Hopes & Disappointments. Adventures.

#14. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

Fourteenth in

I Spit on Your Grave (1978) by Meir Zarchi


A story of a woman brutally raped by four men and then takes her revenge by brutally killing each one of them.

Huh. Well, it questions the law and the people’s faith in it. It also questions your morals, are you any better than those rapists if you brutally torture and kill them? It raises the long-standing question of why women get raped, is it the way she acts? dress? 

Those questions aside, I didn’t really like the film. The cinematography could have been better. The acting, definitely, could have been better. If you’re looking for some bloodbath, revenge themed film, I’d suggest you watch the remake (2010) instead – better cinematography, better acting. The story is still the same though.

#13. House of Sand and Fog (2003)

Lucky 13 from:

House of Sand and Fog (2003) by Vadim Perelman


I had to watch this film in two parts - a week apart. It was too depressing for me.

Everything started when Kathy Nicolo (Jennifer Connelly) was wrongfully evicted by the state then an Iranian family bought and moved in to her house. I thought this would be a courtroom drama but I was wrong. In the beginning, I was rooting for Kathy. She made a tiny mistake that led to her eviction but I thought that maybe it would be fixed towards the end. But as the story unfolds, I found myself hating her character. She became overly needy and helpless that the sight of her crying and moping annoys me. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not but that’s how her character made me feel.

Then there’s Massoud Amir Behrani (played wonderfully by Ben Kingsley), the Iranian father and retired colonel who bought Kathy’s house from the state auction. He had hopes of selling the house for a higher profit to provide a better future for his son and wife. I thought he would be the merciless antagonist and again, I stand corrected. I started rooting for him and respecting him. Being a military man and an immigrant, he was always respectful of the law.

I’m not sure what to feel after watching the film actually. I know it was a good film though. I guess I just can’t quite get over Kathy’s character, so weak and desperate – I mean c’mon, pull yourself together and move on… then again, if she did, the film would have been 10 minutes only.

Now it’s me who needs moving on from her character.

#12. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)

I’m halfway done with This is 12th!

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976) by Nicolas Gessner

“The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane” is no little girl. Jodie Foster (I love her) gave an awesome performance as Rynn, the 13 year old girl who… well, lives down the lane.

Rynn is what some people call an “old soul”. She knows how to survive, has her own beliefs and stands by them. In the beginning of the film, I was actually worried that this is going to be another torture film and that Rynn was the one to be tortured or raped. I was relieved that I was wrong. It’s a psychological thriller – it’s doesn’t have that much excitement in it but it’ll make you think. It reminded me of Terry Guilliam’s “Tideland” minus the macabre part. It has that cute and creepy element in it that you don’t really know whether to sympathize for the character, root for her or call child services right away.

She is a 13 year old girl who plans to discover life on her own but acknowledges later in the film that she cannot do it without help. The film is pretty simple, she lives a simple life.. playing “house” with her boyfriend Mario (Scott Jacoby) while evading the town’s paedophile Frank Hallet (Martin Sheen). It’s pretty simple minus the dead bodies she hides in the cellar. Oh, did I mention she killed 2 people? Whatevs, life must go on, she must do anything to survive – as advised by her father.

It’s quite interesting but I wasn’t hooked that much. The musical scoring was awful… I guess that’s what threw me off. It was the deal-breaker. It was so cheesy and in-your-face that it just ruins the mood and the atmosphere of the film. It’s pretty much like playing “Eye of the Tiger” in a deathbed scene… bad example but you get the idea.

If it wasn’t for Jodie Foster’s performance (and this stupid idea of self-imposed challenge) I wouldn’t have finished watching the film.

#11. Irreversible (2002)

Eleventh in:

Irreversible (2002) by Gaspar Noe


If you happen to sit through the first 18 minutes of this film, you probably think it is very violent. Well, things are just about to get worse.

“Irreversible” as obvious as its title suggests, the film will show events that we can no longer change no matter what - and it tells that story backwards. First you’ll see an outcome then an explanation of that in the next few minutes and so on. You’ll be bombarded with violence and brutal rape as the an event explains its precedent until finally in the last third of the film you’ll see serenity and peace… yet be reminded of all the violence you just saw which are all going to happen to them. It’s an interesting story telling technique actually. You won’t know who to sympathize for in the beginning as we see men beating each other to death. What did he do to deserve that? Or does he deserve that? And so you continue watching to find out.

The camera work may not be for everyone’s taste, it looks like as if the cameraman downed a bottle of tequila before the shoot and he just can’t seem to focus on anything. BUT it is exactly the film’s charm – at least for me. Nothing seems to be in focus and that only gets you closer to the character’ state of mind in the beginning when you have no idea who he is. The violence is so ‘in-your-face’ and unforgiving you’ll forget this is set in Paris.

