Watching ‘Shake Rattle and Roll’ films can be tough. For one, there’s less screen time for every story. Thus the viewer is less emotionally-invested in the characters and even in the supernatural beings.
Second, episodes sometimes dive into the ‘killer’ scenes immediately and the story-telling aspect always ends up the victim.
Last, since there are a lot of actors to watch, performances are usually hit-and-miss.
‘Shake Rattle and Roll 14: The Invasion’ unfortunately is no different. However there are a lot of great moments and these scenes make the entire movie worth it.
Donald (Herbert Bautista), Myra (Janice de Belen), Faye (Arlene Muhlach) and their ‘radical’-speaking cousin (Eri Neeman) find out that they will inherit P20-M from their dead uncle. But there’s a catch. They will get it in a month and only the surviving family members get to share the money. Also, they will receive his old comics featuring iconic supernatural characters.
Suddenly, the supernatural characters in the comics come to life and try to take their lives. Will the family survive?
The opening scene of ‘Pamana’ throws the viewer into a nostalgic trip. Why? Because it becomes a sort of ‘reunion’ between Herbert Bautista and Janice de Belen, two of the stars of the first ‘Shake Rattle and Roll’ film. However, these two stars were weirdly eclipsed by the presence of the supernatural characters who remind us of the vampires and ghosts we have grown to love or be scared of.
Unfortunately, the episode’s "scary" scenes feel contrived and the sequence of events too convenient. Still the episode is able to highlight its most charming elements: Janice and Herbert, who prove that they are still masters of SSR films in their portrayal of contrasting personalities in a ghost-filled world.
Troops of Master Sergeant Martin Barrientos (portrayed by Dennis Trillo) literally gets lost in the jungle after mysterious zombie-like creatures attack them. In order to search for their missing comrades, they must rely on little girl Linda (child actress Ella Cruz) to show them the way. Unfortunately, danger still lurks deep into the forest and they must fight to survive.
‘Lost Command’ is the best episode of the trilogy. The atmosphere is full of tension and pacing is done well to elicit actual scares. Dennis’ performance as a leader trying to survive is the best part of the episode. His scene with the fallen military leader is scary enough, and he doesn’t words to register fear on screen. However, the film is not without its faults. The zombies’ blue makeup doesn’t really make any sense and the acting of the supporting characters are a mix of over-the-top expressions or blank stares. The script doesn’t really give the viewer enough background info to establish the episode: Where are they? And what is their mission to begin with?
It seems like a normal trip to the mall for Hank (Vhong Navarro) and his girlfriend Kate (Lovi Poe). Suddenly, a huge ‘explosion’ leaves people dead. To make matters worse, weird creatures move around the building and kill everyone in their path.
Vhong steps out of his comfort zone here by playing a wimpy guy trying to save himself and his girlfriend from the tragedy and the monsters. Lovi, on the other hand, makes the most of her little screen time by complementing Vhong’s energy level with emotional expressions.
This episode is clearly a showcase of computer-generated images and the filmmakers really did a good job at that. The monsters remind us of CGI creatures we see even in Hollywood movies. But in spite of that laudable effort, it all boils down to the story, which, sad to say, is predictable. If more attention was given to the script, the episode would have had the potential to become unforgettable.
Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed.