Verdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.03 (45 ratings)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Marlon Rivera

Writer: Chris Martinez

Cast:  Eugene Domingo, JM De Guzman, Kean Cipriano, Cai Cortez

Synopsis: Three would-be filmmakers are trying to produce the film that will send them to festivals abroad. As they deal with the pressures of pre-production, they imagine various versions of their film: from poverty porn, to musical, to mainstream spectacular. (From Philbert Dy’s review)

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Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0    Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is at once entertaining and revelatory on a sometimes-nurturing, sometimes-cutthroat film industry. The shifts between light comedy and ferocious satire, however, ensure that we will never be too sure about this perspective we are afforded. One thing is certain, when a self-referential film like this gets made, it’s a sure sign that indie filmmaking in the country is alive and well.  When it’s as well-made as this, it is no longer just homage, but a legitimate film standing on its own.” (Read full review)

5.0    Jessica Zafra

“Everything we’ve always wanted to say about poverty porn—movies, mostly independently-produced, which focus on the squalor and desperation of the underclass in Philippine society—is encapsulated in Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, the story of young filmmakers making an ‘authentic’ ‘social realist’ film that they hope will win Oscars (Note multiple ironies in that sentence). Except that the movie says it visually, hilariously, and better.” (Read full review)

5.0    Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“The whole movie is brilliantly conceived by Chris Martinez and superbly executed by debuting director Marlon Rivera. They really know what viewers will find funny then they deliver their jokes with perfect comic timing.” (Read full review)

5.0    Ria Limjap (Spot.ph)

Babae is smart and well-observed, it’s witty and wonderfully detailed—but best of all, it is so much fun to watch.” (Read full review)

5.0    Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“The script by Chris Martinez and the direction of Marlon Rivera with Eugene Domingo’s comic timing and caliber as a dramatic actress made Ang Babae sa Septic Tank a witty critique of some of Philippine cinema’s bane of existence-those things a lot of us were enraged about, but can only do so much.” (Read full review)

5.0    Mistervader

“Laughs and meta-commentary plus a bit of musical flavor on top of everything. This film had it all, and the fact that the indie filmmakers welcomed a deconstruction of this nature with open arms can only bring hope that the Philippine indie film community is growing up beyond the dreary morass it has been initially.” (Read full review)

5.0    Ariane Astorga (Candid Headlines)

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is definitely one of the wittiest comedies I’ve ever seen. What may otherwise come out as a boring subject has been turned into a laugh out loud masterpiece.” (Read full review)

5.0    Isabelle Sarah (The Toss Coin Paradox)

However, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank has more than what meets the eye. It valued substance and content more than aesthetics, without sacrificing it.” (Read full review)

5.0    Jonnah D. (Sisyphean Dreams)

“The script and editing were flawless and beautifully relayed through the cinematography. The ending was heartbreaking, unexpected and brilliant.” (Read full review)

5.0    Taking a Break

” I’ve never seen a parody pulled off as successfully as Ang Babae sa Septic Tank was able to. The people who watched the film with us were howling with laughter at the right parts–and keeping quiet at the parts where one is forced to wonder about the state of cinema in the Philippines–especially in the “indie” world where we escaped the trappings of commercialism, only to be trapped by a new set of conventions that shouldn’t exist in the first place.” (Read full review)

5.0    Ihcahieh

“Hands down, the best movie I have seen this year. EUGENE DOMINGO SHOULD WIN AN ACTING AWARD for this one.” (Read full review)

4.5    Wilfred Cabrera (Me Likes Art)

“At the end of the day, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is nothing more but an hour-and-a-half-long execution of style and ideas with concrete narrative sacrificed in the process. Depending on how one looks at it, this might not necessarily be a bad thing. It is still a tremendously funny Filipino film, and like Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, Babae seems to have thrown away any concerns of plot in order to accomplish an objective, in its case, to mock the very things that define its entirety.” (Read full review)

4.5    Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“Marlon Rivera’s Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is a high wire act of film making. It’s perceptive and hilarious in ways too far removed from the usual Pinoy comedy. It playfully runs rings around human folly where boundless ambition is held up to scorn and ridicule. In fact, this is one work that elevates local humor to greater heights.” (Read full review)