The whole film is overflowing with testosterone that it would seem homophobic and overly misogynistic to some people but I think it’s more of a statement AGAINST men. At least that’s how I saw the film. Pierre (Albert Dupontel) is a thinker. He is the kind that thinks more than he does. He is Alex’s (Monica Belluci) ex-boyfriend. Marcus (Vincent Cassel) is a doer, more ‘natural’, opposite of Pierre and he is Alex’s current boyfriend. In one particular scene, Alex said he wanted a man who ‘acts’ and not talk too much which is why he preferred Marcus over Pierre. Meeting her cruel fate in the tunnel, she meets a man who truly acts before he thinks, she gets raped. Man is his most natural being is savage.

#10. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)

Number 10:

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) by Tom Six


Watching the first Human Centipede, directed by Tom Six, wasn’t as hard as watching its sequel, also written and directed by Tom Six.

The mouth-to-rectum surgery to make one long digestive tract to create a pseudo-organism, “Human Centipede”, concept is taken seriously by an abused-as-a-child, 5’2, mentally challenged parking attendant Martin (Laurence Harvey). He watches the first film over and over and even keeps a scrapbook about it. He proceeds to imitate his ‘idol’ and top his three-people human centipede by aiming to make a 12-people human centipede with the actress, Ashlynn Yennie, in the previous film as the head of the centipede (who has the worst manager ever for getting her the first project and this sequel).

Everything is in crisp black and white which makes it a little bearable to watch considering you wouldn’t be able to see what kind of bodily fluid his victims were covered with. On the other hand, it makes it even more realistic. The film shows how a violent film can trigger a violent tendency in a person. In the lead character’s case, Martin, had all the necessary ingredients to make a serial killer: sexually abused by his father, abusive mother, violent neighbor, a sexually abusive therapist and a solitary job – his obsession with a violent film was like a lit match thrown in a gasoline container. And so he went abducting and mutilating a dozen people eventually turning into a killing spree after his ‘surgery’ failed. It’s just ironic how the film seems to aim for condemnation of violent film by being violent in itself.

If the first Human Centipede was not graphic enough for some people, this sequel is definitely not. This sequel was actually exploitative in terms of violence – a new born baby’s head crushed between the gas pedal and the car’s floor, feces splashed on camera, being raped with barbed-wire-wrapped p*nis. I thought it was too much even for a mentally challenged character with a bad past. Then again, there were worse real-life serial killers.

If you’re really into gore movies, I think you’d like this movie. But don’t try to look for depth in the story.

Planned-turned-Unplanned Birthday Vacation

(A break from the depressing movie marathon)

I’m a birthday person, always was and always will be. I love giving the people special to me the best birthday they’ve ever had then try to top that the following year. And of course, I’d love that for me too.

For this year, my 22nd birthday, after all of last year’s work, I wanted to have a five-day long vacation, out of town. So I searched the internet for seat sales - Bohol for only 199php! (not including tax). Grabbed the chance, booked for July 1-5.

A week before our departure, I finished as much work as I can so I wouldn’t come home to a lot of back-log. Pulled an all-nighter to finish everything, packed my bag a few hours before flight, and finally made it at the airport on time. TADAA. Flight was delayed for an hour… and another… and pushed to a five-hour delay. And finally, it was cancelled. The airline offered to re-book our flight but the available date was July 3 only, and no matter how angry I get I know that wouldn’t change anything about our cancelled flight. So we had it transferred to Cebu instead (which was also delayed for another 5 hours).

Arriving at Cebu around 1:00am, we had no idea what to do. We checked in at Sugbutel to get some good sleep after 48hours of working. The hotel have a cheap but really nice and clean rooms. They have dorm type rooms that are 250php (without linens) per head and 350php (with linens) and private rooms that starts 1,200php. The following day, again with the research, we decided to go to a nearby island, Camotes Island.

Off we went to the North Bus Terminal, a few blocks away from Sugbutel. For 40php/head, we headed for Danao Port going to Consuelo Port (180php) in Camotes Island. We got there and a guy with a single motorcycle was waiting to take us to Santiago Bay & Gardens Resort. We left the port at 5:30pm and got to Camotes around 7:30pm which again left us no time to explore the place, we just had dinner and slept.


We took an island tour the following day (500php) riding a single motorcycle.

There’s Danao Lake where you can rent a boat, go horse-back riding and they have a pool too.


Next stop was Timubo Cave, a few steps down from the entrance you’ll see a crystal clear pool of water!


We also took a stop at Santiago Bay’s sister resort, Mangodlong Beach Resort where they put up cottages on awesome rock formations.



Then we just relaxed at Santiago Bay’s pool and went jetskiing after.


The following day we headed back to Cebu City to catch a gig at Handuraw. An awesome bar with awesome pizza and awesome music!


For our last day, we went to Crown Regency Hotel for an exhilarating Sky Experience Adventures. On top of the 38-storey building 400+feet, we tried their 4D Theatre, Edge Coaster, Sky Walk, Tower Zip and Cliff Hanger (wall climbing). Their amenities are pricey though. (






But before we leave Cebu, we just had to try their specialty Sutukil (Sugba-Tula-Kilaw), different types of cooking seafood and other delicacies.


All in all, for an impromptu vacation in Cebu, we had so much fun! We’d go back and explore the southern islands in Cebu for some whale shark watching next time!