Absurd Melancholies in Jun Lana’s Mag-Ingat Ka Sa . . . Kulam (2008) November 24, 2008Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Noypi.
“Kill her, quick!”
English Title: Beware of . . . Voodoo
Written and directed by Jun Lana
Cast: Judy Ann Santos, Dennis Trillo, TJ Trinidad
These trying times, what could be more unfortunate than to sit through a film whose horror is too laminated to be considered scary, as in the tradition of bad luck and laziness, a bad horror becomes funny which Mag-ingat Ka Sa . . . Kulam succeeds in doing, what’s with the ellipsis, the first casualty to bully, will it matter if there are four periods instead of three, or if Mother Lily retains the original title rather than adding the first three words, probably, to bless it with holy water to shoo the evil spirits, too bad it worked the other way around because it took Lana years to finish it, what with the cursed production, the continuity gaffes, the scantiness of vision and many other privations that even the pirated DVD failed to disguise, or at least diminish through the sloppy recording, in fact it is amazing how it retained the bad aspects of the film and not the good, piracy is too honest to the bone, and hits us why we haven’t moved on with the idea of darkness, how it gives birth to evil, and still be surprised that it is in light where everything evil happens, look around you, look around the world, it is embraced by light yet people are as corrupt as ever, it starts with the scarefest in the second sequence, imagine second sequence, even the first sequence has no effort to insinuate, it is there in your face, the blood, the fear, the accident where the mystery will spring forth, only the mystery is not really a mystery but a recycled mystery so there is nothing really mysterious about it, Lana forgets the virtue of pacing, aside from proper continuity of course, you can feel how exasperated he is just to finish it, well then he did, and it even fared exceptionally in the box-office, Rated A (for awful) by the CEB, what more could he wish for a third feature film, except that there is something better to expect from a Palanca Hall of Famer, given it’s in writing, but still, he could’ve done better, how he cements the truth that making ugly films pays a lot better than making good ones, and I mean it monetarily, imagine the zeroes in the checks of Cathy Garcia-Molina, Mac Alejandre, Tony Reyes, Uro dela Cruz, Joel Lamangan etc., and ask yourself, what could possibly be the consolation of doing good films in the Philippines? don’t shout art for Christ’s sake, art cannot feed empty stomachs, and art is never free, it costs 120 pesos in SM, 140 in Glorietta, and 190 in Greenbelt, or if you’re more adventurous, the semen-filled seats in Recto are cheaper, but then the crux of the matter is how long should we suffer? how long should the studios be informed of their deception, of their mistaken idea of public trust, of the moviegoers’ sensibility? nothing has been more precise to describe what I’m feeling than when Juday shouts to her imbecile husband, “hindi ko na alam kung anong nangyayari!” and I answered, out of sheer necessity, like she could hear what I’m saying and she would react to it, “kami rin!” sadly she didn’t, she ignored me, I’m a fan, listen to me, but then I’m just a fan, blinded by my own desperation to see a comforting piece of pleasure from local flicks despite the absence of such hope, in my room of absurd melancholies this hope is soon to last.