Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings: Film Review

One-note comedy whose broadness undercuts its theme of tolerance.

A young Filipino homophobe is made gay in Jade Castro's goofy fable.

A goofy fable about tolerance using horror/sci-fi tropes to dress up a storybook-like tale of a witch's curse, Jade Castro's Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings follows a young homophobe who has been magically made gay. The Filipino import is tongue-in-cheek from start to finish, and its innocent quasi-camp may appeal to some genre buffs in the West. But theatrical bookings here will be short-lived, even in the Midnight Movie arena.

Martin Escudero plays Remington, first seen here as a preschooler who runs around shouting, "Homo! Homo! Homo!" at the many gay men in his village. While in a cemetery, he picks the wrong cross-dresser to mess with -- a grieving man who promises that, when he's grown, he too will be gay.

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Fifteen years later, the prophesy is fulfilled in pieces, as a masked, menacing spirit visits Remington on multiple nights to steal scraps of his machismo: On the first night, his goatee and body hair vanish; after the second, he's prone to speaking in effeminate slang; and so on. At the same time, a mysterious killer has targeted local gays, zapping them with a ray gun that was designed to identify homosexual farm animals. (Um, so they could be taken out of farms and used as pets or photo models.)

The plot and dialogue are predictably thin, relying almost entirely on the viewer's interest in seeing Escudero's master class in swishy stereotypes -- a transformation made more troublesome given Remington's desire to impress the new girl in town, Hannah (Lauren Young). Castro clearly intends to mock not gays but the (often hypocritical) men who pick on them; still, some in the audience might feel they're better off without this picture's assistance. By the time Zombadings (that is, the drag-wearing undead) enter the picture in the third act, anyone looking for the queer George Romero will have realized they'll have to wait a bit longer.

Production Company: Origin8 Media
Cast: Martin Escudero, Lauren Young, Kerbie Zamora, Janice de Belen, John Regala, Roderick Paulate, Angelina Kanapi, Nar Cabico
Director: Jade Castro
Screenwriters: Raymond Lee, Jade Castro, Michiko Yamamoto
Producer: Raymond Lee
Director of photography: Ike Avellana
Production designer: Norman S. Regalado
Music: Teresa Barrozo
Editors: J.D. Domingo, Lawrence Ang
No rating, 95 minutes

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