Produced by The IdeaFirst Company of Direk Jun Robles Lana and Perci Intalan, ANG MANANANGGAL SA UNIT 23B is set to re-write the story of one of the Philippine’s most famous mythical creature of the night.
The film is one of the 8 full-length feature finalists selected for this year’s Quezon City International Film Festival or QCinema which will be held on October 15 to 22.
Here’s the complete list of entrees:
- Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B (Prime Cruz, Jen Chuaunsu)
- Purgatoryo (Derick Cabrido, Denise O’Hara)
- Hinulid (Kristian Cordero)
- Gusto Kita With All My Hypothalamus (Dwein Baltazar)
- Women of the Weeping River (Sheron Dayoc)
- Baboy Halas (Bagane Fiola)
- Ang Lubong Ni Hesus (Victor Louie Villanueva, Fatrick Tabada)
- Best. Partee. Ever. (HF Yambao, Honee Alipio)
ANG MANANANGGAL SA UNIT 23B shares the story of a young woman named Jewel (Ryza Cenon) who leads a lonely life until she meets Nico (Martin Del Rosario), a broken-hearted young man. Then love blooms!
Yeah, Yeah that’s how it usually goes with Pinoy love story, but the film, unlike any ordinary love story has a very interesting complication – Nico is a man, emotionally torn but still a man, while Jewel is a monster, not figuratively, but a woman who tuns into a winged creature that prey on living flesh.
To make matters worst, her monstrous transformation is triggered by sexual urges or arousal. So imagine the predicament between the two. Both finally finds true love but, you’ll have to either kill or die in the process.
But more than the exciting plot, the team of direk Prime Cruz and writer-producer Jen Chuaunsu said that what’s really interestingly different about the movie is that for the first time, viewers are going to see everything from the point of view of the “manananggal” – she’s not going to be just a sidelight but she is going to be the centerpiece of the whole film and we (as viewers) are going to see the events through her eyes.
We’ve talked to direk Prime Cruz, Jen Chuaunsu and lead actress Ryza Cenon last Saturday to get a little more idea on what the movie is all about, here’s the video of our interview:
“ANG MANANANGGAL SA UNIT 23B is a RomGore – a romantic movie with an element of gore,” – Jen Chuaunsu
“What’s horrific about it, is (you see) a woman being torn in half… torn from her most powerful half, her sexual half.. it’s about how society perceives female sexuality and how it can be used as a weapon.” – Direk Prime Cruz
“College pa lang ako concept ko na siya, pag pinapanood ko yun mga manananggal movies, nako- curious ako ano yung kwento ng manananggal, kasi medyo kawawa sila e, mag-isa lang sila sa bahay, pinagtitinginan ng lahat…. siguro dahil nakaka-relate ako dun sa pagiging isolated nila,” – Direk Prime Cruz
There were some scenes in the movie that shows so-called victims of “extra-judicial killings” or dead mutilated bodies with notes that say “drug pusher, wag tularan” or something like that – but it was presumably the manananggal’s victims. It raised questions if the film is trying to convey some sort of socio-political statement. Here’s what direk Prime and Jen has to say about it.
“The movie is very current, napapanahon talaga siya… but there’s no big social message.” – Jen Chuaunsu
Direk Prime also noted that the scenes were actually a remedy to the story that just presented itself while making the film – disposing the victims of a manananggal would prove to be a big challenge when the the kill was done in an urban and heavily-populated setting. And thus, a cover-up was needed.
However, direk Prime also pointed out that the story of ANG MANANANGGAL SA UNIT 23B will definitely invite everyone to dig deep within themselves and ponder on what is GOOD and what is BAD.
Aside from Ryza Cenon and Martin Del Rosario, ANG MANANANGGAL SA UNIT 23B also features Cholo Barretto and character actress Vangie Labalan.
The film will have its gala premiere on October 15 to 22, 2016 at four mall venues: Trinoma, Gateway, Robinsons Galleria and UP Town Center.
Here’s the Teaser Trailer: