Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.73 (52 ratings)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Jade Castro

Writers: Raymond Lee, Jade Castro, Michiko Yamamoto

Cast: Martin Escudero, Lauren Young, Kerbie Zamora, Roderick Paulate, John Regala, Eugene Domingo, Janice de Belen, Mailes Kanapi, Nar Cabico, Daniel Fernando, Leandro Baldemor, Odette Khan

Synopsis: Remington is in love with Hannah but she finds him lazy and uncouth. Then he starts to change. Suddenly he is becoming neater, nicer, more sensitive. Is he doing it for her? Or is something beyond his control changing him into someone he is not?

He discovers that his gradual transformation is tied to something he did long ago, to childhood transgressions and curses uttered in graveyards. Hannah falls for the new and improved Remington. But he starts falling for someone else.

As the ghosts of Remington’s past come to haunt him, so do the Zombadings. Undead and fabulous, they threaten to rock this sleepy town to death. (From Click the City)

Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0    Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“But even with the sloppy third act, the film remains one of the smartest and most subversive takes on the gay Filipino experience in the history of our cinema. It’s easy enough to say that a film is good, but Zombadings might be something more than that. I think it deserves to be called important, and it ought to be required viewing for any Filipino film lover.” (Read full review)

5.0    Ria Limjap (Spot.ph)

“The excellent screenplay is imaginative and fun but also underscores real human relationships, mostly awkward and sometimes taboo.” (Read full review)

5.0    Jason Domantay (Yahoo Philippines)

“I will dare say that Martin Escudero gets the role of a lifetime in Zombadings… In the hands of a lesser actor, this character could easily just have turned into a tacky and self-conscious boy. But Escudero played it so well that he made the most out his character’s fear, confusion and vulnerabilities.” (Read full review)

5.0    Joycie Alegre (Philippine Star)

Zombadings is a comic horror fantasy that resonates with symbols and motifs of contemporary pop culture, Filipino myth, classic fairy tale and folk knowledge played up as a syncretic postmodern melange in a simple script of multi-layered plots and character narratives. There is truth in its wholesome and entertaining way of telling the story of Remington, the naughty boy who made derogatory fun of gays. ” (Read full review)

5.0    Reel Advice

Zombadings is crazy, insane and ludicrous at times and these are the same reasons it is so damn good. What we really liked about Zombadings is that it never takes itself too seriously.” (Read full review)

5.0    Jowanna Bueser (blogger)

“(Martin Escudero’s) transformation from man to manash is hilarious. The Starstruck alumnus hit all the fabulous notes from realizing his shaved armpits, to donning a purple tee and to delivering rapid-fire bekimon language.” (Read full review)

5.0    Bobet Bagundang (Denouements)

“These and many moral cruxes are passed-down to the audience that would go unnoticed with lesser attention, just as how humor is placed all over the film, they are handled with ease and on right cue.” (Read full review)

5.0   Reymundo Salao (Bukisa)

“The movie is an uproarious modern-day parable that imparts timely lessons on respecting your neighbors, no matter how different – or strange – they may be. Even more startlingly insightful is the film’s assertion that fear and laziness are inextricably linked to prejudice. If the youth are to be the country’s hope as they should be, then something, someone, even zombies if that’s what it will take, must shake them out of their stupor and start really living and feeling again.” (Read full review)

5.0    Mistervader

“For a comedy film that was meant to play on stereotypical tropes, Zombadings is a very deep and introspective look into the state of being for the homosexual. That the small town is almost wholly accepting of homosexuality, albeit with the immature perception that it’s because gays are funny and beauticians, was enhanced by the diversity of the gay characters in the film, even if they were being stereotypes.” (Read full review)

4.5    Eduardo Dayao (Piling Piling Pelikula)

“Zombie screwball should cover it if you feel the need to wrap a code around Zombadings, the way it runs on the same odd tracks as both the lowbrow tomfoolery of Chiquito movies and the affectionate B movie crudities of Sam Raimi…” (Read full review)

