Monday, August 2, 2010

D' Survivors

Beautiful-people-stranded-on-a-deserted-island is not a very dignified subgenre. Any movie that gets compared to the whack (and marvelous) camp classic Tempation Island (1980) by the revered Joey Gosiengfiao would be hard pressed to live up to any value-for-entertainment expectation. There have been countless B-movie descendants (look 'em up) but nobody remembers them. Ask me and I'll "recommend" a few titles.

Adolf Alix Jr.'s experiment in comic improvisation, D' Survivors, which follows air crash survivors frolicking on the beach, fails not because it's scriptless or absurd or, you know, "free-form" (these are virtues if executed effectively) but because it's never funny. In improv, we want characters to inhabit funny in every twist and turn, but here, the actors have little to build upon, because they're never given the chance to be actual people, to be more than dummies. Spewing standard-issue one-liners, they're stand-up comics clawing at every attempt for jokes. The flamboyant gay master of ceremonies is like a variety show host with no program. There's only so much empty blabber one can take. The sprinkling of "stories" -- like that of ex-lovers, or of a long lost brother who is now a sister, or the arrival of a diva -- not only goes nowhere, but matters none, not even at the moment it's being played.

Eye candies are supposed to make the folly worthwhile. The main draw are Brazilian models -- Daniel Matsunaga, Fabio Ide, Akihiro Sato -- all lovely, sometimes charming, but their sexiness is not even photographed enough. So, too, with other cuties -- Jubail Andres, Rocky Salumbides, Lemuel Pelayo, Kerbie Zamora -- practically camouflaged in the background. It's a showcase for Mercator, the modeling agency under which they're all signed, but not for individual talents.

Temptation Island was generous with beauty, and also with basic (and basest) human emotions, like anger, desire, hunger, which were fodder for our identification and laughs. By contrast, D' Survivors arrives with closed fists. Enjoyment, even of the camp variety, must be earned.


Related Links:
D' Survivors On Facebook
Negative Review by DiscreetManila