Today, I will be reviewing the 1999 Nollywood horror- adventure movie, Igodo.
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.
Let’s get into it
The movie starts with a woman giving birth. She’s dressed in potato sack couture and is clearly not having a good time.
As soon as the baby is out of her, her husband runs into the hut, snatches up the bloodied up baby, and runs out!
After brandishing the baby for the rest of the villagers to see…
…he spends all day running up a mountain to dedicate the baby to Amadioha, while the villagers bow and exalt.
The title card and opening credits roll, and when those are done, we’re at a funeral.
As I’m trying to find out if the person being buried is relevant to the plot, something strange happens. Someone else who is not present at this funeral dies, and the movie immediately cuts to that person’s death scene to reveal that the same women who were crying at the funeral at the start of the film are also here, in the same clothes.
I decide here that it’s either one of two things:
- These women are professional mourners hired to cry at funerals and have a uniform.
- They are regular people who return from the funeral of a loved one to discover yet another freshly dead loved one.
Sadly, the second option is the correct one. We find out that a shit ton of people have been dying around the village recently, and no one knows why or who’s next. The village king gathers his elders in his palace to figure out what the fuck is going on.
They’re no closer to solving the mystery after engaging in a circle jerk of proverbs. So they bring in the village Dibia to help them ask Amadioha what’s happening. Amadioha airs the Dibia’s message, so he suggests they bring in a man he thinks would know the origin of the curse wreaking havoc across the village. A man named Igodo.
Igodo arrives and begins telling his story, which happened 50 years before the start of the film and is shown to us in an extended flashback. I’ll be narrating Igodo’s story in the present tense.
Igodo’s story begins
The child born and dedicated to Amadioha in the opening scene is named Ihekwumere and is destined to become the Igwe. A group of adults who are jealous of the child decide to kill him and his entire family. They succeed in killing his parents, but he escapes into the evil forest. After several days, a hunter finds Ihekwumere and takes him in as his son. Ihekwmere becomes a rich and handsome nigga who draws all the babes, but this doesn’t sit well with the seven agbaya elders in the town. They have him killed by burying him alive, and he curses the village with his dying breath.
An enormous magic tree grows at the place of his death and becomes the source of the village’s problems. The Dibia figures out what the tree is doing and assembles a team of seven men who are tasked with going through the evil forest to the hills of Amadioha to retrieve the only object capable of cutting down the magic tree: a magic knife. Here are the seven people chosen for this mission.
Now we know why Igodo has all the tea. Also, I get why the hunter, the wrestler, and the warrior are in this lineup, but why are the rest here? The movie never explains.
The Dibia gathers the men — without giving them a choice btw — and gives them a set of rules for when they’re confronted by literally anything in the evil forest.
The men — I’ll refer to as The Fellowship of the Knife — gear up and set off on their task. Their wives, accompanied by the other women in the village, march with them, crying because they believe their husbands are going on a suicide mission.
The fellowship of the knife have just taken a few steps into the evil forest when this happens:
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. That’s why….
The next few scenes are just of the fellowship running into different entities in the forest that try to kill them. While crossing a river, the thicc and juicy river idol tries to drown Izu (the farmer).
But Nwoke (the drummer) saves him. Up next, they come across:
Igodo informs everyone that the only way to avoid the wahala of Ejima is to keep going without looking back or talking. Okonta (the climber) gets spooked and lets out a high-pitched scream, causing Ejima to start firing CGI balls of light into his body. You know what? Just watch what happens.
Shoutout to Egbunna, the hunter for saving Okonta’s life.
They get to a small stream called the river of temptation. As they cross it, Izu hears his father’s voice calling out to him. He turns around, and this happens:
The evil forest is like:
During their first night in the forest, Egbunna (the hunter) hears something moving around their camp and blindly fires at it, thinking it’s a wild animal.
But he shoots Okonta (the climber) by mistake, instantly killing him. The evil forest:
A tribe of flesh-eating forest people attack the fellowship and manage to kill Nwoke (the drummer). The tribe is like:
The evil forest is like:
Meanwhile, people back home are still dying left and right so the people decide to take things into their own hands by attacking the evil magic tree with machetes and shit. As they strike the first blow, the tree starts to bleed.
To their horror, the people find out that the tree binds itself to every sitting king of the village. Any harm that comes to the tree also happens to the king.
They get to a river named the river of silence, a river that they’re supposed to remain silent while crossing. Ikenna (the wrestle) talks for some reason, falls into the river and is immediately eaten by crocodiles. The evil forest is like:
Only Igodo, Agwu (the warrior), and Egbunna (the hunter) are left. They’ve barely made it over the river of silence when they’re attacked by what I can only describe as a human-sized blue and yellow chicken.
After running for a while, they finally arrive at the cave containing the magical knife they seek. The lighting inside this cave is piss poor, and for most of this scene, I can’t see shit. Agwu tries to grab the knife from its resting place but is spiritually electrocuted. A creepy older man steps out of the darkness and introduces himself as the guardian of the knife. He informs the fellowship that one of them has to sacrifice himself to get the knife. After a brief argument, Egbunna volunteers to do it. He steps into a hole in the wall and lets out an agonising scream.
When the sacrifice is made, Igodo and Agwu grab the knife and run away as fast as their animal skin skirts will let them. They run out of water, and Agwu is about to pass out from thirst when his wife sashays out from behind a tree.
Agwu is too delirious to think straight, but Igodo sees this for what it is: the evil forest messing with their minds.
Agwu goes to hug his wife, and this happens:
Igodo returns to the village by himself with the magical knife.
The long ass flashback ends, and we return to the present day where old man Igodo is telling the story.
This part confuses me. Young Igodo returns with the knife, which makes me assume that he went straight to cut the evil magic tree. But in the present, old Igodo tells them to cut the tree if they want their problems to end. Why didn’t they cut the tree back then? Did the killings stop? Anyway, the movie ends with the villagers coming together to cut down the tree.