4.5    Mental Clutter

“Chris Martinez nailed it. He did it in a comical way, but there is truth behind the funny business. The story is simple; the dialogue is funny, casual yet intelligent.” (Read full review)

4.5    Reymundo Salao (Bukisa)

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is actually a brilliant, thought-provoking satire of the current Indie Film Industry & the hypocrisy in the minds of those who only wish to become Film Festival Superstars.” (Read full review)

4.0    Don Jaucian (Pelikula Tumblr)

“But despite the numerous gags and witty one-liners you know it has something to say about independent cinema and filmmaking itself that makes you uncomfortable your only resort is to laugh at it.” (Read full review)

4.0    Rob San Miguel (The Chair)

“Mahirap hindi mahalin ang pelikulang ito. Siguro dahil may talas ang mga pagbibiro pero sinsaksak lamang tayo sa likod at hindi harapan. Pinoy na pinoy. Para bang kinutkutya ka pero nakikisalo ka rin sa tawanan.  Nakatulong rin ang mahusay na pagganap ni Eugene Domingo, isang pagganap na tumatawid sa lubid ng katotohanan at katatawanan. Kahit mismong si Bb. Domingo ay kinutya ang sarili.” (Read full review)

4.0    Nicol Latayan (Back to the Frying Pan)

“This is not your typical slapstick comedy film that will make you laugh out loud scene after scene. If anything, this capitalized on the writing and the treatment that the film used to bring the laughs. Chris Martinez proved once again that given the right material, he’ll definitely do aces.” (Read full review)

4.0    Pinoy Movie Blog

“The transition from Eugene Domingo, Cherry Pie Picache and Mercedes Cabral, all thought to be playing the role of Mila was one of the best parts in the movie.” (Read full review)

4.0    Jam Sta. Cruz (Pinoy Pop Biz)

“(Domingo) was nothing but amazing in this flick! The versatility of her acting prowess showed everyone just how she is a force to be reckoned with.” (Read full review)

3.5    Libay Cantor (Leaflens Takilya)

“But after that, after the laughs, after the critique, what do you take home? Sadly, with Septic Tank, nothing much, as well. And this is where it gets alienating for most, if not all, who have seen this and who do not inhabit this crazy yet wonderful world of media and filmmaking.” (Read full review)

3.5    Carl Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“The movie without a doubt is extremely funny.  I cannot remember when was the last time that I laughed this hard, much so for a Filipino comedy film which comes at rarity.  Eugene Domingo was PERFECT for the role.  She was funny without even trying.” (Read full review)

3.5    Ian Urrutia (Pinoy Cinema)

“Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank is a smart, comedic satire on local independent cinema and the guerrilla filmmaking process that goes with it. It’s fun and engaging from start to finish, injecting film-within-the-film concept into mangled versions of Brocka-inspired neorealism, docudrama, third world musicale and afternoon soap opera.” (Read full review)

3.5    Rudolph Ian Alama (CineGang)

“From a neorealist docudrama, a musical, to a mainstream melodrama. The ability to reimagine into different genres is impressive but the running gag on indie cinema wears off.” (Read full review)

3.5     Andrew dela Serna (CineGang)

“The number of movie versions presented eventually bordered on tiresome and a few scenes downright gratuitous but the oddities and humor kept the audience appreciative.” (Read full review)

3.5    Forg Files

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank is a truly enjoyable film but not without its flaws. It could have improved on some areas of the story or could have lessened the inside jokes (it became self-indulgent) but this was Eugene’s show and her performance alone is worth the ticket.” (Read full review)

3.0    Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“With its brave and seamless sense of humor, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank is a sure crowd-pleaser. However, let not its comedic machinations be mistakenly considered as the summation of the bigger, more complex and more beautiful thing that is Philippine cinema.” (Read full review)

