September 6, 2011
"Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington" is an indie film that got picked up for wide release because of audience appeal and good word of mouth. At first I was not really planning to watch it because of the strange subject matter, but curiosity got the better of me because of the hype. I thought that this movie would be a comedy- horror film. But it turned out to be more comedy than horror. In fact, there is hardly an horror to this film at all. It is just LOL lowbrow comedy! It does have an impressive behind-the-scenes credentials, with Jade Castro (of "Endo") as director-writer, with Raymond Lee (of "Endo" and "In My Life")and Michiko Yamamoto (also of "Endo" and "Maximo Oliveros") as the co-writers.
Remington has been teasing gay people since he was a kid. One day he teased the wrong gay guy (Roderick Paulate) who cursed him that he will turn gay when he grows up (they were not very specific when). 15 years later, Remington (now played by Martin Escudero) had been having dreams that he was being attacked by a muscle-bound assailant. Upon waking up from those dreams, he would also slowly be turning into a screaming gay guy himself! How can Remington now continue courting pretty Hannah (Lauren Young) while he is at the same time falling for his best friend Jigs (Kerbie Zamora)? Can the spell still be broken to restore Remington back to straight-hood? There is also a side plot about a serial killer killing off gays in their community (Lucban, Quezon) with a silly contraption called a "gaydar". Is this connected to Remington's strange transformation?
Martin Escudero is the revelation in this movie because he successfully straddled that tenuous balance between straight and gay. His gay actuations and manner of speaking were so realistic. (The incomprehensible gay lingo even needed subtitles, which made it more hilarious.) Excellent movie debut for Escudero, if he is indeed straight. Lauren Young is also a very pretty and promising young actress. Aside from Paulate, there was a proficient all-star cast supporting the young ingénues, with Janice de Belen and John Regala as Remington's role-reversed parents (Janice as police officer while John tends their carinderia), Daniel Fernando and Leandro Baldemor as Regala's creepy drinking buddies and Eugene Domingo as Hannah's ditzy roller-skating mom. Everything was done tongue-in-cheek, all in the name of fun. Save for those few sticky moments between Remington and Jigs on the stairs, this is still quite an entertaining indie film overall. Yes, despite those grotesque gay zombies.