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The Expat

Philippines 2021
produced by
Yuson Charles, Charlotte Dianco, Cody Simon, Sean Cooney (executive), Maylen Cooney (executive), Rahul Andra (executive), Stephen Conroy (executive), Joseph Graybill (executive), Rohan Hartley (executive), Aaron Harvey (executive), Edward Jacobson (executive), Dennis Ostrovsky (executive), David Salo (executive), Daniel K. Walter (executive) for 4Now Films, Badladz Productions, Spring Fairy Entertainment
directed by Gregory Segal
starring Lev Gorn, Mon Confiado, Lovely Abella, Leo Martinez, Lara Morena, Mosang, Billy Ray Gallion, JB Saliba, Chanel Latorre, Andrew Gan, Chris Leonardo, Rob Sy, Kervin Rivas, Edward Jacobson, Dani Silvano, Aya Sarmiento, Sasha Paras, Maj Cueto, Tala Diola, Aegle Onni, Rohanna Marie Barrios, Rina Medina, Ahlex Leyva
written by Gregory Segal, music by Mario Grigorov, Utkucan Eken

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Nick (Lev Gorn), a former GI these days living on disability benefits, has decided to pay the Philippines a lengthy visit as the climate's supposed to be good for his health. Not really having anything to do while staying in Manila, Nick has joined a dating app, which results in him meeting lots of beautiful young women and having lots of meaningless yet satisfying sex - so in a way, Nick's in Seventh Heaven ... well, until two of the girls he has had sex with end up murdered. Now of course, it doesn't take the Manila police long to link the murders to Nick, and the investigating detective Cruz (Mon Confiado) does his best to pin the murders on him - but the truth is, he doesn't have more than circumstantial evidence that, as damning as it may look could as well be chalked off as coincidence. Even a third murder, again a girl he has slept with, can't be conclusively be linked to Nick. However, now Nick is catching the hint, and he moves from Manila to a small village on the island Mindoro - to see that the island girls are easy pick-ups, so since he enjoys Mindoro life seems to have gotten only better. But after three months of peace and quiet and meaningless sex, one of the girls he's been with turns up dead, then another one. It doesn't take long before detective Cruz turns up on the island, but as it was in Manila, he can't prove Nick's guilt. Now it's not long before Nick decides to move again, but then he falls in love with Delilah (Lovely Abella), who's also attracted to him and is not nearly as easy a lay as all the other girls, so Nick decides to stick around and  prove himself innocent and at the same time he tries to keep Delilah out of harm's way, and eventually he comes up with a fool-proof way to catch the killer, a plan even detecitve Cruz supports. Thing is, as fool-proof as Nick's plan might be in theory, he doesn't know who he's up against ...

 

A pretty cool thriller, and one that keeps you guessing till the end - and that's though the film doesn't end with the capture of the killer as these films usually do but then only adds a whole other layer to the story. Plus the film makes pretty much perfect use of its Filippino locations without coming across as a mere travelogue. Plus, the acting is solid, with the performances giving the plot even more depth than you'd expect from a film like this - so in all, a very likeable piece of genre cinema that's much more than just your run-of-the-mill murder mystery.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD