Over the course of Filipino cinema, we’ve had Pinoy movie trends much like the superhero movie trend Holywood can’t get over right now. A lot of them are, for better or worse, no longer in vogue. Here is just a sampling of Pinoy movie trends (or non-trends) that no longer capture the fancy of people in 2018, and our musings as to why they no longer catch on.
8. Massacre Films
Examples: Vizconde Massacre: God Help Us, The Untold Story: Vizconde Massacre II – May the Lord Be With Us, The Myrna Diones Story: Lord, Have Mercy, The Kris Aquino Story – Jesus, Stop the Madness. One of these titles may or may not have been made up.
We’ve talked about massacre films before. The massacre film was a staple of the early ‘90s, making Kris Aquino a household name. It was an industry almost single-handedly started by Carlo J. Caparas, and one that inexplicably made a lot of money for its time, despite the fact that it was exploitative as heck, especially for criminal cases that were still ongoing at the time.
Why It’s No Longer Popular: In the wake of more sensitive portrayals of crime, such as the true crime documentary brought about by the likes of the podcast “Serial,” it should be easy to understand that Pinoys have turned their backs on something as exploitative as this, especially in 2018’s hyper-PC environment. Say what you will about people being oversensitive snowflakes nowadays, but we won’t be missing this film genre much anytime soon, which at least means the Filipino’s taste in entertainment has been elevated somewhat over time.
7. Sports Films
Examples: Shoot That Ball, Last Two Minutes, Tasya Pantasya.
Around the late ‘80s, the PBA was suddenly invaded by players who were not just known for their skill with the basketball, but their good looks as well. Alvin Patrimonio led the charge for this trend, and made for a bunch of cornball films with stilted acting and box office success. Prior to that, Tito, Vic, and Joey also had success with their own basketball flick, “Shoot That Ball.” Then Kris Aquino tied all of this up in a neat bow by starring alongside a few basketball players in “Tasya Pantasya.”
Why It’s No Longer Popular: Who knew ballers can’t act, right? With the possible exception of Benjie Paras (no, Bonel Balingit’s lumbering performances don’t count), it’s really hard to imagine a single PBA alum worth paying for their acting prowess.
Especially when they’re acting as if they have any business being on the Bureau of Customs’ payroll.
Examples: RPG: Metanoia, Dayo, Urduja
Few and far in between, Filipino animation has never been a trend, which is sad, because all three films had topnotch work put into them, yet nearly nobody bothered watching them. This only goes to show that the claim of the MMFF being “for kids and families” is a baldfaced lie when good animation gets ignored in favor of Vice Ganda’s latest starrer (not that we have anything against Vice Ganda).
Why It’s No Longer Popular: Not only did Filipino animation never catch on, with the increasing quality of animation everywhere else, and our penchant for dubbing anime in Tagalog, it feels like the demand for original Filipino-made animation simply isn’t there, and the cost for meeting any discerning tastes would be too high, seeing as Pixar-quality animation is a pipe dream for even the likes of Dreamworks, let alone an indie Pinoy animation studio just trying to scrape by.
5. Parody-Titled Films
Examples: Tataynic, Omeng Satanasia, Father Jejemon, Nobody, Nobody, But Juan.
Okay, we confess: it should be obvious why this film genre even existed in the first place: the late King of Comedy, Dolphy, just loved doing films with titles that reference other popular films or even trends at the time. Hence, we had a “spoof” of Titanic, the Omen, jejemons, and The Wondergirls.
“Home Along Da Riles” just really underscores that puntastic period in Dolphy’s career, which was pretty much 65% of his entire career.
Why It’s No Longer Popular: Do we even need to explain at this point? We miss you, Dolphy!
4. Movies Based on Song Titles
Examples: Kung Ako Na Lang Sana, Pagdating ng Panahon, Sana Maulit Muli, Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal, Paano Na Kaya.
Yes, this also counts.
This is the item on this list that doesn’t really need any explanation, especially since there are a lot of soap operas out there that still use song titles. Yet for some reason, with very few examples here and there, what used to be the go-to way to title romantic films or Andrew E comedies just doesn’t happen anymore.
Why It’s No Longer Popular: We can only guess, but it seems that we’ve gotten a lot more experimental with movie titles lately.
3. Affair Films
Examples: No Other Woman, A Secret Affair, The Love Affair, One More Try, The Mistress
AKA the reason why Derek Ramsay had a long career.
Thankfully, he moved on to law enforcement.
We’ve talked about this before, too, when Affair films were all the rage at the time. It was the perfect storm for the genre for a while: guaranteed box office draws, a storyline that writes itself, and just enough salaciousness to entice viewers but keep the moral guardians at bay. Then, suddenly, that stuff ended up mainly on TV, and staying on TV. Just ask Sunshine Dizon, seeing as that did wonders for her career.
Why It’s No Longer Popular: Oversaturation, maybe? It also seems like Derek Ramsay’s done with taking on those roles, especially after gaining the embarrassing title of “Pambansang Cheater,” which means that the primary force behind the trend is pretty much turning his back on it.
2. TF Films
Examples: Patikim… ng Pinya, Kangkong, Anakan Mo Ako.
The TF films was the last iteration of our soft-porn genre in cinemas. It was also named ST in the ‘80s, Bomba in the ‘70s, among other euphemisms. The last hurrah for this genre started with Rosanna Roces, then catching on like wildfire as film producer looking to make a quick buck started producing these films at a rapid clip of two weeks, earning the derisive nickname of “Pito-Pito films.”
Why It’s No Longer Popular: Sometime in the 2000’s, SM Cinemas, the biggest cinema chain in the country, stopped showing R-18 films, and in doing so, took away any sort of profitability in the genre. It wasn’t about the “art,” after all.
1. Biopics of Criminals and Law Enforcers
Examples: Baby Ama, Nardong Putik (Kilabot ng Cavite), Asiong Salonga: Hari ng Tondo, Epimaco Velasco: NBI, Ping Lacson: Supercop, Ronaldo Bato: Astig. One of these titles may or may not have been made up, too.
This entry could be a treatise on the Pinoy action film itself, seeing as with the exception of E.R. Ejercito’s films and OTJ, the action genre is all but dead. Still, we had a lengthy time where every single popular criminal and popular cop throughout the country’s history at one point or another ended up having a wildly inaccurate biopic made about them. Where Hollywood does the biopic as Oscar bait, we were doing biopics as an action vehicle.
Why It’s No Longer Popular: The action genre died in the Philippines when we realized that women don’t want nothing but manly men, and the romantic comedy genre blew up. Now, leading men would be more inclined to do a romantic film than an action film to hone their acting chops. Also, we may have finally run out of abandoned warehouses to shoot the final action set pieces in.
Which of these would you like to make a comeback? Tell us below!