This is what you need to know about Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington (loosely translated: GayZombies 1: Kill Remington Through Fear). One, it is a very funny film, and is worth the excruciating long wait for the film to get to a theater. Two, the horror film tropes it plays with are gems. And three, forget about trying to follow the story.
Zombadings 1 is comedy, horror, science fiction, fantasy, thriller and many more genres all rolled into one. Somewhere past the twenty minute mark, I think I stopped trying to make sense of what was happening in the story and was just enjoying the movie for what it was: comic gold.
The movie starts out with a kid laughing at flamboyant gay guys–over and over. Until one of them decides to strike back: cursing the kid, our titular character, with a prophecy that someday he will turn out to be gay as well. This was supposed to be a serious moment in the film, but I couldn’t help laughing. Why? Because it’s every boy’s fear back in the early 90s. Of being told not to point and laugh at gay people because you will become like them too. What? They don’t do that where you’re from? Grown ups where I lived did that a lot; scare kids into not doing things they didn’t like.
Ehem, sorry, went a bit off-tangent.
In the film, Remington grows up to be the stereotypical provincial tough guy who likes to drink and do nothing all day–unless it involves getting a girl to pay attention to you. Obviously, he doesn’t turn out gay–at least, not until a certain pink scarf starts following him.
And this is where the film lost me, and I decided to just sit back and stop analyzing things.
At the onset of Remington’s on-screen adulthood, we find out that a serial killer is on the loose in his town. The killer’s victims? All flamboyant gay guys. Watching the trailer, you’d think the film would fool us to believe that Remington might be the killer, or twist the story in the way that would make him turn out to be the killer. But not even midway in the film and we know it’s not him. How? Because Remington has his own story thread that only touches upon the serial killer story because of the fact that the killer’s victims are all gay.
That’s my main problem with the film. It wasn’t one straight narrative. There were two different stories being told, the one about Remington’s curse, and the one where a serial killer is on the loose. And it is forced together by the deus-ex-machina-like plot twist of a scorned sort-of lover deciding to raise the dead. And throughout it all, it really is very apparent that there are two big stories being told. That’s not including the love story on the side. Then again, you could also argue that it’s only one story, and it is being told by the town because that’s where everything happens.
Still the movie works because it’s funny. The characters are all hilarious, and the actors are really selling them. That’s one of the things I learned in writing for an audience. When you’re forced to write fluff, or you have a really illogical plot point, you write it in a way that people wouldn’t think it’s fluff. Make it either extremely dramatic (if that’s what your audience wants) or make it really funny. Zombadings 1 opted for the funny.
But the funny wouldn’t have translated well if it weren’t for these really wonderful actors: Martin Escudero (formerly known as Mart Escudero) was a revelation in his portrayal of Remington’s process of becoming flamboyantly gay. Eugene Domingo was excellent in her special participation as the grieving mother of Remington’s love interest (whose name escapes me, but she was played by Lauren Young.) And Roderick Paulate delivered his most iconic gay role yet–as the character who curses Remington, and the catalyst for the zombadings to rise.
Zombadings 1 isn’t for the intellectual. If you’re looking for a literary masterpiece, watch something else. But if you’re looking for a good time and a hilarious film, then by all means, catch the movie when it rolls out in commercial theaters beginning August 31. It’s definitely worth the ticket price.
Of course, this is just me
talking reacting. Head on to me likes art for an actual film review from a fellow blogger.