Friday, March 26, 2010


Jeff Luna, Marcus Cabrera

When people say a film is so bad that it's good, they're usually talking about one thing: passion. The film makes so many aesthetic missteps because, in the first place, the filmmaker has committed himself -- thrown his being -- into something so wrong or so awful. It's that dare to dream -- and fail -- that gives the film its unique joy. Think of your favorite so-bad-it's-good movie. Now try to measure the amount of love you conceive to have been put into it. Without that leap of passion, it would merely be bad bad. With it, it's bad good. I would argue that the best examples of such films aren't bad at all; they're usually just strange, left-of-center outcasts.

Libido never got a theatrical release, but it did have a special screening for a curious paying audience, before it was released on video. From the start, it was announced by its spin machine as a film of low standards -- you come for the sex and nudity because it has nothing else to offer. True enough.

The story is old, but not bad. A city couple vacations with a country couple (The women are sisters) in a house near a brook, which leads to an opening of minds, naturally. There's spouse-swapping, and rape, but better yet: After the city guy excites the country guy with stories of his pansexual experiences, the two dudes get it on. There's little guilt, or any other emotion for that matter, and everyone walks away happy.

The cardboard performances are the constant source of amusement, especially by actress Maricris Losada, who looks like she's perfectly content with not knowing what she's doing. A certain amount of innocence always works well with sexploitation. Jeff Luna as the older farmer and Marcus Cabrera as the young nurse are exciting because their limited, barely written characters are offset by their confident parades of fresh, fleshy, imperfect bodies. (CJ Manalo is the third guy in the flashback.) I probably would've been bored if they weren't so cute.

But where's the passion? Writer-Director Lucas Mercado's filmmaking is so sweatless and impersonal, Libido ends up less of a so-bad-it's-good movie than just every other run-of-the-mill cheapo. Most of the lovemaking scenes -- watch two bodies pile on top of each other -- barely generate heat, not because of misplaced effort, but because of lack of it. The recipe for a great bad-good entertainment is here. The cook would have served us better if he poured out his guts. I hope that's a lesson for everyone out there venturing into bad movies.


Related Links:
Photos of Jeff Luna in Libido
Photos of CJ Manalo and Marcus Cabrera in Libido
"Indie Movie, Naglalaman Ng Sex Education" at Abante Tonite


Anonymous said...

I just love how insightful you always are with these things. I thought it was pretty bad too, but the awful acting gave it that campy sort of feel.

Anonymous said...

wer can see the videos in the net????
i just cant w8 to see it...
picture pa lng na inilagay mo gusto ko....

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Melanie said...

Kung ang gusto niyo eh puro kangkangan lang, eh eto na panoorin niyo. Perfect! At least, hindi sila trying hard na magproduce ng "kunong" indie film. Sarap ni Papa Jeff Luna at yung isang guy na maputi... Di ko alam ang name eh...