Rushdie was being threatened by a foreign power, he was allowed the police protection. But instead of the situation cooling off, the book continued to be used as a lightning rod for those trying to whip up anger and support. The Imams in Iran stood behind Khomeini, who said “The long black arrow has been slung, and is now travelling toward its target.” Another ayatollah named Hassan Sanei put up a bounty of $1 million for Rushdie’s head. Members of the Pakistani parliament wanted to send assassins to track Rushdie down. The British Council’s library in Karachi was bombed. Demonstrations spread around the globe, including more fatalities. A Muslim cleric and his deputy were killed in Belgium for saying Europe had freedom of expression.

International Gorillay
Yippee-ki-yay, Mother Salman!
International Gorillay
The world’s laziest garbageman…

Soon bookstores were attacked, with bombings happening at stores that sold the book. Collets and Dillons were bombed on April 9th. In May, London’s King’s Road and High Wycombe were also bombed, followed by Liberty’s department store (which housed a Penguin store), and a Penguin store in York. There were also recovered unexploded bombs in several other Penguin stores (Guildford, Nottingham, and Peterborough.)

Still, The Satanic Verses was published in the US on February 22nd, 1989. Within a month, the FBI had been notified of 78 threats, and two bookstores in Berkeley were bombed. The offices of the Bronx paper The Riverdale Press, were firebombed in retaliation for defending the right to read the novel. Many bookstores that did carry the book kept it under the counter. Despite all of this, the book did manage to stay at the top of the best-sellers chart due in large part of the notoriety. Some bought the book as a show of support, others just curious what all the fuss was about.

After Khomeini died in June 1989, Iran said that Rushdie still deserved to die. In August 1989, a man named Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh accidentally blew himself up in a hotel while building a bomb he intended to used on Rushdie. 1990 saw that murder of the Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses, Hitoshi Igarashi, by stabbing. An Italian translator named Ettore Capriolo was seriously injured in another stabbing attack. Three years later saw the nonfatal shooting of Norwegian publisher William Nygaard. Turkish author Aziz Nesin, a humorist and free speech advocate, was the Turkish translator, and he was the target of what became known as the Silvas massacre in Turkey that left 37 dead from an arson attack on a hotel by right-wing Islamic radicals. Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, who was an outspoken critic of the book, did sign a petition that said “no blasphemy harms Islam and Muslims so much as the call for murdering a writer.” He himself had his work criticized, his 1959 serial turned book Children of Gebelawi was initially banned, and years later in 1989 caused his life to be threatened years later by blind sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. In 1994 at the age of 82, he was stabbed in the neck by Islamic extremists, and lived the rest of his days under heavy guard.

International Gorillay
The most authentic cowboy costumes ever!
International Gorillay
Struck down by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!

The protection of Rushdie was called Operation Malachite, and Rushdie crafted an assumed named based on the first named of authors Conrad and Chekhov, Joseph Anton. The Rushdies were moving constantly, and his marriage to Marianne Wiggins, already troubled when the whole affair began, eventually dissolved. At his lowest point, he issued an apology that was summarily rejected and he later regretted. Years later, the events have sort of blown over, but there is still a fervor attached to the whole affair. Iran annually states the fatwa is still on, and there was even a recent increase in the bounty by $500,000 (total now: $3.3 million) as a response to the Innocence of Muslims YouTube film.

As we are sadly aware, this is not the only incident where some pop culture issue has been used as a political battering ram by groups looking to exploit anger for their own ends. The Innocence of Muslims YouTube film caused widespread demonstrations that resulted in over 75 deaths and was used as cover by terrorists attacking the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, who I knew online for almost a decade as Vilerat in the SomethingAwful Forums. Submission filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam, his partner Ayaan Hirsi Ali threatened and put under protection. There were demonstrations and deaths over cartoons drawn of the prophet Muhammed by Danish newspapers, the cartoonists going into hiding. A book called The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones that was in essence a cheesy romance novel about Muhammed’s wife, Ayesha, was cancelled publication by Random House due to fears of violence, and when independent publisher Gibson Square set out to print the book, they were firebombed and the book has not been published as far as I know.

All of that attention begat International Gorillay, a hyper-masculine revenge fantasy that is also a ridiculously over-the-top adventure. Salman Rushdie has been warped into the greatest Bond villain of all time, out to destroy the entire religion of Islam and destroy everyone who stands in his path. It takes a whole group to take him down, thus the team known as the International Guerillas.

International Gorillay
I collect heads of controversial authors.
International Gorillay
Just imagine if he was VERY upset!

This being a Pakistani trash flick, there is plenty of what we know and love, which is larger women shaking their bootys during the musical numbers, which are modeled on dated pop songs (even dated for the time International Gorillay was filmed!) The print looks like it Indiana Jones survived a nuclear bomb by hiding inside of it, and the editing is often confusing and scenes transition without much setup.

