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Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington (Jade Castro, 2011)

August.30.2011

A great friend once said, “If it is a great movie, it doesn’t need to spend on obscene amounts of exposure and promotion. A proved quid pro quo on quality and viewing pleasure.” Sadly, that friend doesn’t even exist but it establishes the basic principle on what this movie can provide. An ordinary Indie film that has an extraordinary use of script, stereotype, and punch lines.

The story is quite simple. In its movie logic form, a boy, played by Martin Escudero, teases a gay man “bakla” in repetition, played by Roderick Paulate, and that man counters it with a curse: when the boy grows up he’d be like one of them, a member of the third sex. As the story unfolds further, a serial killer brings doom to the village and murders all, or most, of the prominent members of the gay community. And the boy, who is grown up by now, has to escape the effects of his new-found form and needs to look for a “formula” to save himself from getting killed.

I have been fond of old school gay comedy films that spawned the likes of Dolphy, with him garnering fame with Facifica Falayfay and Markova, and Roderick Paulate, luckily the list is endless for this guy and the most famous of his gay films is Petrang Kabayo. Piracy proliferated during the nineties and the local movie industry went downhill from there, ergo, there weren’t any prominent gay icons in that era. And then, the 2000’s came and we are now experiencing “it’s raining men” literally especially in the indie gay industry.

Which makes this film great in all aspects. It was brave, it had good lines, it had good comic timing, it used old-school and great actors, it paved way for aspiring and impressive ones, and it was sensitive all throughout. Even at first, you’d think that the title itself is on the borderline of being cheap, it wasn’t the case. And probably, despite the misconception, it wouldn’t shoo away men who are straight or those guys who are trying to be straight, but are really excited with the film.

The veterans with the likes of Uge Domingo, Odette Khan, Janice De Belen, John Regala, and Dick Paulate definitely gave a memorable and hilarious performance with a few of firsts in the big screen for Dick and John. With them allowing themselves to be cast in this film is a simple way of saying that this film is going to be one of the most remarkable films of the year. Echoing writer Raymond Lee’s talkback a few weeks ago, “After mabasa ni Miss Odette Khan yung script, ang naging reaction lang nya ay, ‘wala akong barong.’”

Of course, let us not forget the three newbies in this film, which is partly reminiscent of the trio in the Harry Potter franchise, check out the Zombadings poster in the Internet. Lauren Young, the love interest of Escudero, is quite good in this film, she was just the appropriate support. Model Kerbie Zamora, Escudero’s best friend *ehem*, was naturally funny without trying to be one. And then, there’s Martin Escudero, known for his serious acting in one of our local channels, was the great reveal in this film. I am expecting him in more funny gay roles in the future. Purely effective.

Eleven thumbs up to the people who masterminded this timely film of this generation namely Raymond Lee, Michiko Yamamoto, and director Jade Castro. I’d like to say that this film is outrageously riotous, but that would be an understatement. And yes, i’d like to end this one with my FB status a few weeks ago:

“Para sa mga Zombuddies, mga Zombabes, mga Zombumbero, mga nakatira sa Zombabwe, mga Zombebot, mga may Zombaktol at Zombaktong, mga nakatira na sa Zombilibid, mga Zombasurero, mga Zombecky, at para sa Zombayanan. Tayo po ay manood ng Zombadings Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington (official page: RemingtonTheMovie). Sulit ang buong pelikula. Keribels kung umulan o kung magka-aberya. Support! Chos.”

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