I went to see Zombadings 1: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington expecting an honest-to-goodness Filipino zombie movie. In this particular aspect, as a rabid zombie movie fan, I was mildly disappointed since it barely contains actual zombie action. Other than that, I think it’s a brilliant film that needs to be the opening salvo of a new age of entertaining and commercially successful Filipino movies. We need more movies like it and I can give you 3 reasons why.
1. It’s an indie film with mass appeal. When was the last time that a Filipino indie movie outshined other movies from big studios (local and foreign)? The amount of buzz at the malls — not just in the cinema areas — made me scratch my head in awe. “What the hell is going on here?” I asked myself. And then I saw the film and I was like “Ohhh.” I can’t remember the last time I went to the restroom after seeing a movie and heard dudes raving about the film like they just saw a leaked version of the Avengers movie (FROM THE FUTURE!) or something. We need more Filipino movies that generate buzz and genuine excitement within all classes. Filipino indie films was never my niche so when something like this wrangles my attention, I know that it’s not your usual pretentious project from the indies.
2. It’s goofy but it’s not stupid. I used to like goofy Tagalog movies. I felt a certain kind of sadness when they were slowly replaced with dramas and romantic comedies that seemingly come out of an assembly line. And then I grew up and accepted that goofy Tagalog movies no longer have a place in this world except maybe the rare indie ones that only hipsters get to watch. The concept of gay zombies is extremely silly, yes? But that’s not what this movie is all about. The goofy ideas of gaydars and gay curses are just the icing on the cake. The cake is made up of characters with character and a plot that — even though it’s not mind-bogglingly brilliant — is executed well. I even dare to say that it’s smart storytelling. So yes, there is still room for goofy movies in our hearts. They just need to be done brilliantly.
3. It’s a comedy with a message. You have to admit that most movies that offer socio-political or socio-cultural messages are highly depressing, not to mention that they’re mostly about the tragic lives of prostitutes or the plight of the poor. Although some people see Zombadings as a movie that makes fun of gay men, it is actually a film that celebrates diversity and the colorful contributions of the LGBT community to Philippine society. It doesn’t stuff the message down your throat. It delivers the message in an elegant manner and it achieves relevance in a spectacularly entertaining fashion. Don Jaucian nails it with his review of the film over at Pelikula Tumblr. You should read it.
If you haven’t seen Zombadings 1: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington yet, do yourself a solid and see it as soon as possible. Bug your favorite film studio or any of your filmmaker friends to take a cue from this excellent goofy indie zombie movie with a message and create films that actually entertain. Ask them to make us excited about Filipino movies again. Demand movies that will make us rave all the way to the restroom.