T500FC, 492nd: Once Upon A Time In Manila (Tony Y. Reyes, 1994)


Okay, please don’t blame me if I tend to watch these kinds of films sometimes. Blame it on my beautiful childhood as low-end mainstream films always have a place in my heart though it might take me some Herculean effort to watch films that stars Mikey Arroyo or anything created by our National Artist, Carlo J. Caparas.

One can always argue that films with such style are definitely not akin to films. The artistic and basic movie aesthetics lose itself along the way much to the enjoyment of our local production companies where they will instantly get some free-flowing cash from most of the sixty percent of the marginalized Filipinos who wants to just go through the tough times even for just an hour or so. But despite a lot of things that could just be negative from some of our local films, one can still identify the scenario and the premise much more to the punch lines thrown from the start-up until the end of the film.

This film was the heyday of the Hong Kong Kung Fu cinema in the Philippines, one of the reasons why Cynthia Luster was one of the top-billers in this film. Oh, and you have to add that it was also the time when the female had their say with the likes of Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh, when she was doing a lot of ass-kicking in the eighties. It was also quite funny since Cynthia probably liked to live in our country that she starred in more Filipino films such as Pintsik and Tapang sa Tapang.

A Vic Sotto film made in the nineties would still give you laughs. It doesn’t matter if the film’s campiness is brimming. It gives a sense of security, in terms of comedy every time you’d listen to their lines and much more with the visual viscosity of used faces. With the late greats of local comedy with the likes of Babalu, Larry Silva, and Yoyoy Villame plus the old-school greats Tiya Pusit, Ruby Rodriguez, Val Sotto, and Ritchie D’Horsey, one can still attest that a film like this can still be enjoyed by the whole family. One that is needed nowadays, create something that may look cheap but still enjoyable to the mindless and happy drone.

We know that Vic Sotto strut his stuff if the stakes are high and if the film fest is coming. One can really pray that someone like him would step up and give us the laughs that they provided in the nineties. There is no such thing as cheap cinema, only overbearing critiques.



  1. I salute you for watching this one! I even think it is better to watch something like this than those recent hollywood crap.

    If you happen to get to hold a copy of Horsey Horsey Tigidig Tigidig, watch it.

  2. I agree with that recent Hollywood thingy. Some of it are just used as milking cows.

    I’d like to refresh myself in watching Horsey Horsey too…

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