Khavn De La Cruz  



Prolific, underground, low-budget film-maker and musician from the Philippines that often films his many whimsical shorts and movies in days. This is no Miike though, the rapid pace showing in the low quality and lack of content. Makes a wide variety of movies with an unusual look & feel, except that most are merely exploitation trash wrapped and presented in a pretentious bundle to appease the cult and arthouse crowds, using elements such as 'creative' B&W gritty cinematography, jarring or unusual soundtracks, weak attempts at social commentary, or some other distracting but useless gimmicks with touches of surreal or bizarre elements. He makes documentaries, short and movies that usually deal with the poor, extreme or trashy underbelly of society, often partying or singing in costumes, filming anything at a whim, from guerilla-style footage of kids in slums or cock-fights that is more mondo than documentary, to whimsical musicals, gore, kitschy horror or trashy, explicit sleaze. Reviewed until 2016.

Worthless

Desaparadiso  
This movie claims to be about the real-life disappearance of people during the reign of Marcos in the Philippines. It even features a 7-minute introduction combining some random documentary footage and titles explaining the history behind this phenomenon. So what is the movie going to be? A documentary? A historical drama? A satire? None of the above. There's 30 minutes of a family doing banal things at home while the brother 'disappears', accompanied by white noise and no dialogue. Then it switches to a completely different Jodorowsky-lite faily-tale 30-minute movie about a brother on a quest in an ancient magical forest having random adventures and dangerous encounters with magical creatures, soldiers and deformed dwarves, while a lady sings long folk songs. As usual with Khavn, whim overcomes content, leaving his audience scratching their heads.

EDSA XXX: Nothing Ever Changes in the Ever-Changing Republic of Ek-Ek-Ek  
Musical wacky sci-fi political satire, or at least that's what it thinks it is. 'Nigger Thunder' is the current hated president in the year 2030, and 'Three Eyes' is the up and coming leader loved by the people and the various freedom fighters. But will the country finally change for the better? This movie doesn't offer any insight or hit any marks, and is merely interested in setting up random scenes of colorful madness with people in insane costumes behaving as silly as possible and performing in dozens of trashy, kitschy and really bad musical numbers that seem to go on forever. Groups of people come and go with random names like 'Board of Bored Housewives', 'Midnyt Kabinet Videoke', and a 'Rizal Underground' populated by 'mermaids', and scenes include a drunken slapstick fight between some bums and a 'Basketbag Brigade' with cheap CGI splatter, as well as a flamenco dancer and a zombie, and a Virgin Mary statue-spaceship. This and much more is spliced with footage from the real 1986 mass protests, EDSA revolution and coup in the Philippines, which, rather than making a satirical point, only proves that Khavn is as far away from relevant social commentary as can possibly be.

Family That Eats Soil, The  
Bizarre Philippine movie that presumably is a commentary on the deterioration of modern society. The family unit that literally "eats soil together stays together" but everywhere, things are rotten. The teenage daughter imagines she's pregnant and ponders over which family member did it to her or why she can't eat soil, the teenage son is abusing and killing Chinese, a TV show talks only about sleaze and criminals and becomes so useless, the presenter starts babbling nonsense, there's a cult orgy, random surreal gore, violent cockfights, whores, drugs, a midget that pretends to be the baby of the family, a naked girl that acts as if she's being raped, a claymation sequence involving ketchupy rape and violence by soldiers, and other random oddities. Uninsightful sleaze.

Misericordia: The Last Mystery of Kristo Vampiro  
Endless and repetitive footage of processions of bleeding, self-flagellating Christians, re-enactments of Jesus carrying his cross surrounded by Romans, and cock-fights, including what happens to the losing roosters. This takes up most of the movie. On top of this footage, we get a narration by the 'Kristo Vampiro' who tells the story of how he started with cock-fights, became a vampire that preys on male and female prostitutes, and then how he becoma a Christ-figure, saving them from their misery. It's like a mondo with a disturbed man sharing his delusions, except it's a really bad, repetitive and boring mondo at that. Even Khavn got bored in the middle of the movie and wandered off to some footage of midget-fights and street-kids having fun.

Mondomanila, or: How I Fixed My Hair After a Rather Long Journey  
Another pointless parade of filth by Khavn. This one is like a street circus of various indigent freaks of Manila, from midgets with missing limbs that breakdance, to young boys that sell their bodies, a gay young man whose violent father tries to beat the gay out of him, to a pedophile Klan member, a chronic masturbator, an insane arsonist, various other immoral very young criminals, and so on. It takes 30 minutes just to introduce the many characters, then it's just a series of vignettes involving things like dismembering a midget for molesting a boy, a cat-fight with a fat landlord, peeking on a midget orgy, eating rats, a head-wound involving an insect, rants by various characters, silly street dance and singing, and other colorful but completely empty-minded scenes. A tedious watch, bookmarked by real news footage of a flood and violence, as if that will elevate this filth to social commentary.

3 Days of Darkness  
The gimmick in this post-apocalyptic movie is darkness. As in, half of the film is filmed in so much darkness that you can't quite make out what is happening, although sound, screaming and brief flashes allow you to see that it involves lots of girl talk, lesbian sex, and a splattery climax of some kind. A priest recommends an abortion and some youngsters party with warped screaming dissonant music and chicken-slaughter, right before the end of the world that flings the world into darkness. A trio of surviving slutty girls named after the three cultures that influenced Filipino culture, shack up in a house together, talk about their failed love lives and obsessions over guys, until the obvious centerpiece of this punishing and very unrewarding movie: A lengthy lesbian sex scene filmed in semi-darkness. It's all about the gimmicks. What about making an interesting movie for a change?

Vampire of Quezon City  
Mostly a series of scenes involving sexual and physical abuse backed by scattered, brainless minimal social commentary, and filmed in pretentious retro B&W. Some guy is raping Filipino girls with his penis as well as a crucifix for some cheap shock value, then disemboweling them. The narrative blabbers about how killing is easy once you get used to it, and about his various obsessions and plans for girls in Quezon City, while another dude shares his various theories about the murders with the camera, wavering between attributing it to a vampire/aswang, to blaming it on some sleazebag from the street and the state of society. The soundtrack consists of punishingly repetitive and dull organ music or noise, there is a surprise sodomy scene with some male intruder, graphic nun rape and abuse with semen, random abuse of an animal by a kid, and an abrupt ending in the middle of an undecipherable crisis as if the director got tired of the movie. Boring, empty-minded, time-wasting, lazy trash.




2000- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents