by Peter@REM

Anyone lulled by Khavn’s strikingly accessible Mondomanila is in for a shock. The Filipino film beast punishes his audience here again, just like old times. The form is powerful and avant-gardist and the subject is self-chastising. Incessantly. Khavn’s red period.

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Produced by Khavn De La Cruz&Achinette Villamor Co-produced by Stephan Holl Production Management by Kristine Kintana Cinematography by Albert Banzon&Jet Leyco Editing & Sound Design by Lawrence S. Ang Screenplay by Carlos Piocos III, Arvie Bartolome, Khavn De La Cruz Starring Dante Perez as the voice of Kristo Vampiro Production Company Kamias Road Co-Production Company Rapid Eye Movies 70 minutes © Philippines 2013

This travel-shockumentary-vampire fiction could well be a disguised ode to the Mondo films of Jacopetti, but with Khavn you never really know. Our guide is Kristo Vampiro, who admits in a voice-over that he is willing to go very far to quench his thirst for blood. The entirely blood-red images show the continual self-castigation of people in the street, juxtaposed with cock fights and acted crucifixions, complete with mouth-organ music.
According to Khavn, the film came about during a four-day tour of the Filipino archipelago which he gave an Italian friend. They stopped at the folk-&-roll bar Hobbit House, where all the waiters are dwarfs, and visited the Ringside brothel. They also stopped at several cock fights, which cost the losing gamblers a week’s income, but also made them believe that one good win could save them. Khavn also filmed the cemetery, ‘maybe the only real utopia in Southeast Asia’.

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