zany zombadings (dalaga na si maximo oliveros!)
(the songs i will survive and the winner takes it all keep playing on my mind while writing this. like an obsessed luver turned stalker, they just won't go away!)
what's not to like?
a feel good film that celebrates filipino gayness in all its camp glory, gorgeous young leading men who can actually act (take note!), talented supporting actors, dancing gay zombies in killer stilettos and to die for make up, a serial killer on the loose, funny dialogues, great script and a picturesque location that makes me want to move back to the province.
what more can you ask?
thank god for so-called independently produced (or indie ) films, at least there are local movies worth watching that are way better than those summer hollywood popcorn junks that dominate the cineplexes.
after the hilarious ang babae sa septic tank starring the eugene domingo -- the queen/supernova/megawattstar of comedy -- another filipino movie worth your while is zombadings 1: patayin sa shokot si remington starring the eye candy mart escudero (as remington), whose flawless "acting" reminds me a lot of the young boy who played the title role in ang pagdadalaga ni maximo oliveros, one of my favourite local films about young luv of a third kind. in fact, it felt like the part two of the movie, with maximo now a full grown young lady discovering first luv.
incidentally, the luvable group behind ang pagdadalaga were the same ones who brought us zombadings. i am hoping they will continue to make more movies. they truly deserve a special place in an industry crowded with (and cheered) mediocrity.
but then again...
so on a rainy monday afternoon, after consulting my favourite psychic in the faraway midtown of quezon city, the city of the stars, braving traffic, flood and what have you, i went straight to robinson's galleria to watch the special screening of zombadings. i haven't read any reviews nor seen the trailer, but some friends, who know that i so luv local movies especially those that celebrate kabadingan, have recommended this film to me as early as in december.
can you beat that steven spielberg and michael bay?
the story is really funny. as a child, the naughty remington was fond of calling gays "bakla!" (an offensive local term for gays, like faggot. i know annoying kids like him are so common).
despite his mother's admonitions to stop it, the cute little boy kept doing this, even the parish priest was not spared! he called the poor priest bakla while they were inside the confessional box. bad!
eventually, the precocious kid met his match.
in the cemetery, a mourning gay man (the perfectly cast roderick paulate. oh how i miss his petrang kabayo days) was offended when remington called him bakla. the angry gay man cursed him -- that remington would turn gay when he is older.
fast forward to the present, remington was now a handsome young man (super like!!!!!!) and was falling in love with a pretty newcomer to their barrio, the mestisa hanna (lauren young).
remington and his bestfriend, tricyle driver jigs (the hawt kerbie zamora), were typical teen-agers who were contended with their small town life earning a few bucks doing odd jobs, getting drunk, flirting with gays. in other words, they were your usual cute tambays who played basketball shirtless and then would ask their parlorista friends to drink with them after the game. relate!
(the papable and huggable mart)
remington's policewoman mother (janice de belen) had been urging him to study college in the city so he would have a bright and more secure future unlike his macho father who ran a panciteria. but he refused because he was afraid he might get lung cancer from the pollution in manila.
oh, by the way, while the characters were being introduced, the policewoman mother was investigating a series of murders and was after a serial killer who has sent a number of gay men to the grave using a special gun that looked like a blow dryer and a vibrator. what do you expect, this is a gay film?!
as remington's 21st birthday was approaching, he noticed some changes in himself: he started talking using the gay lingo that only his gay friend could understand, his body became smoother (hairs gone, even his bigote), his mannerisms turned more and more effeminate, he developed a fancy for skin tight shirts, and he fell in luv with his best friend jigs.
he also had a series of encounters with a muscled man wearing a mask whom he mistook for the serial killer. the mysterious man, it turned out, was responsible for turning remington into a gay man (a twink if i may add). he even shaved remington's face and body in one of the hilarious scenes.
remington was reminded of the curse and sought the help of his friends to look for the gay man and ask for his forgiveness and the solution to his problem (kabadingan!).
as the mystery unfolded both on remington's struggle with his sexuality and the hunt for the serial killer, gay zombies started wrecking havoc on the sleepy, peaceful town. ah, the metaphor.
of course, like all feel good films, everything ended happily ever after.
walang uuwing luhaan.
even the zombies found their place in the sun, literally. hindi va shokot sa araw ang mga zombies?
aside from the terrific mart escudero (whose comic timing is flawless, not to mention he looks appetizing like an ice cream at the height of summer) and his best friend slash object of affection kerbie zamora, the supporting cast is superb: roderick paulate, janice de belen, eugene domingo (yes, she is here, in another oscar worthy performance!), john regala (who was surprisingly good as remington's father) and the erstwhile sexy actors daniel fernando (remember him in the scorching scorpio nights?) and leandro baldemor (seiko film's resident stud, whose boyish and provinciano good looks were perfect for movies like patikim ng pinya).
even the actors who played the gay parloristas and a waitress (all became zombadings later) were soo good they deserved a nomination or two.
i tell you, just watching all of them in one movie is already an experience worthy of the 200 pesos that i paid for at the box office. in fact, at 200, it is a bargain, like buying an lv for the price of secosana.
of course, the movie won't be complete without the kilig moments. just like the scenes between maximo oliveros and his crush, the handsome policeman played by valentin araneta (azan na zya?), watch out for the luv scenes between remington and jigs. they were not only kilig, they were funny too. especially the one in the stairs where the drunk jigs confessed to remington that he already had several sexual encounters with gay men and that it was okey if remington wanted to "do" it with him.
after this movie, i hope producers will give mart escudero more projects both on teevee and movies. the hugworthy ingenue deserves to be up there instead of the talentless and ugly young actors currently polluting the small and big screens! hmmmp!
in fact, he deserves the cinemalaya best actor (and more recognition in the future) for his interpretation of the slightly confused but in the end go na rin character.
and yes, i luv his dance number in the film. watch out for it too.
oh well, i am keeping my fingers crossed that raymund lee, jade castro and company will come up with more exciting and novel films. who knows, they might bring home the elusive ms universe title of the movie industry, the oscar for best foreign language film!
here is zombadings:
some scenes from the movie's premier at ccp in july. i tell you, this is worthy of another movie..hahaha:
in fact, this could have been zombading's ost if the producers could afford it. (so what i did was to turn off the sound of the zombading trailer and pump up the volume of the i will survive video below. so para na ring ost sya ng zombading. brilliant?!)
(all pics were lifted from different websites and no copyright infringements intended. so please don't sue me. i am a jobless, penniless zombading too searching for his remington slash jigs.)