Review of horror franchise’s latest trilogy, ‘SRR Extreme’

December 8, 2023 Mario Bautista 283 views

SRR1‘SHAKE, Rattle and Roll Extreme’ is the 16th movie in the SRR franchise that started 4O years ago. Jerrold Tarog, who’s best known for the commercial and critical hit that is “Heneral Luna”, has directed some very good episodes for SRR through the years, like “Punerarya”, “Ulam” and “Parola”.

He now directs the best episode in SRR Extreme, “Mukbang”, a Korean word that means eating show. In the story, some social media influencers are invited to a huge mansion for a mukbang, a live stream showing them eating a lot of food prepared by Chef Kimo, played by Ninong Ry, who proves he’s a natural in front of the camera.

The guests do not know that a group of ancient people called the Kindred live under the house. They’re actually body snatchers who want to get the bodies of the influencers. Those that they have killed are then butchered, cooked and served to the other influencers for them to feast on.

Yes, there’s cannibalism in this episode. But it’s told with a touch of dark humor since it also shows the superficiality of content creators. A couple, RK Bagatsing and Jane Oineza, are well known for their joint vlogs but viewers don’t know that they’re just sweet on cam but are actually fighting off cam.

The episode moves briskly and Tarog’s comic touch is evident in that scene where the influencers who have turned into zombies suddenly dance in unison like in Tiktok. Most of the players here are real life influencers and they all do well in their first big screen outing.

Tarog has not been so active lately after his “Goyo, Batang Heneral” was not as well received as “Heneral Luna”. Well, we’re glad that Regal got him to direct again after five years. We honestly wish Viva would tap him to direct a streaming film for Vivamax.

Viva is giving a break to many young directors and it’s Viva where Tarog can be given free rein so he can come up with another original, unbridled, uncensored piece of work where he can go town while being in full control.

A good filmmaker like him certainly deserves to be more active than others who are churning our a lot of mediocre films regularly that can just easily be relegated back to oblivion.

The second episode in SRR Extreme is “Glitch”, directed by Richard Somes, who helmed one of the best episodes in SRR, “Ang Lihim ng San Joaquin”.

Sadly, the story assigned to him now, “Glitch”, is a rehash of a popular storyline in SRR about a mom who has to fight back after something evil threatens her family, like in “Christmas Tree” in SRR nine, where Gina Alajar was the mom who has to protect her family from a monster yuletide tree, and “Yaya” in SRR eight, where Sheryl Cruz was the mom who has to protect her family from an aswang yaya, played by Iza Calzado.

In “Glitch”, Iza now plays the mom, a fashion designer with two kids who has lost her faith in God. Her young daughter Lyka calls on a children’s show character, Gary the Goat, to join her and it turns out to be an evil entity who then kills their housemaid and the girlfriend of her Kuya Miggs Cuaderno.

The main problem here is that the demon who terrorizes Iza and kids does not really look scary. Often times, the shots are so dark and you can hardly figure out what’s happening on screen, with the monster looking so murky in smoke and shadows. Also, we don’t really root for Iza and her kids. We wish the script made them more lovable so we can really cheer for them.

The third episode is “Rage”, directed by Joey de Guzman, who helmed the action-horror flick, “Day Zero”, starring Brandon Vera as a soldier who has to fight zombies. “Rage” is also about the undead who attack and eat people.

A group of young people consisting of Jane de Leon, Paolo Gumabao, Rob Gomez, Mika Reins and Dustin Yu go to a town where a meteor shower is taking place. What they don’t know is that the meteors have organisms from outer space that enter the bodies of humans and turn them into raging zombies.

Soon, they’re attacked by the towns people who have turned into the undead and they have to fight for their lives. De Guzman has just done this storyline in “Day Zero”, which has also been used in many other films like “The Sadness”, “Night of the Living Dead”, the TV series “Walking Dead”, the currently showing “When Evil Lurks”, etc.

It is not really that scary as we have seen it all before, but it is very violent as it shows skulls being bashed and stomachs being opened in unabated scenes of blood baths There’s even a chain saw sequence here for added gore, told without any hint of humor like “Mukbang”.

What we really miss in horror flicks these days is the good old classic ghost story. The thought of people from the great beyond haunting the living is really much more scary than all the zombies who have now become so crass and common.