T500FC, 421st: Anak Ni Zuma [Daughter of Anik: Hell Serpent] (Ben Yalung, 1987)March.24.2011
The Philippine cinema’s take on the weird and the unusual is definitely on the higher part of the scale. Decades of wonderful stories that can be found on our local comics provide the different and wondrous take that our local film industry constantly tries to produce and reproduce. And one might think that we’re looking at some crazy Japanese idea, but it’s not. But with that, the local mainstream movie watching people would probably say that I am the one that is crazy and would probably say that they are crap.
I’d like to give out the full summary of this movie but I’d rather not. I know there are people who are probably going to just look at this film as a nuisance. The film story is straightforward. The serpent man named Zuma lives and gets a girl pregnant. The son then tries to live in the world of humans not knowing which is morally right or not.
This film greatly depicts the ideas of our scriptwriters in the eighties. You’d often wonder if they are really trying to come out with something new or the fact that they just need money for survival. But the thing is, it could’ve garnered a cult following, probably in the rural areas where this film kept on playing on their local movie theaters.
But what is fascinating about this film is that they were able to mix a completely odd idea and an honest to goodness drama that we were / are probably good at / still is. I can’t even remove this scene on my mind, where one of the characters had to talk to a snake in full drama. I think only we can do such film and scenes, the sad part is films like these are a thing of the past.
In addition, this film also featured a little bit of what we usually see in those Sentai shows that kids usually ponder on every weekend afternoon. Mascots fighting with weird antagonists are definitely a must if you are a big fan of campy films. Yes, this film was definitely that bad, which in turn gives us it’s almost good look.
As much as I would like to suggest this to friends, I’d rather not. Instead, this movie can be well-watched for bus rides. I’m sure people would at least look at this film instead of staring outside while waiting to arrive for their destination.