Thursday, January 3, 2008
Shake. Rattle. Roll.
Shake, Rattle and Roll 9 is an anthology of three horror stories: Christmas Tree, Bangungot and Engkanto. Christmas Tree tells a story about a family celebrating Christmas in their grandmother’s archaic house in some rural area, troubled by a starving, eerie Christmas tree they got from a local store. Most parts of this movie are both hilarious and stupid. I feel sorry for the actors and actresses who became helpless victims of other people’s lack of creativity, innovation and sense.
Bangungot, starring Dennis Trillo, Roxanne Guinoo and Pauleen Luna, did better than the other two. It follows the story of a young, sophisticated woman (Roxanne Guinoo) who turned out to be an obsessed ex-girlfriend of a serious IT specialist (Dennis Trillo) who’s about to marry his fiancée (Pauleen Luna). Both Roxanne and Dennis were trapped on a nightmare, after Roxanne performed a spell that would let her and Dennis meet on their dreams. But a Gregorian-like ethereal figure wearing a red cloak started to chase them, and they were even unaware that they are brazening out each other only in their unconsciousness. If Bangungot is made out for a full-length movie, it could rival other Regal horror films in the past including TxT, Tiyanaks, Hide and Seek, among others. (One thing you shouldn’t miss in this movie? Dennis Trillo’s huge bulge, when he was laid down topless on the hospital’s bed.)
Engkanto has a plot similar to Wrong Turn, Jeeper’s Creepers, and other Hollywood films set in rural areas. (I noticed that Regal Films loves to compare their movies to Hollywood films. They said Mano Po is “the Philippines’ answer to The Godfather” and Yamashita is the “the Philippines’ answer to Pearl Harbor.” Gosh, they gave me goose bumps of disgust. Mano Po could stand on its own, and probably other Regal movies, too, so please stop comparing.) Engkanto is a story of a gothic band on their way to a gig in a remote area, inhabited by a sexy engkanto – a mythical creature who resides in a balete tree.
Engkanto, a badly-made slapstick story disguised as a horror tale, doubles the stupidity brought to us by Christmas Tree. But Felix Roco’s charm and naivety is hard to resist in this movie, I even forgot that Mart Escudero was on this film. But regardless, Shake, Rattle and Roll 9 was a regretful film to watch. Had they promoted the movie as a comedy, I could have recognized its real beauty and essence.