The heavy focus is on the action sequences, which are true to Pakistani traditions and excessively over the top. Explosions, gun fire, and bodies dropping like flies while the main characters emerge unscathed, their only remorse at killing 50 guards is they didn’t kill 51. Sure, some of the heroes are occasionally captured for dramatic reasons, but that’s only to set up another gigantic action sequence where they are rescued. As I mentioned in the introduction, some of the action scenes have James Bond influences. Characters fall from helicopters over the ocean and battle scuba divers, then a massive boat chase breaks out. Salman Rushdie lives in a lavish island compound, surrounded by guards and employing many decoys to fool would-be assassins.

The film is so overly masculinized that phallic symbols are located all over. International Gorillay is even self-aware on that aspect enough to poke fun at itself, giving the Sheikh’s comically large cigars (and they are one of the few characters not armed…until the last few minutes of the film!) Everyone else carries rifles, or in Rushdie’s case, a sword that he uses to impale his enemies.

International Gorillay
The Rushdie compound
International Gorillay
Rushdie covered in the blood of Muslims

International Gorillay continues the fine tradition of barrak, which has nothing to do with the president, but is when characters hurl boasting insults at each other and is often found in Pakistani cinema. The director had so many insults against Rushdie that the International Guerillas take turns and usually rotate through the whole set of them twice before the villains respond with their own insults. The barrak can also be seen as a way for the audience to yell at the villain themselves, and to cheer on the various insults from the heroes.

Director Jan Mohammed was called the “King of Eids” and was one of the most prolific directors of films that were deemed Super Hits (he has 13 in a row at one time, an achievement never matched!) Dekha Jayega was the film that made him famous, and among his other hit films is Hong Kong Kay Sholay. He died in 2002.

Jan Mohammed has a distinct visual flair that gives the action film ridiculous dramatic elements. His greatest achievement is the repeated close up zooms to the faces of characters. Some scenes are just characters getting zoomed into one by one as they notice something….and then getting zoomed into one by one again! As Paul Willemen said in his essay The Zoom in Popular Cinema: A Question of Performance

“[t]o the extent that it displays a narratorial performative flourish, [the zoom] implies a recognition, within the very texture of the filmic discourse, of the presence of the audience in the same way that theatrical performances imply a recognition of this ‘live’ presence in, for instance, the spatial disposition of actors on the stage, the recourse to voice-projection techniques and so on.”

International Gorillay
The power of blue eyes.
International Gorillay
International Guerillas – Good Listeners!

Mohammed loves revealing the villain by first seeing his feet until one of the trademark epic zooms of the headshot. At one point four separate decoys of Rushdie get this treatment one by one. Mohammed’s actions sequences will have you thinking deja vu, as he follows his pattern of repetition when guards are gunned down over and over again, or people are executed one by one in the same way. The repetition drills a sense of importance into the scene….or it should, if it wasn’t done so often the effect becomes neutered. Mohammed loves long shots of helicopters flying by, and is a big fan of characters getting guns shot out of their hands.

As you’ve probably guessed, this isn’t a serious feature. It’s admittedly a comedy, a spoof, but done so to cash in on the Hating Rushdie craze that was sweeping the Middle East. Producer Sajjad Gul testified that his film didn’t even pretend to be art, it was purely commercial:

“It’s not an art film. To me, it’s a satire on the whole issue. If it had been made in England or America, it would have been made by Mel Brooks. That’s how people should view it. Mr. Rushdie has been painted as a very camp character.”

Rushdie himself said people would see the film “for the distorted, incompetent piece of trash that it is,” while saying the fictitious evil Rushdie was “ludicrously unlike the real me.” But he did defend the film and helped overturn it’s ban in Britain.

International Gorillay was filmed in Urdu and released in both Urdo and Punjabi. Gul stated the film cost around $500,000 to make and I’ve seen it listed as a “Super Hit Double” (meaning it was a Super Hit in both Urdu and Punjabi theaters) but there are no real box office numbers. Producer Sajjad Gul (born Agha Sajjad Gul) is one of the sons of Evernew Pictures founder Agha G A Gull. Gul became CEO and has attempted to expand Evernew into new media markets.

International Gorillay
International Gorillay
Paging Dr. Freud…

International Gorillay‘s closest analogy is probably Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, though that film is more of an action thriller than an outright parody. But it is an interesting double feature to see two seperate films from different countries and different decades where the bad guys are the West.

Mustafa (Mustafa Qureshi) – The vengeful father and elder brother who vows to destroy Rushdie and everyone who aided him. Married to Zeenat. Supercop who even the corrupt Chief fears. His children Pappo and Baby are murdered during a demonstration by Rushdie’s men. Mustafa Qureshi often played villains in Pakistani cinema, his heroic turn here as the “righteous” cop mirrors that of his character’s brothers, who are also villains turned good for a righteous cause.
Javed (Javed Sheikh) – Bandit brother who joins the effort to take down Rushdie to make up for being a criminal and as revenge for his slain family. He is a ladies man, and women can’t help but fall for him. Javed Sheikh made the transition from Pakistani to Bollywood cinema, where he continues to play supporting roles as well as some directing.
Ghulam (Ghulam Mohiuddin) – Mustached bandit brother who joins in the effort to take down Rushdie both as revenge and to atone for his criminal behavior. Ghulam Mohiuddin is nicknamed Gullo Bhai, and has starred in over 400 films, including the Chinese-inspired Mera naam hai mohabbat (1975) and Pakistan’s reported first science fiction film, Shaani (1989).
Shagutta (Neeli) – Female cop who joins Mustafa on his revenge quest. Neeli was born Neelofar, she got her nickname Neeli due to the blue contact lenses she often wore. Neeli was usually paired with Javed Sheikh in films, so often that rumors spread they were secretly married. She left the industry with the decline of the Pakistani film industry in 2000, though occasionally returns.
Zeenat (???) – Mustafa’s wife and mother to Pappo and Baby. She also acts as a mother to Ghulam and Javed, enough the boys have become spoiled and run wild. Stays behind when her family goes on a vengeance spree, though eventually is tricked into coming and is immediately kidnapped.
Salman Rushdie (Afzaal Ahmad aka Afzal Ahmad Khan) – The Most Evil Man in the Universe! This insanely over-the-top caricature of Salman Rushdie is about as accurate as you’d expect. Which is not accurate at all. But he does have a lot in common with most James Bond villains! Rushdie plans to destroy Islam through a book, some casinos, and alcohol. As you can see, it’s a foolproof plan. Rushdie has multiple duplicates and is a skilled swordsman and marksman.
Chief Batu Batu (Rangeela??) – The yelling cowboy boss of Salman Rushdie’s security forces. He commands Commander Jason and Dolly, and makes the most ridiculous boasts during the exchanges of insults between the two sides. Probably because he’s played by a comedian, Rangeela. Rangeela was born Saeed Khan Rangeela, and got his big break in Lollywood as a billboard painter. One day a comedian didn’t show up on set, so the director asked Rangeela to fill in, and his star took off. Despite being a comedian, he specialized in slow, tragic songs.
Commader Jason (???) – Commander Jason, or Commander JC if you’re nasty, is one of Salman Rushdie’s chief guards. He’s also Jewish! His loyalty to Rushdie is only rivaled by his loyalty to his sister. Helps orchestrate the slaying of protesters that gives rise to the International Guerillas.
Dolly (Babra Sharif) – Commander Jason’s sister has the power to identify Muslims on sight. It is her job to sniff out any Muslim infiltrators that threaten Rushdie, and gives the International Guerillas a heck of a time trying to get past her. Until Javed just seduces her! Babra Sharif got her start doing commercials, then moved to television and then film. Both her and Ghulam Mohiuddin became famous in their first big roles, in Mera naam hai mohabbat. Babra has appeared in over 150 films, mostly in Urdu language. Babra Sharif was married to fellow actor Shahid Hameed, though they seperated. Babra retired in the late 90s, but has made occasional returns to the acting world.
International Gorillay
This is “a girl” calling…
International Gorillay
Gentlemen, meet Lug!

Let’s read from the Qur’an for a bit! Okay, cool, now the movie will begin…

Remember that opening scene in The Naked Gun where there is a meeting of all of America’s enemies that Lt. Frank Drebin interrupts? Well, one of those meetings is taking place right now, except it’s an all star meeting of people against Islam! The helicopter brings an important villain to a meeting. We know he’s a totally awesome evil guy because whenever he enters a room, we hear warning trumpets! He’s Chief Batu Batu, and he’s wearing his signature red cowboy hat. The meeting is full of various fun loving people cracking open lots and lots and lots of expensive booze and spirits. Chief Batu Batu calls the meeting to order, and declares the group of master criminals are there to destroy Islam! If they don’t, all the small Islamic countries will merge together to form and Islamic superpower! He gives orders to everyone for what to do in their country.

The only thing that can take them down is a group called Alim-E-Islam, based out of Pakistan. But don’t fret, the villains have a plan, they’re sending Commander Jason to take them down! Nicknamed JC, Commander Jason rocks a yellow jacket. The villainous group’s agents in Pakistan are Mansoor and his partner Ganpat.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, Ghulam and Javed are robbers, but they only rob from criminals. As many of these criminals are deep in the business of bribing policemen to keep their illegal operations going without interference, you can imagine the trouble that is going on behind the scenes. The two brothers haven’t yet robbed the biggest criminal in the city, Ganpat. Probably because no one knows Ganpat really is a criminal. The police chief wants them arrested anyway before they bother Ganpat. Okay, he’s totally not on the take. The cop he’s talking to says only Deputy Mustafa can take such an action to bring down the brothers. No one seems away that Ganpat is part of a greater criminal conspiracy.

