From Oct. 17 to Oct. 31 FilAm Creative will be celebrating all things Filipino and horror. Halo-Haloween is hosted and programmed by FilAm director Walter Boholst and his new horror film “Voodoo Possession.” Contributions by Natasia Gascon and Mark Owen.
Marie-Francoise Theodore as the asylum doctor
The character of Dr. Yveline Montase in Voodoo Possession had to be someone who had a strength; the ability to control a room like a teacher. She had to have a presence. Marie-Francoise had that take charge presence. Yet at the same time she possessed an intelligence and beauty.
Perhaps the most famous Filipino creature to haunt the night is the Aswang.
“Aswang” refers specifically to a ghoulish were-dog, which is where the word comes from- “Ang Aso” (“The dog” in English). Aswang is derived from Sanskrit word “swan+ang” (shwan = dog and ang = body).
It is a combination of a vampire and a werewolf. Sometimes this creature is called the “bal-bal” or ghoul (maninilong in Catanauan, Quezon), which replaces the cadaver with banana trunks after consumption. Aswang stories and definitions vary greatly from region to region and person to person, and no particular set of characteristics can be ascribed to the term. However, the term is mostly used interchangeably with manananggal and are also usually depicted as female. Many movies, TV shows and legends have sprung up about the Aswang.
Erik Matti’s “Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles”
High profile Filipino director Erik Matti, best known in America for crime thriller “On The Job,” did his own take on the aswang in TikTik. Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles is a 2012 Filipino comedy action horror film and the first full-length Filipino film entirely shot on green screen chroma key. There’s no plot listed on imdb for this film which may be an omen.
If you want to know what it’s about catch the trailer here. It’s in Tagalog but I don’t think that matters.
Perhap the most high profile stateside exposure to the aswang. is perhaps the episode on the NBC TV series “Grimm” on March 7, 2014.
GRIMM: Mommy Dearest
A Filipino couple is preparing to turn in for the night. Dana is extremely pregnant, and Sam heads to the pharmacy to pick up some prenatal medication for his loving wife. Dana falls asleep moments later, but her slumber is disturbed when a monstrous Wesen climbs a tree outside her bedroom window and protrudes its long, snake-like tongue into the room. The tongue slowly creeps across the floor, then jams into Dana’s pregnant belly. The vicious beast enters the room and scuttles across the ceiling, jamming its forked tongue into Dana’s stomach again. It’s after her baby!
A concerned neighbor hears Dana’s screams and comes to her rescue, scaring away the Aswang. The neighbor calls 911, and Wu intercepts the call. He recognizes the address; Dana is an old childhood friend. He speeds to the scene to find Dana drenched in blood and barely conscious. Before she passes out, she whispers one word to Wu: “Aswang.”
Watch a highlight here featuring Tess Paras
You may remember Tess from her viral video “Typecast” that FAC featured earlier this yet.
An expectant mother is brutally attacked by the mythical baby-eating Filipino monster known as “Aswang.”
Watch the full episode here: http://www.nbc.com/grimm/episode-guide/season-3/mommy-dearest/313/1625766
Coincidentally Voodoo Possession’s Barney Burman does the make-up FX on Grimm. Also Michael Golamco is a Filipino Chinese writer who is a staff writer on Grimm. He wrote the teleplays for the episodes “El Cucuy” (Season 3, episode 5) and “Synchronicity” (Season 3, episode 17), and the story for the episode “The Law of Sacrifice” (Season 3, episode 18)
Reggie Lee has prominently played Sgt. Wu on Grimm since the series premiered in 2011. Many don’t know Lee is Filipino. Cleveland.com reports that Lee was born Reggie Valdez in Quezon City, the Philippines. He took the stage name Lee when casting directors kept calling him for Hispanic rather than Asian roles.
The article further states “They came to me and asked if I knew any Filipino fairy tales,” Lee said during a telephone interview. “I’m very in touch with my Filipino culture, so I told them, ‘Yeah, I know a ton. Would you like a list?'”
Lee is a Hollywood veteran at this point with roles in “Diagnosis: Murder,” “Babylon 5,” “ER,” “Mad About You,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Chicago Hope,” “The Ellen Show” and “NCIS.” “The Fast and the Furious,” “Prison Break,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “Star Trek” (2009) and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
You can read the inspiring full article on Reggie Lee here.
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When a man must search for his missing brother in a Haitian insane asylum he discovers that all of the patients are possessed by an evil voodoo spirit hungry for sacrifices of blood. (At Redbox, Walmart, Amazon, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Dish, Vudu, Xbox, Sony Playstation, Youtube etc.). Starring Danny Trejo, Ryan Caltagirone, Kerry Knuppe, David Thomas Jenkins, Treva Etiene, Tomas Boykin.
Check out more about Voodoo Possession here.
Twitter at @voodoomovie
FilAm Creative is an all-volunteer community organization supporting Filipino Americans in entertainment and media. More information can be found at filamcreative.org, facebook.com/filamcreative and on Twitter at @FilAmCreative.
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“Voodoo Possession” is a Rough Riders, Front Row Media, B2FX and Waltertainment production based in Los Angeles, CA. Additional information can be found at the official movie website voodoopossession.com, facebook.com/thisplaceiscursed,
Walter Boholst can be found at facebook.com/itswalterb and waltertainment.com.
If you would like more information about “Voodoo Possession,” or to schedule an interview with Walter Boholst contact firstname.lastname@example.org.