That night, Glenn goes missing – again! Marco and Nardo scamper to find him before it’s too late. They find him being sexually manipulated, seemingly lost in the chagrin of the nubile nymphs. The ritual was on-going; the boob-baring girls were chanting gibberish – a really messy incantation, swaying their bodies with discrepant hand movements. Will they get Glenn back before it’s all too late? Will Glenn suffer the fate of Carding?
|A walk into the woods.|
|"Pare, may mga chicks. Labas ang suso," remarks Marco when he sees bathing nymphas.|
I can only assume that Villafuerte's nymphs are analogous to our “diwata”. Villafuerte however tweaks the nature of these creatures. After all, his nymphas do not exactly "mate” and “make love” – they “fellate” their victims. They also love ogling at their victim’s back sides. Isn’t that very gay?
|Walter Arenio (as Glenn) and a friendly visitor|
|Alvin Duckert as Marco|
|Sarah Obama (as Estela) and Mia Henares (as Karen)|
|Honey Lopez as Rosario|
Alvin Duckert has a more ambitious part because he evolves into a totally different character in the epilogue (one of the cringe-worthy changes from the original story). Prettyboy Duckert is an enthusiastic actor. While his performance is better than bland, Duckert fails to imbue emotive heft so he comes off as superficial. And please, Alvin, stop dressing up as a woman ever again. It isn't a flattering sight. Masagwa! TJ Morello fares better with comfortable demeanor; his delivery isn’t snagged by doubt or irresolute action common among noobs.
Adriana Gomez makes her film debut here. While she occasionally suffers from tentative emotions, she doesn’t do so badly. She isn’t allowed to do much except look “queenly” – as Cecilia, the queen of the nymphs. These days, Gomez appears in one (bad) indie flick after the next. She could probably be among this year's busiest. Bench dela Torre, as Carding, is expectedly disrobed. In the scene after his sexual dalliance with Rosario, he is left completely naked in bed, his flaccid appendage plopping down his abdomen. Ooohlala indeed! J
Now let me turn to Chubi Manalo who turns in one of the hammiest performances this side of Jonas Gruet. He speaks like a 7 year old boy with Trisomy 21: monotone delivery, intonation that ignores syllabication and then there’s his speech deficiency – he lisps! And if that isn’t punishment enough, his lines are riddled with so much S’es – and if they were bullets, they’d have murdered him already. Check this out: “Di muna makapunta thi lolo kathi thinuthumpong thiya tha thakit ng paa. Thabi ng manggagamot, impothible daw ang pagkamatay nya, wala ngang dugo o thenyaleth na pinatay thiya.” That is a LOT of S’es for someone like dear Chubi. What I am saying here: a director who’s cognizant of the weaknesses of his actors would surely notice this and remedy the lines by finding substitute words that Chubi could properly deliver, instead of hurdling 13 S’es in his lines! Sigh. He is actually better off just bathing at the stream – sans speaking lines - since he adequately flaunts his engorged member under his wet undies better than he delivers lines. I am telling you, Chubi's had it more-than-adequately engorged! J
YES, MICHAEL, IT'S BAD
The script is slapdash and thoughtless. I ask again, how can cinematic plagiarism turn out so much worse than the original? In a scene where Glenn gets an unexpected visit from two nymphas, Cecilia catches her wards canoodling with the bathing Glenn. Cecilia shouts their names to call their attention: "Hasmin, Karen... halika kayo rito!" Then Glenn stands up and shouts back, "Sandali, anong pangalan nyo?" Every creature in the woodland could hear Cecilia, but Glenn. Someone needs a hearing aid! When they found Carding dead without finding blood or any sign of foul play, they thought this was impossible. Hence must be caused by supernatural beings? Huh? Haven't they heard of "bangungot" (a relatively common concept in barrios)? Or a heart condition? Or a myriad of medical conditions that don't manifest with physical signs?
If their lives were indeed in danger, wasn't it easier to just leave the darn place and go back to Manila? In Villafuerte's "Bahid", his characters similarly stay in a household that's gradually dropping like flies (there's a killer in this story), and I couldn't understand why they wouldn't just leave. You see, Villafuerte is so fixated by inscrutable weaknesses that are easily remediable. He constructs these problems - then gets stuck finding his way out of his own narrative dilemma. Wawa, debah? Villafuerte is also gravely inconsistent with his thoughts: the gist in this film is that nymphas seduce their victims then they die. But there were several scenes of seduction that didn't amount to anything, but an excuse to show the nymphs playing with their victim's joysticks. After all, these nymphs didn't like sexual intercourse. They prefer fellating their victims! How very inspired, right?
The big difference between the two flicks is: the plot has been tweaked to accommodate Villafuerte’s pedestrian homoerotic fantasies. 2012’s version turned gay! By doing so, it artistically crumbled because of ineptitude and film making incompetence. Then again – this clueless director believes he completed “another masterpiece”. These days, the term "masterpiece" has acquired new meaning, and it isn't "work of outstanding creativity". It's the extreme end of the artistic spectrum. Makes your skin crawl.
|Palawenos Alvin Duckert and Walter Arenio share company and a head-scratching plot twist.|
|Bench de la Torre|
|Bench de la Torre|
|Light moment with the cast.|
|A scene with Charles Delgado from 2010's "Sa Piling ng mga Nympha".|
|Tense moment with Charles Delgado in "Sa Piling ng mga Nympha".|