3.0    Manuel Pangaruy (IndioCine)

“Para sa mga tumatangkilik naman ng indie, isa nang lumang joke ang pelikula. Pihadong meron nang humirit nito dati (katulad ni Lourd de Veyra). Siguro kung napanindigan nito ang dark comedy na sa dulo lang lumutang, baka mas seryosohin ko ang joke. Sa kaso ni Eugene Domingo, wala namang kokontra na s’ya lang ang maaaring maka-pull off ng ganitong materyal.” (Read full review)

2.5    Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“There’s no disputing that Ang Babae sa Septic Tank has many funny things in it, but I think it started from the wrong place. Most of the film is only concerned with ridicule, mocking and dismissing an entire movement as pretentious and pointless. It’s reductive and more than a little unfair. But the real problem here is that there’s no point beyond the ridicule. There’s no story to ground the satire, and no momentum to link everything together. There’s still a lot of talent clearly on display, but in the end, I just don’t think it holds together as a film.” (Read full review)

2.0    Richard Bolisay (Lagarista)

“Almost every review written about Septic Tank emphasizes the laugh-out-loud nature of the film, and yes, it’s that type of movie. However, what’s missing from these reviews is the profession of tolerance for the clumsy gaps between the gags. For instance, before marveling at the sight of Eugene Domingo at her luxurious house, the audience has to suffer from the utter shoddiness of a musical number first.” (Read full review)

Capsules:

5.0    Json Javier (Cinephiles)

“It may not be perfect but it’s a brutal, fearless, and brilliant take on the current indie filmmaking scene. Eugene Domingo is in top form. Everything related to Pinoy indie did not go unscathed.”

5.0    Nico Quejano (Cinephiles)

“Dahil lang ang tapang nung gumawa na tirahin mga pelikula na yung iba ay galing din sa festival kung saan siya kasali. To quote the director from Venice ‘ganda. ganda. ganda.’”

4.5    Johnny Jepp (Cinephiles)

“Nakakatawa sobra. Nakikita ko yung pagka festival whores nung rekdi at nung ep. :)”

4.5    Mayk Juat (Cinephiles)

“A good laugh, love yung mga patama niya sa indie filmmaking.”

4.0    Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“I’ll make a bold prediction and say this will become a Pinoy comedy classic. Not because it’s a perfect film but because of the import and relevance of the stuff that it lampoons – poverty porn, which has become the bread and butter of Filipino festival darlings over the past decade.”

4.0    Renelson Morales (Cinephiles)

“Galing ng pelikula. Astig si Eugene Domingo dito. Bagay din kina Kean at JM yun mga characters nila. Sayang medyo nag-lag yung pelikula dun sa “musical” part. Pero di mahirap na di magustuhan yun pelikula.”

3.5    Lyndon Maburaot (Cinephiles)

“Laughfest, yeah, but it keeps there inside, behind the door once you go out.”

3.5    Sanriel Ajero (Another Sani Day)

“Just effortless and irresistible. My fave Martinez piece since uhm Bikini Open siguro. Just the thought of TV Patrol acting makes me smile :)”

3.5    Arsenio Tan Liao (Cinephiles)

“Aliw lang siya, pero on second viewing, hindi na ako masyadong makatawa sa over-the top performance ni Uge.”

3.0    Fidel Medel (Pixelated Popcorn)

“I thought Isda is funnier than Septic Tank. It lacks comedic timing for the most part, but i like how it mocked and poked fun at the indie filmmaking machine.”

3.0    Jay-r Trinidad (Cinephiles)

“Oks lang siya sa kin. Hindi ko lang siguro gusto yung takbo ng storya (re: yung director and producer with another filmmaker na naka-hit sa ibang bansa). Medyo nakakalungkot lang yung naging treatment nila.

2.5    Paolo Barazon (Cinephiles)

“Two things:– Between this and Here Comes the Bride, I’d rather have Here Comes the Bride. Mas na-enjoy ko yun kesa sa Septic Tank– Having said that, the real winner in Septic Tank is Eugene Domingo. Watching her performance is the real gem in the movie.”

1.5    Jethro Koon (Cinephiles)

“Ni hindi man lang ‘entertaining’. Gusto ko lang yung parte ni Jonathan Tadioan at yung TV Patrol ni Eugene.”

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