Friday, September 02, 2011

Film Review: Zombadings - Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington

.:m.globe In The House!:.

Was at an interesting launch for Globe last night, as I was given the opportunity to be acquainted with Globe's new *free* service to give people a taste of how it is to go online on their mobile through the one-stop portal, m.globe.

Pretty nifty, really. Aside from the fact that you can check some of the basic features for your Twitter and Facebook, you can even readily check your balance from there, and it's a very simple program that almost any online-ready mobile phone would be capable of running.

Just text M.GLOBE to 2910 or visit on your mobile phone to try it out. This is a very good tool, and quite honestly, seeing as more people have cellular phones than computers, the easier it becomes to go online with your phone, the more exciting mobile internet can get.

.:Film Review: Zombadings:.

Yes, we had a gay old time, all right.

Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington
George Romero would be proud.


I really didn't know what to expect from Zombadings despite the fact that I've been anticipating it for quite a while already. It seemed like a hilarious romp into the zombie genre for Filipino films, and seeing as how Roderick Paulate and Eugene Domingo were both part of the cast, it seemed pretty hard for the film to go wrong. I was right.

For a film that plays the stereotypical gay trope for laughs, Zombadings managed to exceed expectations by giving a very positive and even uplifting message for homosexuality, pushing the idea of homophobia as something deplorable and worthy of criticism, in fact making a complete villain out of the most homophobic character in the film, aside from the lead himself, Remington.

As a child, Remington poked fun at gays solely because they're gay. He keeps doing this, and at some point, he insults a homosexual who decides to curse him to turn gay. Fifteen years hence, and as he tries to live a normal life, and even finds himself attracted to the girl next-door, he mysteriously gets attacked several times, each time becoming more and more stereotypically gay. First, he dresses in very tight clothes, then he starts speaking in fluent Swardspeak. Then, he finds himself falling for his best friend, who actually attempts to reciprocate his attraction.

All throughout this, a serial killer is on the loose in the small town, murdering homosexuals. This mystery isn't much of a mystery, though, as the identity of the killer is revealed pretty early on. Nonetheless, knowing that Remington's own godfather is the serial killer, and knowing that Remington is now gay, things are going to come to a head. He has a weapon that kills his targets, called the Gaydar. It works by detecting homosexuals, then promptly frying them.

Interestingly enough, the Zombadings showed up only at the final act of the film, when, in a last-ditch effort to revive his master, the manservant of the homosexual who cursed Remington performed a ritual that turned all of the victims of the serial killer into zombies.

The only way for the curse on Remington to be broken would be for a straight man to take Remington's place and turn gay. Remington's father makes this sacrifice for him. All's well that ends well, for the most part.

When the film ended, I was stunned at how sensitive the film was to gay issues. Just when it felt awkward that turning gay was a plot point and set as a bad thing, the film manages to put this sticky issue into perspective by mentioning the fact that regardless of anything else, this is not who Remington truly is, and as such, if he decided to let the curse become permanent, he would only be denying himself.

It's not so much that being gay is a bad thing: it's that being gay would be allowing himself to become someone he is not, and that is truly a tragedy, which his father accepted on his behalf, making it a true, genuine sacrifice. The way the storyline played itself out just astounded me, honestly: it imparted a very positive message about homosexuality, and underscored what it means to be true to your own self.

For a comedy film that was meant to play on stereotypical tropes, Zombadings is a very deep and introspective look into the state of being for the homosexual. That the small town is almost wholly accepting of homosexuality, albeit with the immature perception that it's because gays are funny and beauticians, was enhanced by the diversity of the gay characters in the film, even if they were being stereotypes.

After the film, I ended up running into Ms. Giselle Sanchez, and Mr. Roderick Paulate. To say that this was an awesome moment would be an understatement.

Now, to photoshop Rick Astley into this picture in place of Ms. Giselle... I keed, I keed.

I loved this film. It managed to express a very positive message about homosexuality in a light-hearted and matter-of-factly manner. Considering how easy it is for well-meaning efforts in progressive filmmaking to end up being too heavy-handed or outright backfiring, this film managed to not only paint gays in a positive light, but also managed to dispel the notion that if being gay is okay, then everyone would be gay. Being true to yourself means you are every bit a valid person whether you are straight or gay.

For that and more, it's hard not to think that this film is the best Filipino film I've seen this year, even better than “Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank.”

Fun Evaluation: A+ (The comedy was strong in this one.)
Criticval Evaluation: A+ (Tight scripting allowed the film to get its message across without accidentally marginalizing itself, or becoming too preachy.)

1 comment:

Cess said...

thanks for the review, i'm planning to watch it this week, hopefully its still playing in the cinemas