Thursday, April 9, 2009

UnkoverdBoyz (Review)

I recently visited Astrovision and checked out what new videos are out and see if there were anything interesting to purchase. One of the videos I bought was UnkoverdBoyz. It is a direct-to-video QUEERiosity Video Project, distributed by Paragon Home Video.


UnkoverdBoyz was never shown in any cinema, not even at the U.P. Film Institute, considering that what they have allowed to screen there have been referred to as "gay porno" by writer Mario Bautista. The film was sold direct to retail, with little or no publicity or advertisement, hoping to get good word-of-mouth based on the feedback from their first video project, Koverboyz.

The video offers no pretense that this is a reflection of the social quagmire that is pulling innocents to offer themselves for their family's survival nor do they legitimize the sex scenes as a means to dig deeper into the emotional struggles of the protagonists when they really are an exploitation of the actors' nubile bodies. It does not call itself an indie movie. It is a mere collection of vignettes of men in unguarded moments doing what most of us do when we are horny and alone (*wink, wink*).

What did I like about the video? I enjoyed the first scene with Topher Baretto and the innuendo about playing with his "fish." The third scene featuring a guy named Echo was also interesting. The fifth vignette, which was the only one with dialogue was not as effective with
Topher doing a little acting (the key word is little). If not for the actor's innate sexiness, the action in this portion felt awkward. In the back of my mind, I wanted to push the person with Topher and take over, telling him, "Move over, I can do a better job than you." This is the same person with the line, "Sige sa iyo na lang yan, tutal iluluha ko lang yan e" (It's all yours, anyway I will be able to refill it with my tears.) What the? Where did that come from? Anyway, I digress - and so did the film. It inserted a little drama that was just a distraction. I was also pleasantly entertained by the seventh scene that I believe was titled "Ayaw mo ba? Sayang naman" (Don't you want it? That's too bad.) where a gay guy was idolizing a sexy model's picture. His fantasy comes alive and they share a moment in the back room. For me, the highlight of the entire video is the final scene - with Andro Morgan giving a show on the webcam. This is reminiscent of what he did in Koverboyz. It was hot then; it still works the second time around.
As much as I enjoyed most scenes, there were some that failed to spark my interest. (Note that this is just my opinion. Another person may not agree with my observations.) The second scene, with Paolo Moreno reading a gay magazine and doing the deed, lacked heat for lack of a better term. One can tell that he was just going through the motions from the start that he pulled down his pants to his supposed climax. His face wasn't one who was reaching the peak of his libido - it was like he was in an epilectic attack with his face twitching. Another one that did not work for me was the fourth vignette with a guy introduced as "jolog guy" supposedly waiting for an SEB. He didn't seem comfortable such that his acting did not come out as natural. It seems he was just doing what he was told and his expressions were bland. The least interesting portion of the video was the sixth scene where the object of the gay man's fantasy was doing the deed at the same time as he albeit with a wall separating them. This scenario worked on the Koverboyz video but not here. The gay guy looked like he was constipated when he reached his climax while the guy with a mosquito net on his face disturbed me rather than excite me. There was no spark, no sexual tension.

All in all, it was ok. Unlike Koverboyz, as a whole, it felt disjointed. It was trying to recapture what worked for the first film but was not really able to. The segway from one segment to another was still ok but the thought bubbles of the men seemed overdone at this point especially on the part where the guy was waiting for his SEB. Topher's scene where he was looking for water broke the momentum of the whole video especially with the unnecessary quips from the gay men he asked water from. That seem to be out of place with the whole concept of the video. Most of the men seem to be those that did not make the cut from the previous film but Topher and Andro makes up for it. Chris Pablo, who is not only writer, director but also cinematographer, did a satisfactory job. He knows his audience and is able to capitalize on this, using these projects as a means to hone his skills in cinematography. He definitely found his niche in Philippine indie gay films. I, myself, hope he gets to do more films.

If you are into videos that aim to titillate then this one is for you. This will not burden you with a convoluted plot line. It's just here for your pleasure. It does not distract you with frills since it is straightforward with what it offers you - eye and libido candy.

You need not get the DVD though, as there really are no special features. The VCD will do if you are cost conscious.

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