Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zombadings 1: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

As a kid, Remington (Martin Escudero) used to make fun of homosexuals by calling them “Bakla! Bakla! Bakla!” straight to their faces. One day at the cemetery he meets his match when he gets hexed by a grieving gay played by none other than THE Roderick Paulate. Fifteen years later, Remington is almost turning 21 and behaves like the typical neighborhood bum: drinking in the middle of the day while chasing skirts. Meanwhile, his mother (Janice de Belen), a policewoman, is trying to solve a serial murder case in which all victims are gay. At the same time, Remington’s curse starts to manifest. Is he the next to fall prey to the serial killer terrorizing Lucban’s third sex population?

Most of what I am going to say here is in consensus with what various reviews have already stated. First of all let me join the bandwagon by saying that Escudero should be nominated for an acting award for his role in this movie. His transition from neighborhood bum to loud homosexual is so natural. There is no instance where it seems that he is faking it. The gradual shift in character is flawlessly achieved thanks to his nuanced performance, which does not seem technical at all.

What makes the movie work is the way it tackles itself, which is not too seriously. The film has mainstream appeal maybe because of the right combination of campiness and familiar faces making cameos. As for the story, I would have to agree that the Zombadings could have been scrapped off the storyline altogether. However, doing this would rob the movie of its camp factor and would probably turn it into one of those movies focusing too much on self-discovery, which is most likely to be boring.

The movie tackles the theme of being gay in the modern world, and somehow the Zombadings story arc manages to keep everything light, in that it is neither too preachy nor too self-absorbed for its own good. What some people think of as the “curse” of being gay is presented here in a literal sense, adding some dash of fantasy to the story, which is not that detrimental to the plot and was actually kind of entertaining.

Eugene Domingo appears in the movie as a grieving widow who copes with the death of her husband by doing weird things. Her trademark “elevator acting” is not seen here but she still makes the audience laugh without much of an effort and despite the short screen time. She is everywhere nowadays! John Regala gets to steal the show in the last few clips with a dance number. All in all the support cast is great.

In terms of story it is more like a young man’s journey of self-discovery set in a sort of gay apocalyptic backdrop. The two somehow go well together surprisingly turning it into an enjoyable movie that got the audience laughing and applauding at the same time. It is one big gay film and it reminded me somehow of Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah which revolves around the same theme. Come to think of it, this could also be turned into a musical onstage. It would be a riot if ever!

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