By CYRIL ANNE DAYAO
There is a mystery that has been puzzling the people in the colorful town of Lucban, Quezon. A serial killer is on the loose and the succession of events clearly shows who the targets are. In the midst of this chaos, Remington (played by Martin Escudero) discovers something about himself and develops a fear of the unknown.
Dubbed as the country’s first zombie comedy film (directed by Jade Castro; written by Raymond Lee, Michiko Yamamoto, and Jade Castro), “Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington” is a story of a young man who is being haunted by his gay-taunting past. As a child, Remington was fond of ridiculing gay people he encountered as he kept on calling them names. Until one day, he met a gay grieving in a cemetery (played by Roderick Paulate), who got mad at the mocking and cursed that Remington will also be gay when he grows up.
No semblance of homosexuality would be seen in Remington as he is the typical macho slacker who either spends his day doing nothing or drinking lambanog with his neighbors. As the straight guy that he is, Remington is head over heels for a girl named Hannah (played by Lauren Young), who just got back in town. But one night, an assault from an unidentified creature changed Remington’s life as he felt that he is turning into someone else.
The shaved legs, the tight girly shirts, the gay lingo, Remington is transforming by the day. He became fond of looking at guys, and eventually develops an attraction to his best friend Jigs (played by Kerbie Zamora). And by turning gay, he worried that he would be a target of the serial killer.
But Remington had other worries; how will he be back to his natural self?
Remington may have been cursed to be gay, but the film Zombadings showed that being homosexual is not a bad thing. It is worth noting that despite the obvious changes in him, the people around him still treated him the same way. His life even became more colorful with his new-found personality, undeniably something that comes with being gay.
After some speculations on his gender, it is touching to see how Remington’s parents (played by Janice de Belen and John Regala) understood the bizarre occurrence and did what they had to for their son. Indeed an ideal scene, as sympathy is rarely seen in a situation as such.
In a rather traditional society like ours, there are still people who detest the existence of gay people. It may not be highlighted in the news, but the worst kind of aversion does exist in the form of hate crimes on the group.
Zombadings had take on this issue in a lighter way in the form of a mysterious equipment that serves as a gaydar. In the film, a homophobe (played by Daniel Fernando) once delivered his speech regarding his hatred for the gay community, but his talk was drowned by the celebration in the town. The particular scene spoke much about putting an end to the age-old ridicule on gay people.
Era of Empowerment
At some point in the film, the slain gays collectively rose from their graves to take revenge on their killer. In reality, vengeance might be such an intense concept to be associated with the gay community. But a thing that the film proved is that gay people will always fight, as experience has taught them to be strong.
At a time when gay lingo could be heard being spoken by people from almost all walks of life, Zombadings perfectly hits the spot. The film celebrates the gay community which certainly has been influential in contemporary culture. And underneath all the comedic timing lies an important message that encourages acceptance and understanding.