In many of his past films, actor, host and performer Vhong Navarro has made a mark in successfully combining horror and comedy. But for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival, he stars in another thrilling tale sans the laughter.
He leads the powerhouse cast of Buy Now Die Later, which features John Lapus, Rayver Cruz, Alex Gonzaga, Janine Gutierrez and Lotlot de Leon. Each of the characters is made to pay the price for striking a deal with mysterious curio shop owner Santi who is played by TJ Trinidad.
In the BNDL story, “Masid,” Vhong delivers a moving performance as the ambitious online blogger whose ultimate dream is to be better than his photo journalist-father. Unknown to him, however, the success he is able to reap, career-wise, carries with it a tough price.
Equally superb were the other members of the cast, like Rayver Cruz, who is featured in “Sarap.” The actor even took a crash course on Culinary Arts just so he can give justice to his role as a restaurant magnate.
One of the movie’s highlights is that scene where Rayver serves food to an unsuspecting family. His facial reaction in the scene ranges from innocent to devilish as he watched what the dish does to the poor family.
Meanwhile, Alex Gonzaga is a revelation in “Dinig.” From her “kikay” brand of acting at the start of the movie, her character graduates into something else, especially when she starts to hear strange sounds from the set of earrings she bought from Santi’s shop.
John “Sweet” Lapus topbills “Halimuyak.” A horror movie veteran, Sweet managed to give his role a fresh touch in Buy Now Die Later. He plays a heartbroken gay, dumped by the man of his dreams for his twin sister Larra (Cai Cortez).
To get even, he seeks out Santi, who sells him a perfume. Desperate for men’s attention and affection, Sweet’s character gets obsessed over the scent unaware that it attracts both the living and the dead.
“BNDL” is Janine Gutierrez’s introductory project on the big screen after being cast in teen TV dramas. Her role in “Kanti” is rather challenging as she portrays the young Lotlot in the story. Lotlot was a popular singer until she gives birth to daughter Chloe (Alex).
Besides its lead characters, BNDL also takes pride in its production design, cinematography, special effects and more.
Directed by Randolph Longjas, the MMFF entry of Quantum Films, MJM Productions, Tuko Films and Buchi Boy Productions. It opens in theaters nationwide December 25.