Horror film ‘Don Filipo’ gives a fresh take on LGBT-themed movies

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2021 05:55 PM

LGBT-themed horror film Don Filipo is led by actors Luis Padilla and Adrian Arias
LGBT-themed horror film Don Filipo is led by actors Luis Padilla and Adrian Arias. Handout

MANILA -- One of this year’s Cinemalaya’s feature films, "Don Filipo," offers a deviation from typical Pinoy LGBT-themed productions that focuses on love stories -- by putting the community in a horror-filled context. 

While still featuring an LGBT concept, “Don Filipo” is about a remote village that is gripped with fear as its residents go missing one by one. When a young nurse arrives to care for an ailing Don Filipo, the film’s viewers are left wondering if he will be the next victim. 

In a virtual press conference, director Tim Muñoz revealed that it was his intention to give a different take on how issues of the queer community are being used on movies. 

“Uso ngayon mga BL, pa-cute. So naisip ko para maiba naman, ilagay natin sa horror setting. Ta's lagyan natin ng element ng BL on the side. Gusto ko lang ng maibang timpla from what we always watch,” he said. 

Muñoz said it was a “passion” project for him as he produced the film using his own money. 

According to him, while Filipinos are becoming more accepting of LGBTs, many still have a shallow perception on LGBT culture. 

“Nandoon pa lang tayo sa Vice Ganda [na] comedy. Ang mga bading sa Pilipinas, pang comedy. 'Pag gusto mo magpatawa, magpapatawa ang mga bakla sayo. [But] there's more to that,” the director explained. 

“Ang daming aspects ng LGBT culture and personality na pwedeng i-explore. Gusto ko lang magbigay ng ibang aspects na hindi lahat ng bading parlorista o nagpapatawa lagi.”

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To deliver effective ways of scaring the audience, he said he studied the elements and techniques used in hit horror movies like “Annabelle” and “Conjuring” 

“Tinitingnan ko 'yung mga techniques nila kung paano sila manggulat, paano sila manakot. More or less, nailagay ko rin 'yung mga nakikita kong elements dito sa 'Don Filipo' 'yung mga paraan paano silang manggulat,” he added. 

"Don Filipo" stars Luis Padilla, Adrian Arias, Rap Robes, Megan Sharpe, Steven Eduard Yu, Gaye Piccio, JM Martinez, Beverly Benny, Dindeth Ditablan, Nanette Gamboa, Yuri Ladrero, Yoh Buenaventura, Naomi Christine Gamboa, Aaron Javier, Justine Suan and Potinairs Vicente.

“Don Filipino,” along with “Lockdown” by Joel Lamangan, “Kintsugi” by Lawrence Fajardo, and “ECQ Diary (Bawal Lumabas)” by Arlyn dela Cruz Bernal, are the four full-length feature films being shown under the Indie Nation section of this year's Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, which runs until September 5 on KTX.ph.