International Gorillay
Dr. Freud, you’ve been paged already, get in here!!!
International Gorillay
We’re trapped in a crazy movie!

Ganpat is already plotting with all the big criminals in the city to kill Ghulam and Javed. But first….disco entertainment!!!!!! A disco dancer lady who is pretty thin for a Pakistani flick dances for a while and sings about how lover boys should be wary of her. Ganpat makes occasional attempts to snatch her up, he must not have been paying attention to the lyrics.

Suddenly a guy bursts through the ceiling! He’s got a gun and a spray can of flammable liquid that he douses people with. He’s wearing a cowboy hat and bandanna covering his face and sunglasses. He then opens the safe, takes all the money, and starts to dance and sing. About how he’s a better thief and smarter than everyone there. He’s so cool of course the disco girl starts dancing with him and singing.

But…the disco dance floor is mined, and Ganpat has a stopwatch that sets them off! He demonstrates by blowing up one of his own men. Now we finally know how disco died. Just then, another guy in a cowboy hat and bandanna bursts through the ceiling and lands on Gandat’s shoulders! And he has a gun and says Gandat will show them the path to life. And he is so cool he starts dancing and singing and playing Gandat’s head like bongos all while riding Gandat. Then he gets off and still sings and dances about how Gandat is zero and he is hero. Gandat is standing there all mad while the three dance and sing. Of course, the guy got off and you have the dance floor mined…
If you haven’t figured it out now, these are Ghulam and Javed.

International Gorillay
Let us pose for action stills now!
International Gorillay
He’s like Bebe’s kids, he multiplies!

Then the cops raid the place! Lead by Deputy Mustafa, the super cop. He says Gandat gathered all the garbage in the city in one place for him. A big shootout breaks out that is sort of confusing, but despite many fatalities, none of the main characters get a scratch and escape the melee.

Ghulam and Javed are waiting with the dancing girl to see if they’ll get any action, but are interrupted by…her as a cop. And their older brother! Mustafa! The cop! Mustafa yells at his wife for spoiling his brothers and thus turning them into criminals! Shagutta is the name of the undercover disco girl. The two brothers explain how they worked hard and scored great on exams but there were no jobs because they don’t have connections. It’s the corrupt cops who control the city. Mustafa is mad and starts to beat one of the brothers, but other family members blame the corruption on lack of jobs as well. Mustafa manages to convince everyone to not be criminals, at least for now.

BREAKING NEWS~~! A newspapers reports that a new Rajpal has been born! This is a reference that you probably won’t get if you aren’t Pakistani. Rajpal was a book publisher who founded his business in 1912. He was also a major free speech advocate who fought for the right to publish Rangila Rasul to the courts and won. Despite the victory, Rajpal was stabbed to death in his office in 1929. His family business is still in operation today. That dastardly Salman Rushie is calling Koranic Verses Satanic Verses! The whole world is freaking out, we know because of the globe spinning to show us how the entire world is mad. The Ayatollah calls for his death.

Mustafa’s family decides that prayer isn’t the answer, all Islamic people must team up to take down the new Rajpal. Ghulam and Javed figure that since they were villains, they can easily fight the biggest villain ever, Salman Rushdie. And don’t cry if they die, because you are not allowed to cry for martyrs. Them’s the rules!

International Gorillay
There’s someone on the wing….some…thing
International Gorillay
God makes house calls!

The cops know everyone is going to protest, and the high ranking cops say to shoot the people if they protest. The cops are not happy with those orders, several quit instead of going along with gunning down the crowd. The corrupt chief Mr. D.I.G. teams up with Commander Jason to disrupt the protest so bad that Muslims forget the name of Mohammad!

At the protest, the two brothers openly declare they’re going to destroy Rushdie and anyone in their way will be killed like a dog. There are cops with guns and the gang bosses and Mr. D.I.G. and hidden snipers in the trees that work for the the bad guys, and after every sentence from the protest there are like 5-10 quick zooms into the faces of the various villains watching with dramatic music for each zoom. Shagutta declares that all women will wear shrouds over their heads until Rushdie is dead!

