Abandoned by his American lover, a handsome teenager from the mountains journeys to Manila in an effort to support his family. With a popular call boy as his mentor, Paul enters the ... See full summary »
Abandoned by his American lover, a handsome teenager from the mountains journeys to Manila in an effort to support his family. With a popular call boy as his mentor, Paul enters the glittering world of male strippers, prostitution, drugs, sexual slavery, police corruption and murder. Teeming with sex and Asian beefcake, Macho Dancer is a searing indictment of the hypocrisy and police corruption rampant under both the Marcos and Aquino regimes. Written by
Strand releasing <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Abandoned by his American lover, a naive country boy (Alan Paule) seeks his fortune in Manila, where he's drawn into a world of erotic dancing, prostitution and drug running, leading to betrayal and murder.
Combining elements of melodrama and social commentary, MACHO DANCER marks a return to the subject of male prostitution for director Lino Brocka (MANILA: IN THE CLAWS OF NEON), who paints a picture of the Filippino sex industry as a dangerous arena, fuelled by drugs and police corruption, where innocent young men must compromise their virtue in an effort to stay alive. The densely plotted screenplay (co-written by Ricardo Lee and Amato Lacuesta) is filmed with genuine gusto, though Brocka fails to break any new ground on the subject (see also MIDNIGHT DANCERS and BURLESK KING, both directed by Mel Chionglo), and proceedings are stifled by Paule's amateurish performance as the gullible waif who struggles to keep his head while all around him are succumbing to the worst excesses of their unhappy lifestyle. More successful is ultra-sexy Daniel Fernando (star of Peque Gallaga's influential erotic drama SCORPIO NIGHTS) as a veteran 'macho dancer' whose association with a crooked police officer (Johnny Vicar) results in tragedy and horror, and Jacklyn Jose (YOUR WIFE, MY WIFE) as the stereotypical 'tart with a heart' who succumbs to Paule's dubious charms (yes, another 'gay' film in which the leading man falls for his leading lady!).
The running time is padded with lengthy excerpts from the various stage performances, in which naked young guys oil each other up and gyrate to synth music (Fernando's dance sequence with co-star William Lorenzo is worth the price of admission alone!), though the film's sexual content is fairly coy by western standards. Some of the dramatic sequences are allowed to overrun, and the climax is predictably ironic, but the narrative still packs something of an emotional wallop, and while production values are modest, the film's mixture of beefcake, sentimentality and violence is frankly irresistible.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?