What Is ‘Zepotha’? TikTok’s Favorite Cult ’80s Movie Doesn’t Actually Exist
If you've scrolled on your TikTok FYP this weekend, you may have noticed a video or even a comment referencing a cult '80s horror movie called Zepotha.
You know, Zepotha — that neon-drenched VHS tape you used to eye when your 'rents would take you to the video rental store as a kid, but weren't allowed to watch 'cause it was too gory, so you didn't see it until that sleepover at your BFF's house when you were a teen? Yeah, that movie!
Zepotha is suddenly going wildly viral. If you're wondering why, though, you're not alone. And if you've never even heard of the movie before today, you're really, really not alone.
Read on to find out why everyone is talking about Zepotha.
What Is Zepotha About?
Zepotha is a little-known slasher horror movie from the '80s, believed to be released sometime between 1980 and 1987.
Over the years, it's achieved cult classic status among fans for its spooky, mysterious atmosphere; dark, synthy soundtrack; and lovable, spunky teen cast, including fan-favorite characters Alaine, Maxine and Danny.
But wait, actually...
Is Zepotha a Real Movie?
You're probably wondering: Is Zepotha an actual movie?
Sadly, Zepotha, as interesting as it sounds, is not a real movie, which is why you won't find it on IMDb or in your local DVD bargain bin. The movie was entirely made up by a collective group on TikTok, which is why the details surrounding its plot and characters keep changing and evolving. It's basically a meme, or a cyber urban legend.
People have been adding to the lore of and mystery surrounding Zepotha (and effectively gaslighting much of TikTok) by uploading their own videos supposedly reminiscing about the film, as well as leaving random comments on unsuspecting users' pages telling them that they "remind them" of a character from the film.
Someone created a "Which Zepotha character filter are you?" on TikTok, and even celebrities have gotten in on the inside joke!
Elsewhere on the internet, some folks have even created Reddit accounts dedicated to discussing the film, as well as pages for it on sites such as DoestheDogDie.com and Wikipedia, all in the effort to perpetuate the myth that it's a real movie.
Any names of directors, actors and movie producers supposedly connected to Zepotha that you may have heard about on social media are simply fictional.
However, there is a similarly titled sci-fi film named Zathura, which came out in 2005.
How Did the Zepotha Trend Start?
The Zepotha trend was started by independent synth-pop artist Emily Jeffri. On Aug. 12, Emily proposed an idea on TikTok, asking people to help her "create a fake '80s horror movie called Zepotha" that everyone could collectively add lore to online.
"We can convince thousands of people that this weirdly titled '80s horror film actually exists," they wrote in their initial video suggesting the idea, which has been viewed over 2.4 million times as of publishing.
Emily Jeffri concocted the clever viral trend as a way to promote their upcoming debut album, the aptly titled Soundtrack for an '80s Horror Movie.
The album is out Aug. 25 and features the viral song "Do You Remember Me?"
On TikTok, a brief audio clip of the dark new-wave track has served as the unofficial soundtrack for the Zepotha trend.