Then the cops evil start gunning everyone down!!! They even kill Gandat just to have an extra bad guy dead! They kill Pappo, Mustafa’s son and nephew of Javed and Ghulam! They also kill Baby, Mustafa’s daughter! Baby lies dying, demanding the head of Rushdie in revenge for her murder. Then the film gets all melodramatic (if the massive zooms to everyone’s face during the protests wasn’t dramatic enough) and a wind storm pushes open the doors of the family’s house, blowing debris everywhere. Mustafa’s wife Zeenat sees bloody rags…and then the bodies of the two youngsters as they are carted home on on gurneys. Mustafa and Zeenat mourn their children. This whole protest sequence was a turn on the February 1989 protests mentioned above where five people were killed by the police.

The family vows revenge on Rushdie, but first they will take down the evil Chief Mr. D.I.G. They should take him down anyway for having such a dumb name.

“Forgiveness is for Muslims, not for non-Muslims!” – declarative statement by our heroes.

Mr. D.I.G. won’t give up where Rushdie is, so Shagutta just shoots him.

International Gorillay
Lance Armstrong!
International Gorillay
Lance Armstrong!

Rushdie lives on a palace on an island on a lake, surrounded by miles of high voltage wire, security checkpoints, commandos, and Chief Batu Batu in charge of all the security.

Rushdie is returning from whatever he was doing, probably calling the Koran evil again. As soon as he lands we see lots of Islamic guys are being held captive, including captives who are immediately strung up from palm trees and hung one by one as Rushdie gives thumbs up (at this point we haven’t seen Rushdie’s face, only his blue suit.) There are more captives who are guerrillas who have come for Rushdie’s head. Rushdie grabs a sword and slices their necks, one by one, splattering red blood on his blue suit each time. He wipes the blood off of the sword and smells it, declaring “Every time the blood of those who love Muhammid has splattered on my chest, all gods above and below have gotten scared.” This is our very accurate introduction to Salman Rushdie.

We are now introduced to Commander Jason’s sister Dolly. Like Commander Jason, she’s Jewish! Unlike Commander Jason, Dolly has the power to identify Muslims on sight, and uses it to catch and kill Muslim guerillas. Dolly enters via teleporting in lighting crashes and rapid cuts with close up of her eyes. You know, like most people. She’s wearing a black dress.

Rushdie declares her eyes as guest of honor, and puts her in charge of his life. She’s so happy, she sings….the musical number has her wearing a peach/pink dress, though the song switches styles to one inspired by Mexican music and her dress color shifts to green. The song about how she’s young and everyone wants her and her eyes.

Our Pakistani heroes (Mustafa, Ghulam, and Javed) land to get Rushdie…and the bad guys are waiting for them. As they get off the plane, a singer belts out “International Guerillas!” as James Bond-ish music plays and we get the movie title!

WHAT??? This was a 50 minute long pretitle scene???? Holy crap. Literally.

International Gorillay
No one will see through this disguise!
International Gorillay
Someone is combing his hair high to compensate for being short…

They three International Guerillas arrive, Dolly working customs and figures out who they are in just a few questions. She calls her brother Commander Jason. Soon the International Guerillas are ambushed by a dozen goons on motorcycles, who fire machines guns at them (and they all miss at point break range!) The heroes steal a cab and run, chased by the motorcycles and JC in a jeep. The heroes grab some of the motorcycles for themselves, and there is a running bike firefight. Luckily the baddies are just as bad shots with the rocket launchers they take out as with their guns. But two of the heroes (Mustafa and Ghulam) get captured by the baddies, anyway.

“If it was so easy to kill Salman, one man wouldn’t have messed with a billion Muslims!” – Chief Batu Batu

He ties them to a tree and sets dynamite with a long long long fuse and then leaves before it goes off.

Javed shows up and guns down like 50 guards left behind to save the day. Salman Rushdie shouldn’t have hired his security detail from guys who couldn’t pass the marksman test to be Imperial Stormtroopers. The many shots of guards getting mowed down are interspersed with shots of the long long long fuse burning up and Mustafa getting increasingly worried.

International Gorillay
By using the scarlet doorknobs!
International Gorillay
Donald Trump’s trying to stay in the media spotlight again…

Dubai Sheikh Abdul Karim is stopping by Rushdie to visit — with his party yacht! Heck, yes, party yacht! The Sheikh also has a huge huge huge huge huge cigar. Hmmm, paging Dr. Freud. The Sheikh and his assistant speak in some goofy rhyming scheme. I don’t know what this is riffing on, if anything, but it’s crazy hilarious. Sheikh also winks at Dolly, who says she’s supposed to treat him with respect, but…

The Guerillas plot to get to the Sheikh to get to Rushdie. Ghulam takes off his sunglasses dramatically while delivering the plan. Javed declares only he can break into the Moonstar Hotel and get the Sheikh.

At some point a woman gets on the phone at the hotel, the Sheikh is so excited about wanting her to come he slaps himself in the face with his giant phallic cigar. Both also have wand/canes they use to wave around in other phallic manners. These guys are non-stop boner jokes!

