Beautiful-people-stranded-on-a-deserted-island is not a very dignified subgenre. Wait, I already said that.
In Santuaryo, the castaways are all toned young men, and they're looking for treasure. Even though the movie doesn't make that hokey premise believable for a second, it still strains for a serious, high-suspense tone -- much like TV's Survivor Philippines, down to the island cutaways and drumbeats. (The director, Monti Parungao, is also the man behind that show.) As on TV, there's supposed to be tension when the guys begin to form rivalries and alliances, except that here, they're flaming over the stupidest things, like a missing Swiss Army knife, softcore magazines, or the loss of celphone signal. They're twelve-year old brats trapped in abs and pecs. They make the kids of Lord of the Flies look like wise elders.
You may have heard of behind-the-scenes reports that some of the actors behaved like brats themselves. Allegedly, a few of them backed out on their previous agreement with the producers (which included frontal nudity) by re-negotiating their fees. Done in the middle of shooting, after much principal photography, it sounds unprofessional, something a two-bit callboy might do to jack up his rate in the middle of sex, not to mention a huge turn-off, and possibly, career suicide. Reportedly, it effectively sabotaged the narrative, and reportedly, it's the reason a last-minute addition to the story was made: a romantic postscript between Basti Romero and Will Sandejas as lovers. Whatever. The finished product is a mangled mess, and those island shenanigans -- including something involving a guy who gives blowjobs then pukes right after -- incoherent.
The Director's Cut DVD is identical to the theatrical version, to my eyes, but at least with the pause button, we can stare lovingly at the dangling jewels of Gino Quintana, Basti Romero, and Will Sandejas. The DVD package also includes a mini-poster that displays everyone's butts (except Will's). The other guys are Justin Hizon, Nicos Bacani, AJ Ona, and Ralph Mateo. Brats or not, their hot bodies (and Parungao's smooth photography of them), even though they don't do much, are the saving grace of this film. Isn't it ironic?