Once upon a time, an insane Christian book that claimed the devil created football as a tool to destroy humanity trended on the internet. I did the dirty work of actually reading and recapping it. The article was so popular that I decided to make 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, “Oracle.”
This has very little to do with the movie or this poster, but I met Charles Okafor a few weeks ago at a supermarket, and he’s still a Zaddy. I just thought y’all would like to know.
I remember watching this movie as a child in the late 90s, and the entire cast was young, somehow hip, and at the top of their game. Now, two of them have been dead for over five years and the rest aren’t even in movies anymore. Kinda makes you think about how Father Time is matching forward ruthlessly, pushing every single person – whether they want to be moved or not – towards a family grave in Ikoyi cemetery, with an ugly ass tombstone covered in tacky, overpriced bathroom tiles.
That’s it. That’s this week’s opener.
It starts with a bunch of people on a bus. They look like they’re in the middle of nowhere so my guess is that they’re travelling from one state to another. They’re chilling, doing regular people shit. Two of them look like they’re planning to fornicate, and it’s so sweet to observe.
Ominous music swells and a car shows up in the bus’ rearview mirror.
The car runs the bus off the road and armed men emerge from it. The bus’ passengers attempt to lock the doors but that doesn’t work because the robbers have associates on the bus. Even though they’re just there to steal, they whip out Famicom video game-looking guns and start shooting people at random like they’re playing Duck Hunt.
After killing a couple of people, a police squad shows up and there’s a shootout. This is the confirmation I need to know that this movie takes place in an alternate reality because when was the last time the Nigerian police actually did their job?
The police win and some of the robbers are killed. We’re never told what the fuck all that is about because the movie’s opening credits roll and there’s a 9-month time jump. The remaining members of the robbery gang, Obinna (Saint Obi), Uche (Ejike Asiegbu), and Donatus (Charles Okafor) have been assembled for one last job by some guy that’s supposed to be a caucasian American but really looks like Filipino Lionel Richie.
Obinna and Uche are all for stealing the mask of Okpakiri, but Donatus is worried that Okpakiri will fuck them up for stealing from it. The others quickly shame Donatus into going along with the plan by saying:
They go to the village and attempt to steal the mask themselves but abort the mission when they keep hearing noises in the woods. They decide to get help from two of the village’s elders. They explain their mission to the elders, Odimkpa (Pete Edochie) and Ifedi (Enebeli Elebuwa), and the elders are at first horrified by the idea of stealing from a spirit. But Obinna, Uche, and Donatus offer the elders N500,000 each, and this immediately changes their minds.
To avoid being seen by the other villagers, they all go at night to steal the mask. Odimkpa spits some Igbo incantations to conjure the mask.
When the chief priest of Okpakiri’s shrine shows up for work the next morning, he sees the mask is missing and screams:
The gang of thieves make it back to Lagos and deliver Okpakiri’s mask to Filipino Lionel Richie. Filipino Lionel Richie takes the mask into a backroom to inspect it. Then this happens:
What the fuck this interaction was about is never explained.
Filipino Lionel Richie returns from the backroom and gives the gang the money for the job (N9 million). What follows is a montage of the boys spending their money on random things. Donatus buys his fiancée a car…
…and Obinna starts building a house.
We’re never told what Uche does with his cut. I’m assuming it had a lot to do with drugs and prostitutes, and that’s why it wasn’t shown onscreen.
If you’re wondering how they’re able to do all this with N3 million each (N9 million split three ways), remember that this movie was released in 1998 and the economy wasn’t as shitty as it is now.
Unknown to our gang of thieves, Okpakiri is angry as hell that it has been robbed. To get revenge, it builds itself a physical body in the form of a naked gym bro covered in gold paint and wearing a straw bob wig.
Okpakiri sets off on a journey to Lagos to kill the thieves. He makes his first public appearance at Uche’s birthday party, killing the celebrant by spiritually choking him to death.
The gag is that Uche is the only one who sees Okpakiri so Obinne and Donatus don’t yet know that they’re now starring in their very own horror movie. The idea that they’re being haunted and killed off by Okpakiri eventually crosses Donatus’ mind so he and Obinna go ask Odimkpa what the hell is going on.
But it soon becomes clear that something is happening when Ifedi dies in a freak accident…
…and Obinna is impaled by an iron rod after falling from the top of his uncompleted building.
Donatus returns to the village, trying to find a way to escape death but is promptly killed by Okpakiri.
When Odimkpa realises that he’s the only one left, he tries to hang himself.
But Okpakiri shows up and is like:
The movie ends with a cliffhanger every old Nollywood fan is familiar with.
But that was a fucking lie because there was never a sequel.