A a veil…arrives to the room! You’ve probably figured out it is just Javed (even though he’s dubbed by a woman!) The Shiekh and his attendant argue over who gets her. Instead of the two men getting to use their actual phalluses, the woman pulls out a her own phallic symbol, a gun, as she goes all Crying Game on them and reveals that she’s a he.

International Gorillay
Too cool for International Guerilla School
International Gorillay
Suddenly we’re invaded by Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year!

The Guerillas gets the Sheikh to concoct the story that the three guerillas are Turkish sultans eager to join up on Rushdie’s diabolical scheme. We know this is serious business because one of the fake sultan disguises is uses goggles with windshield wipers!

They have a party with cake, Dolly shows up and Javed hits on her, wiper blade glasses and all. They chat about trusting the eye. You know that conversation, so often had by a man and a woman.

It’s song time!!

Dolly sings about how dudes who admire her beauty should already know she has a crush on them. It’s almost as if this song is directed at someone… A million guards arrive in a motorcade, headed by Commander Jason. They surround the party. Rushdie arrives by helicopter with Chief Batu Batu, and he gets the grand enemy evil mastermind entrance as the song continues.

As the song ends, the International Guerillas reveal themselves! They threaten to feed the toungue that offended the Prophet to the dogs! They’ll treat him so bad that even his grave won’t accept him! They hurl more insults, I’m surprised no one is called the son of a motherless goat. Rushdie is like “take your best shot!” while Chief Batu Batu is shocked people he killed aren’t dead. Mustafa says his god is better than your god.

International Gorillay
Tim Burton Fan Club
International Gorillay
What the Justice League movie will look like if we don’t stop the Warner Bros. executives!

The firefight begins, with all the main characters being unkillable this early in the film, but dozens and dozens of armed guards are gunned down, many falling into a pool in slow motion. Never stand by a pool during a firefight! Also whoever cleans that pool will be getting paid some serious overtime tomorrow, as there must be at least 20 bodies in it.

Finally, the heroes pull out their swords, and the Guerillas one by one stab Rushdie in the stomach, and he falls over, dead.

Hey, that was easy! And we still got 1:35 to go on the clock!

Of course, it’s all a ruse! All three are then captured and the real Salman Rushdie helicopters in to tell them he’s impressed with their work. There are a million facial zooms with dramatic music here. If you get motion sickness, this sequence won’t be easy to watch.

Salman thanks everyone for keeping him safe, and forces the three Guerillas to hang from his helicopter by their arms as it flies to take them away. But someone in a van shoots the ropes they are tied with, and the Guerillas drop into the ocean. They easily avoid gunfire and many many grenades. Rushdie send a bunch of frogmen that were helpfully just sitting around on standby to go kill them, but the Guerillas manage to kill all the frogmen and take their gear.

They’re then saved by Shagutta as she shoots the guards on the shore.

International Gorillay
Columbo: The Lost Years.
International Gorillay
This line would be cooler if he was rapping it.

Salman is so mad he starts gunning down his own men for failing. Salman declares he will then track down their origins in Pakistan, including Mustafa’s wife Zeenat who is there alone. Amazingly, the heroes call home and Zeenat has become the poor suffering wife/mother character who has a tearful discussion with the Guerillas. Mustafa explains they can’t go back until they finish the job.

The Guerillas are tracking Rushdie to the mountains, but don’t know which mountain he is hiding on. So they will try to go trough the Sheikh again. If at first you dont succeed…

Sheikh and his buddy are in the hospital because they were injured by friendly fire from all of Salman’s grenades that were tossed at the Guerilla’s. At least the film addresses the fact there was massive amounts of random explosions. The Guerillas pretend to be doctors, but they keep getting interrupted, including by Chief Batu Batu, and are finally interrupted by Dolly, who says she’s there to help them find Salman.

Mustafa doesn’t like that she’s there, knowing the woman is trouble. He says women have power to tear brothers apart. Dolly claims to be in love with Javed, and wants him to shoot her. This turns into a song and dance about the bullet of love as he keeps shooting at her. They say that love can be dangerous…

But…ambush! It’s a trick, and Dolly just got Javed captured by Commander JC and Chief Batu Batu.

But…double ambush! A nearby boat driver is Mustafa, who kills everyone on it except Commander JC and makes him take them to Salman. Reveals it was all Dolly’s idea and it would spare her brother’s life. Chief Batu Batu notices all of his guards are also gunned down. The International Guerillas declare “We have learned how to shut all the scarlet doors!” I have no idea what this is referencing.

International Gorillay
Read by Gilbert Gottfried
International Gorillay
The final scene of Predator!

Literally dozens of motorized outrigger canoes swarm the Guerillas, leading to another chase sequence! The heroes gunning down dozens of people on outrigger canoes, all the while dodging bullets and rockets and grenades. Commander Jason manages to escape as well.

