Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Shake Rattle & Roll 2K5 – review

Director: Richard Somes (segment)

Release date: 2005

Contains spoilers

Shake Rattle & Roll is a Filipino horror anthology film series and this is actually the 7th in the series. The films all consist of three shorts and the film of interest for us is the third in this volume, which was entitled Lihim ng San Joaquin (Secret of San Joaquin).

The first two stories are Poso, the best segment in the film in which a fake psychic is hired to commune with the dead but gets more than she bargained for, and Aquarium, in which a family are terrorised by a haunted aquarium (I kid you not). Our segment is actually an aswang story.

heading to a new beginning
It starts with a cart and, getting a lift on it are Rene (Mark Anthony Fernandez) and his unnamed pregnant wife (Tanya Garcia). They are moving to a remote province and escaping their parents, it appears, and they get to a point where the cart driver will not pass so continue the journey on foot until they eventually reach a village. They are spoken to by Sael (Noni Buencamino), who sems to be the village headman, and he tells them that there had been an epidemic that killed 15 children but they burned the bodies. Sael’s son is alive but has what appears to be a congenital disfigurement.

the unnamed wife
They pass by the graveyard, which is filled with wailing mourners, and eventually find a house that is derelict. Rene gets to work fixing it up. In the evening they go to a communal area to ask if there is a healer and are told that there no longer is one. Rene prevents Sael placing his hand on his wife’s pregnant belly and this angers Sael. They get a visit later in the evening but Sael eventually leaves saying that things will be resolved in the morning.

In the morning they are warned by a blind man (Ronnie Lazaro, Yanggaw) that the village is populated by aswang – who are all sleeping the day away. Whilst Rene is sceptical he accepts a bottle of oil that will boil when the aswang are near. When they awaken they roll in the mud, smearing themselves with dirt (as opposed to transforming one guesses) and head to the house, where they lay siege.

The aswang might roll in the mud, rather than transforming, but their teeth do change (into animalistic sharp teeth) and they do have the long tongue one associates with the aswang. The oil works as a warning device and they seem to be nervous of a bust of Christ. However there is little other lore to report. The story itself was pretty lack lustre. We felt no real level of sympathy for the couple – the characterisation so shallow that the wife wasn’t even named. There was a lack of sfx and the sense of peril was minimal.

Scoring the aswang section only, I’ll give this a tepid 3 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Khaia said...

The plot, at least the part with the driver refusing to travel to a village haunted by the Undead, sounds like it was based on "Dracula's Guest".

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hi Khaia, I see what you mean but I'd say its only very superficially (in that I doubt it was directly inspired). The driver is more a farmer offering a ride (rather than a professional coachman) and it doesn't have the stranger scaring his horses as he moves away. However I take the point :) Many thanks for taking the time to comment :)