4.5    Pinoy Movie Blog

“Remington’s character transformation was superbly executed and I believe Mart Escudero is going to give other local actors a run for their money!” (Read full review)

4.0    Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“Despite having a story where crazy-looking gaydars, rollerblading widows, vengeful drag queens, homophobic serial killers and the titular gay zombies miraculously cohere, Zombadings is actually very intelligently and carefully conceived and crafted.” (Read full review)

4.0    Fidel Medel (Pixelated Popcorn)

“The effective mix of absurdist humor, risqué jokes, mischievous fun, and pure camp will make Zombadings the breakout comedy of the year. Of all the comedies I’ve seen in the last couple of years, I laughed the hardest and cheered the loudest while watching Zombadings. It’s an instant favorite!” (Read full review)

4.0    Don Jaucian (Pelikula)

“Martin Escudero owns Zombadings. When he emerges out of their house wearing an ultra-tight blouse with the words “Hot Girl” on it, he sashays like a newly outed gay dude who just discovered the delights the world has to offer.” (Read full review)

4.0    Rex Baylon (VCinema)

“All of these plot developments could have easily rendered Zombadings as cheap camp, but the queer themes that writer/producer Raymond Lee, writer/director Jade Castro, and award-winning screenwriter Michiko Yamamoto play around with in their film are utilized to tell a really simple and sweet love story.” (Read full review)

4.0    Rob San Miguel (The Chair)

The movie is noble in its approach that it touches the deepest in us, so deep, it touches there. But it also makes us laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine. The movie may have its flaws but it is the flaws that make us all beautiful.” (Read full review)

4.0    Wilfred Cabrera (Me Likes Art)

“But everything would not have been half as funny without Mart Escudero who is, without a doubt, a stunning revelation here. A likeable actor in a likeable role, he proves his worth by portraying Remington without any signs of personal inhibition prevalent among young mainstream actors nowadays.” (Read full review)

4.0    Rudolph Ian Alama (Cinegang)

“The appearance of zombies, said to be the film’s centerpiece proves to be a near dud nearly bringing it to the grave (the novelty of gay zombies quickly wears off). But John Regala is back to save the film with a touching performance (which reminds you that he was a damn good actor back in his younger days), stealing a pivotal scene from the newcomer Mart.” (Read full review)

4.0    Carl Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“The main asset of the film for me, other than the fact that it was funnily and superbly written, was Martin Escudero who headlined the movie. He seems not scared of the role compared to other young actors who seem grossed out playing a gay role.” (Read full review)

4.0    Cinerama Etcetera

“What I loved about Zombadings was that despite having a farfetched premise, it had appeal as it reflected society. It subtly shifted the focus to the issues of the members of the third sex, how some people sometimes equate bring gay or having a gay family member as a curse, the struggles that gays have to face in order to gain acceptance, and the ridicule they endure from those who do not understand them.” (Read full review)

4.0    Film Steak

Zombadings plays with true-blue flamboyance. Quips and jokes are dished out naturally, the story’s pacing is fast, and the cinematography is colorful despite being an indie film.” (Read full review)

4.0    Mental Clutter

” It is deemed worth of praise as being a response to how it is to be gay, or for that matter, considered ‘unusual’, without having to reach gay porn levels. They’ve created a well-seasoned comedy with social relevance that appeals to any age or social group.” (Read full review)

4.0    Ariane Astorga (Candid Headlines)

“The movie is very easy to enjoy. You don’t have to be uber intellectual or artsy to appreciate it. There are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, as well as choice sequences where you’ll cringe a little but still laugh in the process. (Read full review)

3.5    Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“Told in brisk fashion, Zombadings is clearly a metaphor on the bigotry that befalls the third sex and how the latter will eventually get their ascendancy in the scheme of things. After all, discrimination is injustice and a movement (i.e. a form of ‘uprising’), as the movie implies, would find its way in a rightful society…” (Read full review)