Salman Rushdie has a scrapbook with pictures of the various adventures of the International Guerillas. He’s their biggest fan! It’s a shame this film came out decades before scrapbooking became a million dollar industry, I would have loved to see this book with all the fancy paper and glitter ink. Rushdie is so mad that the International Guerillas keep escaping, he figures he must come up with the ultimate plan to lure them out…

Salman Rushdie will………create the world’s biggest disco casino!!!



This is the point where things begin to get crazy. I’m sure some of you are shocked that what has happened so far can be considered just normal, but that’s how Pakistani cinema rolls. The rails, we have gone off them!

The International Guerillas show up when the casino manager is making plans for Rushdie to arrive, and announce they’ve taken the manager’s family hostage. So now they prepare.

But first, disco casino song and dance time!

Shagutta sings and performs for everyone. Rushdie arrives and everyone cheers. Rushdie arrives again and everyone cheers. Rushdie arrives for a third time and everyone cheers. Hmmm which is the real one?? Maybe it’s the FOURTH Rushdie that just arrived! (and everyone cheers!) The quartet all get same introduction — a closeup of their feet, Rushdie walking up stairs, walking by a balcony, and Rushdie taking a seat in a lounge.

Don’t worry…Mustafa, Ghulam, and Javed are there……dressed as Batman!!! The bat-trio threaten to mutilate Rushdie’s face so bad even Satan won’t recognize him!

International Gorillay
This is what happens when you outsource your crucifixion crosses!
International Gorillay
Scotty from the Little Rascals?!?!

But before that can happen, their guns are shot out of their hands by Commander Jason and Chief Batu Batu. But then Commander Jason and Chief Batu Batu’s guns are shot out of their hands by Shagutta! The lights go out, lots and lots of shots are fired, and when they go back on everyone who isn’t a main character is dead. Rushdie’s men gun down the casino owner for cooperating while the Batman Guerillas prepare to kill the four fake Rushdies. The impostors rip off their masks to expose they are fakes.

Failed again, International Guerillas!

Rushdie lures Mustafa’s wife Zeenat to fly to England by pretending to be Mustafa and claiming everyone else was injured, and that he needs her to be there. Rushdie then leaks to the local press that he’s leaving the country…via the same flight Zeenat will be on!

The International Guerillas get the news while they are pretending to be street performing hippies. When you want to blend in invisibly into the crowd, become a street performer hippie.

The International Guerillas show up at the airport in disguise as various employees. Rushdie’s men capture Zeenat, and the heroes give chase via car. They also gun down a lot of guards. During this sequence there is a huge mark on the camera lens for some of the shots, making the whole thing feel documentary real….just kidding, it just makes it more ridiculous!

Chief Batu Batu holds Zeenat in a threatening manner, declaring they will only free her if the International Guerrillas surrender. Mustafa has to be talked out of shooting his own wife to kill Chief Batu Batu.

“I’m the Satan that created the storm in the world of Islam” Rushdie brags.

Rushdie locks up Zeenat and plays an audio tape of his book The Satanic Verses, which is a sin to listen to if you are a Muslim! He sets it to repeat all night long. Zeenat begs for death or deafness.

International Gorillay
God brought to you by Rio Video!
International Gorillay
Fortune cookie for the win!

The Guerillas storm Rushdie’s island, killing lots of guards and stealing a helicopter…which they use to fly to another part of the island and attack again! This is a big private island! Finally, after depopulating the equivalent of a medium sized town with killed guards, they reach Rushdie’s mansion. But it’s guarded by many many more guards, including Chief Batu Btu, and the International Guerillas are captured again!

These guys get captured more than Princess Peach in the Super Mario games…

The Guerillas and Rushdie trade more insults. Rushdie again acts classy before he says to kill them, while the heroes just shout about how Rushdie should die in various horrible manners. Rushdie brings out Zeenat to beat her in front of the prisoners. Rushdie wants the two sheikhs from earlier to kill the Guerillas, so Muslims will be killing Muslims.

But the sheikhs pull guns on Rushdie instead, and say they’re not really sheikhs, but Dubai criminals pretending so they can get close and kill Salman Rushdie! One sheikh tells Rushdie “You should shower well with acid!” But their guns are shot out of their hands by Chief Batu Batu. Hey, maybe if you hadn’t stopped to yell insults your plan would have worked…

Rushdie brags, his men gloat, and all of the Guerillas are chained up and put on boards. Zeenat calls out for Allah to help. Then all the chained prisoners sing calling for Allah. They ask for mercy for the world, even those who have sinned against His followers…

….except for Rushdie, right? Because otherwise this won’t work…

Their song is enough to convert Dolly who starts singing as well about how awesome Allah and Mohammad are. While now wearing a headscarf!!

