Chito Roño: SRR XIV has an apocalyptic feel

Chito Roño is reducing the usual blood and gore – at least as far as his latest horror film, “Shake, Rattle and Roll XIV (SRR): The Invasion” is concerned.

As the first and only director to handle all three SRR episodes since the horror franchise made a bow  in the 1984 Metro Manila Filmfest, Roño wants to think out-of-the-box for today’s digital generation.

“The episodes (`Pamana’, `Unwanted’ and `Lost Command’) are story-driven.  They’re family-oriented.  Hindi kailangan kumakain ng tao,” he relates in a press conference at Imperial Palace Suites.

This time, he’s focusing on an end-of-the-world scenario, giving the film an apocalyptic feel.

[Related: Herbert: Shake, Rattle and Roll XIV role has nothing to do with politics]

Handpicked writers

The award-winning director convinced Ricky Lee to emerge from his semi-retirement and write the “Pamana” episode, which centers on family members who inherit an uncle’s comics, filled with horror creatures the come to life to haunt them.

Roño also handpicked the multi-awarded Roy Iglesias to write the “Unwanted” episode, where Vhong Navarro and Lovi Poe play victims of a mall tragedy.  Rody Vera, who like Lee and Iglesias, has a Palanca award to his name, was Roño’s choice for the third and last episode, “Lost Command,” a tale of evil soldiers who undertake a military operation.

Is Roño expecting “SRR XIV” to be a hit like his previous horror films, “Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara”, “Spirit Warriors 1 & 2”, “Feng Shui”, “Sukob”, “Bulong” and Vilma Santos’s “The Healing”?

He dismisses the thought at once. No, he replies.   He doesn’t think of box-office results when he makes a film.

He just gives his all in every film he does.  He may have the reputation of being a strict, exacting director.  But Roño is proud of the fact that he is hands-on and pays attention to the film’s minutest detail.

“I work hard, even in the promoting the film,” he declares.

That’s the secret of his success.

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