3.5    Mihk Vergara (Lagarista)

“The comedy and fantastical horror elements serve to make all the characters’ conflicts purely believable.  When everything else is so batshit crazy, emotions tend to pop in a way that doesn’t seem forced or manufactured.” (Read full review)

3.5    Manuel Pangaruy (IndioCine)

“Una, pwedeng pwede itong zombie film. Sa katunayan, may natatandaan ba kayong zombie film na nagpaliwanag pa kung bakit muling nabuhay ang mga patay? Dito, merong back story. Ikalawa, pwedeng magpaka-artsy ang take mo. Panoorin ito dahil napakahusay ni Mart Escudero rito.” (Read full review)

3.5    Taking a Break

“That’s one of the things I learned in writing for an audience. When you’re forced to write fluff, or you have a really illogical plot point, you write it in a way that people wouldn’t think it’s fluff. Make it either extremely dramatic (if that’s what your audience wants) or make it really funny. Zombadings 1 opted for the funny.” (Read full review)

3.5    Renz Bulseco (CineGang)

“(O)ne might have the difficulty of catching up with the development of the characters, especially with Roderick Paulate’s. The first 20 minutes was actually the highlight of the movie but the excitement goes down until the end of the movie.” (Read full review)

3.0    Tito Genova Valiente (Business Mirror)

“The whole thing is crazy in this film. Which is not far-fetched because the whole thing is crazy in our island republic. If audiences are loving Zombadings, it is because the film is telling the stories around as they are: demented, delectable, debatable.” (Read full review)

3.0    Nel Costales (Sine Patrol)

“My main complaint with the film is not the gay issues but its extremely populist mentality. It tries very hard to please every movie fan out there that it ended up being a pastiche. There are bits of Zsazsa Zaturnnah here, a beefcake shot there, and a handful of fright scenes spread across the film. The gags are so diverse that it looks like they are mere outputs of an all-night drinking party.” (Read full review)

3.0    Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

Zombadings knows what it wants and pursues it. It feels retro (with the 80s and 90s actors and all) and mainstream at the same time (the narrative suffers from convention) but is still otherwise funny. And yes, there’s a moral lesson on the sidelines, so there goes your genre movie with all its pros and cons.” (Read full review)

3.0    Carmela Lapeña (GMA News)

Zombadings is actually quite lovely, despite the gruesome zombies. Nothing can hide the beauty of the town, the acting is topnotch, the film itself is well-made. Still, I can’t help but wonder too much about things; for instance, how does the gaydargun work? Zombadings may be camp, but it is made somewhat inconsistent by the strange science fiction angle.” (Read full review)

3.0    Ihcahieh

“First of all let me join the bandwagon by saying that Escudero should be nominated for an acting award for his role in this movie. His transition from neighborhood bum to loud homosexual is so natural. There is no instance where it seems that he is faking it.” (Read full review)

3.0    Maria Jose (Cinegang)

“The best thing about the film, the real bright spot, was Mart Escudero’s acting.  He is the perfect actor as Remington and his facial expressions and mannerisms were perfect.  Even his delivery of lines, whether as a straight guy or as a gay, was flawless.” (Read full review)

2.5     Andrew dela Serna (Cinegang)

“The Zombadings’ inclusion in the movie title is forcibly justified in the grueling last 10-15 minutes, yet didn’t serve any real comedic purpose. The movie fizzles out during the ‘ultimate’ anti-climactic act of sacrifice — the poorly-handled resolution of the moral dilemma all but sent this movie falling straight (pun intended) into its own grave.” (Read full review)

2.0    Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“In the end, Remington is saved because, let’s face it, he’s straight, not really gay but was just cursed by a gay. So how can you say this film is pro-gay when it conveys nothing but negative inputs about gays? Gays are actually ridiculed and even portrayed as zombies “na mga salot sa lipunan”, so they should be killed.” (Read full review)

