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28 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Disturbing and Original

Author: pj75pj75 from United States
26 November 2007

This is a truly disturbing and beautifully made piece of cinema that definitely goes places where other films fear to tread.

Those wishing to gawp at another cheesy exploiter will probably not find much to enjoy here. There are exploitative elements aplenty, but they're not simply thrown in for cheap thrills. This is a film that delivers a powerful emotional punch if you're prepared to let it work its magic on you.

There was a cut and badly dubbed English version on the "gray market" a while back. Seeing this remastered, correctly framed version with the original soundtrack is like discovering the film for the first time.

Don't miss it.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Drama? Horror? Sexploitation?

Author: lastliberal from United States
30 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On one hand, this Philippine film is in the tradition of Alejandro Jodorowsky with it's surreal story. One can only guess what was in the minds of the producers of what can be described as a sexploitaion film with horror aspects.

It certainly has definite undertones of Jodorowsky's anti-religion message. With the priest gone from the village, it is left to Tonya (Maria Isabel Lopez) to teach religion to the children. She describes the appendage between a mans legs as the devil's horns. No, she is not a lesbian, she is frequently consumed by hot desires for Simon (Maria Isabel Lopez), the local stud, and rubs salt between her legs to reduce this.

Religion plays a large part at the end also when the villagers get absolution for the horrific crimes they committed, as if it never happened.

While the villagers are lining up against Tonya for her anti-male message, Selda (Sarsi Emmanuelle) returns to the village after a five-year exile and things heat up tremendously. Nothing is what it seems, and the viewer will be rewarded for hanging in there as explanations come slowly.

While you are waiting for them to come, there is ample flesh to keep you interested. It seems that Simon is desired by a lot of women and he accommodates them. He is not a "wham, bam, thank you mam" type either. Sex scenes include considerable foreplay and last longer than any I have seen outside an x-rated performance. According to Tonya, the men work all day and want sex at night, but the passion of the women in this film for sex suggests they are willing partners.

PETA members may find the opening slaying and gutting of the water buffalo to be a bit much, and the slaying of the animal towards the end is equally graphic. There is a long gang-rape at the end that may also be disturbing.

The music and cinematography were exquisite, especially if you opt to watch the subtitled version, rather than the dubbed one.

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11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Incredible, impossible to categorize "pink" film

Author: fertilecelluloid from Mountains of Madness
11 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This bold, incredible film is almost impossible to categorize, so I've refrained from reviewing it until now. I just don't know how to adequately convey its many charms. It has a harsh, brutal opening in which a buffalo receives repeated blows to the head and is carved up while traumatized children look on. Ten minutes later, we're feasting our eyes on hot Filipino women as our plot gets underway. In a small, impoverished village on the edge of the sea, the scorching hot Selda (Sarsi Emmanuelle) teaches the local children to live a chaste, sin-free life while barely resisting the carnal inquires of the local stud. Things get even hotter when Selda's old friend Tonya (the gorgeous Marie Isabelle Lopez) saunters into the village with her new boyfriend and ignites an erotic inferno of dormant lust and repressed anger. Director Elwood Perez and scripter Ricardo Lee have not created a film that is content to meet genre expectations. This stunning work references everything from the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky to Japanese pink cinema to Spain's "Who Could Kill A Child?" It is filled with surprises and is far more explicit that you would ever expect it to be. It is extremely erotic and brutal, yet it is also a sharp study of a fascinating sub-culture with very recognizable characters. Its seaside location is dazzling and its musical score (by Lutgardo Labad) is haunting and melodic. Original in every way and packing a punch right to the end.

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9 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

a taste of the Phillipines

Author: Scott from Modesto from the Berkeley Marina
24 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've seen this film described as ultra-violent and "nearly pornographic" by reviewers whose heads I'm sure have been firmly lodged up orifices of their body that rarely see sunlight. I've also heard it described as a Filipino equivalent of a pink film, which just makes very little sense--as if any movie that portrays taboo sexuality can be compared to a pink film. This is just not true. What we have here is a soft-core exploitation film, with occasional sexual violence, that somehow might be construed as some sort of social commentary on Filipino culture.

The story takes place in a small village that has obviously been swayed by Christian missionaries, especially the head brainwashee Tonya--who runs the little school--and her grandmother. There's this guy Simon who is the village meat guy and all the woman get lustful on him. Eventually Tonya's old friend Zelda shows up fresh from Manila where she prostituted herself and ended up with an American boyfriend. Well, Zelda succumbs to Simon's charms and Tonya is semi-seduced by Zelda's American boyfriend before her granny shows up, throws a fit, and shames her in front of the entire village.

What follows is the complete perversion of the puritanical Tonya, gang rape, mob justice, child killing, and other fun stuff. Is it pro-Christian? I'm guessing not, but it doesn't appear to espouse immorality either. My guess is this was just intended as a straight-up exploitation film with its soft-core sex depictions, vagina sanding, animal butchering, and sexualization of minors. I can't really describe how off the wall it was watching this. It was mostly a bore, but still interesting from a sociological (or perhaps anthropological) standpoint.

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13 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Death of virtue

Author: barwins from Philippines
29 June 2009

Story of ignorance very common in small isolated barrios in the Philippines. The movie however exaggerated the sexual orientation of the people.

Stars former Ms. Philippines, Ma. Isabel Lopez, including the soft-drink beauties of the late chief exploiter, Dr. Rey Dela Cruz who was murdered sometime in the '90s. It was so disappointing that Ms. Lopez, a UP graduate, used her beauty and brain to trash herself and the institution and country she used to represent.

This movie was produced during the era of the Experimental Cinema of the Philippine when some starlets in local show business were exploited to create sex-oriented movies. Marcos was still in power, and maybe this passed his approval to divert Filipinos from the worsening political and economic problems. Most of these experimental cinema allowed "pene" so don't be surprised if the there were actual "penetration" in this movie.

Produced by Elwood Perez and directed by Ricardo Lee. This experiment was definitely an on your face spit to the only Catholic nation in Asia.

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