Nilalang: Pedring Lopez’s Action-Crime Horror Pulled Out of Theaters



“Nilalang” tackles the underbelly of corrupt Phillippine cops with the Japanese ‘Yakuza’ and its links to a centuries’ old curse that may be responsible for the spate of serial killings happening in Manila. NilalangSounds like a good plot to me. Unfortunately, “Nilalang”, which stars Cesar Montano and Maria Ozawa, didn’t make a good impression with a lot of cinemas, as it was pulled out of 34 theatres the day after its initial screening.

The drastic censorship was issued despite the film winning five awards at the Metro Manila Film Festival , including Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Festival Sound, and Best Musical Score.

Co-producer Wesley Villarica tells Rappler that “Nilalang” started getting pulled out of screenings in less than a day, and it went from 36 theaters in Manila and 7 provincial theaters, to less than 20. Today, that total has tremendously decreased to a whopping 6 theaters in Manila: Gateway Cineplex, Robinsons Movieworld Galleria, SM City Manila Cinema, SM City Sta. Mesa Cinema, SM Megamall Cinema, and Sta. Lucia East Grandmall Cinema.

They had no idea why the film was being cancelled. I think it’s safe to say it’s because of the content and nature of the film. This happens to be the case a lot of times. Not that this is bad. I, personally, favor movies with dark, crude content and nature. However, not every country is as lenient as America is, as far as movie content goes. Every country has their limits and restrictions. Unfortunately, some of the best movies have been underground films or behind-the-curtain films because their content and nature is too obscene for theatrical release, so their only option is streaming or straight to DVD.

Director Pedring Lopez makes a good point to GMA News Online:

“How can the movie industry prosper if we will always limit the choices of the public, bias against small producers likes us and, on the whole, simply let the big players lord it over the industry?”

I agree 100% with this statement. Cinema is part of the entertainment world. Everyone likes entertainment, and every individual is different in their taste of entertainment. Theaters should not turn away a great idea simply because of the nature of the content. Every great idea deserves a chance to shine.


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