2.0    Libay Cantor (Leaflens Takilya)

Zombadings didn’t have that kind of camp sensibility to me because it felt more like it had a Star Cinema sensibility to it — a bad case of Star Cinema cookie-cutter formula pander-to-the-lowest-denominator type of comedy film which most of the time makes you want to slash your wrists because, even if it’s a comedy, IT AIN’T FUNNY.” (Read full review)

2.0    Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Plus, for all its gay-friendly intentions, the film’s ending was a copout. I wish it went full on subversive and ended with the protagonist embracing the joys of his new-found sexuality. Alas, it still adhered to society’s expectations that heterosexuality is the better option, and the movie predictably ended happily ever after, with a song and dance number at that.” (Read full review)

1.5    Rolando Tolentino (Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)

“Ang Zombadings ay mulat na camp, ito ay campy pero hindi camp.  Ang nangyari sa pagpapatingkad ng proyektong maging camp ay negation ng camp.  Walang irony o disjuncture sa dalawang pinagtatapat na mundo dahil naglapat ang pagpapatawa (intensyonalidad at resultang primaryo sa box-office) sa object ng pagpapatawa (ang kabadingan).” (Read full review)

1.5    Regnard Raquedan (Screen Sucked)

“Martin Escudero as Remington does his darned best to be convincing and funny as a straight guy metamorphosing into a homosexual man, but he is working against a material that doesn’t seem to know where it wants to go. There are laugh-out-loud moments but they are sparse, and I mean very sparse.” (Read full review)

1.0    Michael David Tan (Outrage Magazine)

“In a line, the film provides mainly heterosexual people a chance to make fun of – or even ridicule – gay men.” (Read full review)

Capsules:

5.0    Epoy Deyto (Kawts Kamote)

“Alam ko maaga pa at hindi ko pa napapanuod ang Wedding Tayo, Rakenrol, at iba pang Pinoy films na inilabas at ilalabas pa lang, pero masasabi ko na: Zombadings is not the best comedy of the year…….it’s more than that. ZOMBADINGS IS THE BEST FILM OF THE YEAR!!!! (so far) ;)”

5.0    Nico Quejano (Cinephiles)

“Mahusay! Walang nasayang sa pelikula.”

4.0    Ian Urrutia (Pinoy Cinema)

Zombadings 1 Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington is poised to be this year’s break-out indie hit: an oddball of a camp romp that pays tribute to the absurdist comedies of the 90s, particularly the films that starred the now-revered gay icon, Roderick Paulate. While the film itself has its share of flaws and pretense, Zombadings is just as powerful as it is controversial— one that might spark a divide on whether it backs an anti-gay stance or merely imposes a filmic reflection of society’s predatory nature against homosexuals.”

4.0    Renelson Morales (Cinephiles)

“It’s ironic to think that even if the film doesn’t in any way attempt to cross the line of being vulgar and crass, in not a few moments the mood feels like a “disciplined” John Waters. I think it won’t be an overstatement to say that if ever we would rewatch Zombadings, we would always find something fresh in Mart Escudero’s portrayal. His portrayal is a small gem.”

4.0    Sanriel Ajero (Another Sani Day)

“Wild crazy flawed unapologetic fun funny award (and in 35mm!) Last third kinda dragged and lagged pero kebs, tawang tawa ako e. Haha.”

4.0    Arsenio Tan Liao (Cinephiles)

“Hilarious. Mart Escudero is such a revelation!”

3.5    Adrian Mendizabal (Auditoire)

“It was funny.”

3.0    Lyndon Maburaot (Cinephiles)

“Too mainstream. Nothing new. Revelation performance from the lead though.”

3.0    Princess Kinoc (Cinephiles)

“It was a bit fast paced. Galing ni John Regala. Pati si Martin Escudero, ang charotera magaling palang mag-acting nitech!”

2.0    Json Javier (Cinephiles)

“I love the cheesiness of 80’s flicks but the recycled jokes just didn’t work for me. And maybe I just got so used to hearing gay lingo that it’s no longer funny. Mart Escudero though was a revelation and probably delivered the best performance by an actor in a local film this year.”