Directed by Jade Castro
Written by Raymond Lee, Jade Castro and Michiko Yamamoto
Zombie screwball should cover it if you feel the need to wrap a code around Zombadings 1: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington, the way it runs on the same odd tracks as both the lowbrow tomfoolery of Chiquito movies and the affectionate B movie crudities of Sam Raimi and all the self-aware postmodernism such a mashup implies makes it so spot-on it's as if that was the actual log-line Jade organized his film around, except it only really turns zombie on us in its final third and is more a werewolf film up until then, in which our eponymous homophobe falls under a hex that gradually turns him gay even as a serial killer is picking off everyone in town who is.
Homosexuality as a curse can be misconstrued as demeaning and actually has, as the off-point and far-fetched outrage flung this way bears out. But the germ that feeds it is that old andold-fashioned Frank Capra trope
- - - the comeuppance and enlightenment that comes from walking in the shoes of what you abhor, and more than anything, it's really subverting the very stereotypes it only seems to condone, much as it's hard to tell sometimes from the breathless velocity of the gags and the caricatural swish and swagger of gay argot and affectation it relies on to make it fly. The character actor stalwarts, from Janice De Belen to John Regala with his game face on to the mighty but under-used Odette Khan, buttress the superstructure to prop up what they can of the third act sag that besets it. And for the shapeshifting by degrees at the heart of matters, Martin Escudero is like some one-man army of goofy, a bravura act of pitch. But it's Eugene Domingo who detonates every scene she's in with surreal delight. And Roderick Paulate is stunt-casting that's both preordained and genius. The queer act he's made his metier by rights should've gone stale after all this time but somehow it's even gained nuance and range. It's a shtick, sure, but it's a shtick that never ever gets old.