Jun Raquiza's Zuma (Cine Suerte, Inc.) is a filmic take on the macabre set against the spectra of myth. Raquiza presumably resorts to hybridization to underscore the fact that no one paradigm governs how subjectification come to tentative resolutions. The screenplay places Zuma (Max Laurel) in the center of a murderous rampage after being unearthed by an archeological expedition led by Phillip (Mark Gil) and Isabel (Dang Cecilio). Zuma takes a bride, Galela (Racquel Monteza), a madwoman who bore him Galema (Snooky Serna). Her valiant search for Zuma decisively compels her to appropriate strategies, which, while these may excise the demonic curse, place her on new grounds of containment. It is interesting to note how Galema shifts her practice from the clandestine acts of killing, which substantially threaten the conventions of social cohesion, to the assumption of the public role of woman. Such a shift informs much of the ambivalence sustaining the destiny of a social subject who must straddle multiple positions in private and public spheres, as monster, woman, heroine, villainess. The possibilities of creation within the constraints of gender and class relations nourish the terrain in which Zuma takes root, foregrounding the capacities of horror in discussing the ambivalent discourses involved in the construction of modern women and their specific situations.
Zuma attains a degree of difficulty and therefore solicits significant artistic interest. It is interesting because it is sensitive to dimensions. A story of a demigod entombed in an aztec pyramid that shocks a couple of archaeologists out of their wits is only one dimension. For around this plot is the real history that is repressed by a seemingly comfortable order. It is the tale of the son of an aztec serpent God who rips out and eats the hearts of young women. It is this sediment of life that is embodied in this ancient architecture, which is represented not in realistic terms but but in terms that prompt the moviegoer to construe it as a nightmare, a hell into which the innocent is lured, an irrational and impossible place which could only be made contingent on fiction to render it necessarily real. It is this real that differs from the lives of Phillip and Isabel represented luminously by the poreless and seemingly vacant face of Mark Gil and the cluelessness of Dang Cecilio. This sort of reality is vexed until the protagonist is faced with the horror of making a decision to face the creature. That the daughter, the specter of history persist to haunt the apopleptic couple deepens Zuma's dimension. The film is able to maximize the creative powers of Philippine cinema and culture by infusing powerful metaphors and allegories into the concept of blood ties as site of struggle. Zuma vividly translates into film medium, these distillations, produce a mise-en-scene and a rhythm momentum that hack the imperatives of social contestations which , because intelligently horrific, is very cinematic.
Directed By: Jun Raquiza
Screenplay: Manny Rodriguez & Hernan Robles
Based From Characters Created By Jim Fernandez Serialized In Aliwan Komiks
Cinematography: Alfonso Alvarez
Musical Director: Marita Manuel & Demet Velasquez
Film Editor: Serafin Dineros
Production Design: Interformat
Produced By: Cine Suerte, Inc.
Release Date: February 28, 1985
Release Date: February 28, 1985
Zuma will be screened at the Mogwai Cinematheque from October 26-31, 2009 at 9pm