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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beware The Zombadings: You Might Miss It

If you're in need of laughs, this film provides it. In spades.

Framed with ribbons.

Arthur has been asking me to block off a date for us to watch Zombadings 1: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington, and we finally did after I got off work today. I knew that there was considerable buzz on the net about it, and one of my favorite writers/bloggers has been promoting it constantly - Jessica Zafra.

I'm glad we did. It's hilarious and plays on a controversial topic with such panache that the "are we really talking about this?" factor is stripped away.

The pink elephant is now the sparkly elephant in the middle of the room that everyone gathers around.

Two things stood out for me. Let's go for the negative first.

The premise for what "caused" Remington (Martin Escudero) to "become gay" was a curse bestowed upon him by an older gay man (Roderick Paulate), as the young Remington was making fun of Roderick's character, who was in mourning at the time. The "resolution" of the "curse" was for the "exorcism" of the "gayness" from Remington, and it "had" to be "passed on" to someone who is "totally straight".

Concepts that I am clearly uncomfortable about (to put it mildly) for very obvious reasons. This "theory" of how "gayness" originates certainly comes from the same thread that spawns the ideas that you can either "pray the gay away" or that you can beat the living daylights out of a young child so that his or her homosexuality can be arrested. In either scenarios, there is an element of "outside intrusion" that is seen to make someone "abnormal" (in this particular instance, homosexuality as defined by conservatives).

The only way I can accept that "theory" if there is also a "spirit" that makes people straight.

I realize that the writers of the film may be playing this up as a poke to people who believe in this theory. However, given how some people take things literally, I am sure this either produced an "ahh, ganun pala yun!" moment in some, or served to reinforce the beliefs of those who take this theory to heart.

Now, the positive: The part that resonates with what I've observed in life is that most homophobic men are often revealed to be gay themselves, but unable to accept this fact, they direct their frustration and their anger at those who do have the freedom, the courage, or both, to live their (gay) lives openly. In the movie, the "villain" has a "special gun" that identifies men as "gay" if he points it - and he is revealed to be gay himself in the end.

I did blog about Senator Larry Craig last month (, someone who is staunchly opposing any legislation that is labeled "gay-friendly", but who was caught soliciting sex from a male officer in an airport bathroom. So, I applaud the film makers for succinctly capturing this truth about those who seem so virulently homophobic. (Yes, I know, there are people who are homophobic purely because of bigotry, or because their priest/pastor told them that homosexuality is "of a demonic nature". But it's often my experience that men who are self-assured in their own (heterosexual) sexuality have nothing to fear from any manifestations of homosexuality.

The film has a steady stream of "laugh pockets" (as I call these episodes where people continually laugh, broken by quieter scenes). Watch out for Roderick's scene with the candle, the confrontation of Remington and Roderick's character, and the dance extravaganza by Remington. (My favorite was when Remington was in the toilet providing "gay translations" for the pail, sink, etc.)

I am also grateful for the film makers for providing translations for the "gay-speak" that was used liberally throughout. The ones used were much too convoluted to be understood in one go. (Hinting for the DVD release, please.)

All in all, I enjoyed the film immensely.

Watch it. NOW.

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