Remington And The Curse Of The Zombadings
"Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings" mashes several movie genres into one. It is at once, a traditional romantic comedy, LGBTQ friendly and a horror flick. It incorporates slapstick humor, brief-partial nudity, terribly unrealistic gore and touching sincerity to delight, critique and entertain.
The precocious, little boy Remington (Mart Escudero) enjoys screaming ethnic, gay slurs at unassuming, aging men in Lucban. One day he taunts the wrong Queen (the fabulous Roderick Paulate) in the wrong graveyard. She curses Remington to grow up to be gay in retribution for all the pain he has caused others. Fast forward 15 years later, Remington is an unmotivated, unemployed teenager obsessed with an unimpressed town hottie, Hannah (Lauren Young). Amid the drama of a love triangle, the serial murders of gay men around town and a beauty pageant, Remington's curse comes to fruition.
Under the helm of director Jade Castro, this low budget movie blossoms into film with award winning potential. There are prevalent gay stereotypes throughout the movie but Castro uses them as symbols only. It is understood within the context of the movie that these decorated and exaggerated men do not represent the world community. They pay homage to the men who dare to be themselves in a world that would prefer they not.
The cast gives weight to a movie that could be fluff. In particular, Escudero leads this movie with ferocious bravery. Although his character's self-expression is restricted to society's limited definitions of straight and gay manliness, Escudero brings an expected vitality to Remington's transitions. His is a character that learns, remembers and applies new wisdom not just to impress a girl and/or a boy, but because he's pretty smart under all that teenage sloth.
The lesson at the heart of this movie is to take pride in individuality. When an impossible cure for the curse is discovered through a séance that is as hokey as it is titillating, Remington is resigned to his fate until Hannah points out how undeserving he is to be a gay man. Gay men fight to be who they are. Remington will not. There is no shame in being gay. There is only shame in accepting a fate that does not belong to you.
Castro punctuates the significance of gay culture in the mainstream by finding the extraordinary within the conventionally ordinary. The movie lauds the struggle of gay men and underlines the importance of self-acceptance during times of socially acceptable hate for the LGBTQ. The real curse wouldn't be living as a gay man; it would be living without authenticity.
Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings
Directed by Jade Castro
Produced by Origin8 Media
In Tagalog and English, with English and Tagalog subtitles