Lightning strikes the prisoners in turn, but it destroys their bonds instead of them! Dolly declares she’s Deewane-E-Rasool! Yes, that means she converted 100% to Islam and picked out an Islamic name!

Then all hell breaks loose and there is a giant gunfight with lots of violence.

Commander Jason tries to blow up his sister with a rocket. But…suddenly now he’s a Muslim because she converted! And he fires the rockets at Rushdie’s men and Rushdie himself!

International Gorillay
She’s dressed like a futuristic military commander!

Chief Batu Batu guns Commander Jason down…everyone is shocked, shocked that a main character died! But this is the true sign the end of the film is near, main characters biting the big one!

More gunbattles, my favorite part is when the heroes fire ropes from crossbows and then slide along the ropes gunning people down. Why were there crossbows with ropes lying around, and why did they thing exposing themselves to lots of enemy fire was a good idea? Because this is a balls to the wall crazy action finale, duh!

Dolly kills Chief Batu Batu in revenge for her brother, firing dozens and dozens of bullets into him before he dies.

Soon every guard is dead, only Rushdie remains… And he’s out of ammo!

But then, lightning and voices from Heaven appear, demanding you “Believe in the Koran”!

Korans appear! Giant flying X’s, which are Korans according to the cast members!

The Korans circle Rushdie and blast him with lasers until he bursts into flames.

International Gorillay
The X-Men franchise has gone rogue!

The movie reminds us that there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his profit, and then ends.

Thanks for the reminder, I wouldn’t had remembered from the bajillion times it was mentioned in the movie. And also the point of the movie.

When it is all said and done, International Gorillay is one of the most entertaining films I’ve ever seen. It’s mere existence is a testament to the free speech it decries, and the story surrounding it is a microcosm of cultural clash that has ramifications and repeats itself to this day, 23 years later.

International Gorillay
Man on Fire 2: Real Man on Fire

Rated 9/10 (reading time, the world spins, corrupt chief, wiper goggles, Poop-deck Pappy, Casino Mogul, disguise, disguise, Extreme reading time!)

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International Gorillay Review – The HotSpot Online
THE DISAPPEAREDHow the fatwa changed a writer’s life. by Salman Rushdie – The New Yorker
How one book ignited a culture war – The Guardian
5 Die As Thousands Protest Book Outside U.s. Center In Pakistan – Chicago Tribune
Iran says Rushdie fatwa still stands – Iran Focus
Iran increases price on ‘Satanic Verses’ author Salman Rushdie’s head by $500K – MSNBC
With Rushdie’s Approval, Britain Lifts Its Ban on Anti-Rushdie Film – New York Times
Rajpal Publishing
Pakistan Film Magazine
Babra Sharif Wikipedia
Neelie Wikipedia
Javed Sheikh Wikipedia
Maula Jat – Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill!
Willemen, Paul ‘The Zoom in Popular Cinema: A Question of Performance’, New Cinemas 2002:1(1), pp. 6-13.

International Gorillay
Alternate Title Card!
International Gorillay

10 thoughts on “International Gorillay

  1. It’s this type of article…informative, funny and well researched- about a movie hardly any westerner has seen….this is why I nominated you for best blog for the LAMMY’S. Keep up the good work….Outstanding article.

  2. Great article, although I would just like to say I am not so sure Chief Batu-Batu is played by Saeed Khan Rangeela. I have seen both this actor and Saeed Khan Rangeela in other films and they look and sound nothing alike. I’ll admit, though, I don’t have the name of this mysterious gentleman, but I can say that I am almost positive it is not Rangeela.

    • Thanks for the info, I have updated with question marks by his name until this can be straightened out. It is almost impossible to find good information on Pakistani actors, and what little information their is is often contradictory or objectively wrong. I have a few more films from Pakistan to go through, maybe this actor will appear in one of them and help solve things.

  3. Happy to help.

    Yeah, Pakistani films and their performers are unbelievably difficult to find any information on- I myself tried to determine whether the lead heavy in this film, Afzal Ahmed, was still working or even still alive, but came up with nothing.

    At any rate, I hope a better print of this film exists out there because the current super-compressed, hazy, discolored, extremely cropped version circulating has to be one of the worst presentations of a film I have ever seen.

    • Yeah, I could find little on Afzal Ahmed currently, though I did find some screenshots of his tv work. I also didn’t find out until recently there is a pseudo-sequel to this film, which has now been added to the ever-increasingly rolls of films I need to track down!

  4. I had not heard of a pseudo-sequel- I’d be happy to see it if it were to turn up.

    Speaking of this mysterious actor, even dedicated Pakistani film databases seem to have made the same mistake and credit Saeed Khan Rangeela for films this man appeared in. I wonder if he went simply by the name “Rangeela” and that is why they have made that mistake… Other than that, I can’t imagine why.

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