Saturday, August 22, 2015

Horror Film Review

Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings (2011):  Weirdness from the Philippines that very nearly defies description.  How do a serial killer with a ray gun, a homophobic boy, and zombies made up like Diana Ross tie together?  The short answer?  Very loosely.  Let me give it a go...

As a small boy, Remington (Martin Escudero) had a bad habit of publicly mocking his village's gay men.  He'd point and call them the Tagalog equivalent of "faggot."  In a cemetery one day, he made the mistake of mocking the wrong man, who consequently placed a curse on the lad.  Once the boy reached a certain age, he'd become gay himself.  As a young man, Remington is a slacker who has a crush on Hannah (Lauren Young).  Problem is, he's gradually changing into the stereotypical, lispy queen who now finds his best friend inexplicably attractive.  At the same time, someone is killing off the town's population of gay men with a weapon originally created by a high school student to determine the sexual orientation of livestock.  No, really.  The gun will only fire if the target is gay.  A side effect of getting zapped by the weapon (besides getting dead) is that your skin darkens and your hair changes into a big, black 'fro.  A physiological explanation was not provided.  Remington's mom is the cop in charge of the investigation.  Meanwhile, Remington finally remembers the curse and seeks out the man who placed it on him.  Now for the extra special weird part.  Now that Remington is gay, the killer catches up with him and fires but hits the old guy who did the cursing instead.  Properly pissed, the guy's assistant casts a spell to raise all of the killer's victims from the dead and sends them after their murderer.  By the way, Remington can be straight again only if he can find someone to trade places with him.  Eventually, he does.  And it's, well, weird.

Silliness aside, this film manages to both demean the gay community and request tolerance at the same time.  It's quite disorienting.  So to speak.  I should point out that the zombies don't appear until the third act.  Most of the film focuses on Remington's "problem" and I will admit is pretty funny.  Seeing a macho punk transform into a flamer who starts wearing his little sister's clothes...yeah.  Amusing.  The zombie carnage, when it comes, is mostly just goofy.

The Skinny

Acting:  Escudero as Remington and Young as Hannah both do well.  Everyone else is fair to middling.
Story:  No doubt concocted after a night of heavy drinking and LSD use.
Direction:  Given the disparate and, let's fact it, wacky threads of the plot, I was surprised at the ease of flow.
Production Values:  I have no budget data, but I guarantee this was made on a shoestring.  Location shooting keeps it from looking cheap, though.
Gore/FX:  The make-up is lame and the CGI sub-par.
Scares:  Not what they were going for.
Ending:  Disturbingly upbeat.
Verdict:  Should you see Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings?  If you like bizarre, foreign horror, then go for it.  If you're gay, there are worse things to do for 96 minutes than watch the very cute Escudero.

Rating:  3 out of 5

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