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ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh

A 2006 cult film adaptation of the Filipino comic book series.

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ZsaZsa Voom

  • Feb 21, 2010


Sometimes that's just all you can say. Wow.

You know there are some films that simply leave you sitting there in stunned silence with a goofy grin on your face and ZSAZSA ZATURNNAH ZE MOVEEH is definitely one of them, take my word for it. Or better yet if you are a lover of really wacky (and I Do mean wacky) flix, then by all means find yourself a copy of this little Filipino gem at once if not sooner! This is the kind of stuff I live for.

In modern day Manila demure transvestite  hairdresser Adrian  ( Rustam Padilla) has just been abandoned by his latest lover--after having put him through college first, of course, and the very heavens open up and weep with him/her as we learn that this film is also a MUSICAL. Yep. Get used to it. People are going to break into song and dance from time to time. Heartbroken, Adrian (Ada for short) decides to pull up stakes and move to a small village with her little sister and her equally gay friend and fellow hair dresser DiDi (Chokoleit) where they quickly set up shop, and just as quickly Ada falls head over high heels for hunky Dodong (Alfred Vargas) who works across the street. But alas she is far too shy and damaged by her previous bad experiences with men to even speak with the object of her affections, so she spends her time mooning and working, and working and mooning, until one night while singing in the shower a strange pink rock hurtles first through space and then through her corrugated tin roof right into the shower Ada is currently occupying. 

Ada shows the strange rock (which has the word "Zaturnnah" written on it) to DiDi who instantly concludes that the correct  course of action would be for Ada to swallow the rock--which is about the shape of a brick and slightly larger! (It's amazing how little encouragement Ada needs.) And once the rock is swallowed sweet, shy, mousy, gay male Adrian instantly transforms into a sexy, flashy, 100% transgender female with bright orange hair whom DiDi KNOWS must have Super Powers. And sure enough she does--although she can't fly, she does otherwise have pretty much the standard range of Super Powers. It's at this point that ZsaZsa Zaturnnah(as DiDi has dubbed Ada's alter-ego) encounters  her first immodest SuperHero costume, and her first heroic challenge! 

What that challenge is  would be telling, and I don't want to ruin everything for you. All good movies (for me at least) are about surprises--the unexpected, the outrageous even, and when you're dealing with drag queens, space aliens, transgender SuperHeroines, and the Catholic religion there have got to be some surprises in there somewhere. But I will tell tell you that  the two best scenes in this flick involve 1) a battle between our transgender SuperHeroine and sword wielding pirate skeletons INSIDE the belly of a giant money frog and 2) a tearful encounter set to music between a gay man ( who's a SuperHeroine) and his homophobic father (who's dead) while a chorus of floating zombies sing back up! But I strongly suspect that some of you guys out there may enjoy the aliens who are Amazonistas from  the Planet XXX led by the evil Queen Femina! Out of the 5 of these babes 2 are actually female! Can you spot them?

ZSAZSA ZATURNNAH (played in the film by Zsa Zsa Padilla) evolved from a graphic novel created by Carlo Vergara who served as writer and art director on the film, and the character's comic book origins are obvious--the whole look and feel of the film scream comic book. (I'd die for an English language copy of this book.)  The special effects weren't all that special, pretty basic in fact, but that only added to the enjoyment of the film. Anything more sophisticated would have seemed out of place in a flick like this. It seems silly to even comment on things such as acting and technical merits--suffice it to say the film is very watchable and EXCRUCIATINGLY entertaining.  But I will add that there is absolutely nothing of an offensive sexual nature going on here--not so much as a kiss. And unless you find the simple existence of homosexuals to be an abomination, you would have a hard time being offended by this film.

Again all I can say is, WOW.  =)
ZsaZsa Voom ZsaZsa Voom ZsaZsa Voom ZsaZsa Voom ZsaZsa Voom

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April 15, 2010
Man this sounds crazy, I have seen the DVD some where I am sure. Great review.
April 15, 2010
I really like stuff that's weird and unpredictable and this one fits the bill!
February 22, 2010
Ok, ypou guys know I am Filipino and I have to say that Philippine cinema industry has greatly improved since the 80's (80's were all about exploitive sex) The country realized that the one thing it does well is excrutiating humor and outrageousness. Very nicely done, Karen! It has been many years since I saw a Filipino film (since 2005 I think) and you brought back fond memories. AWESOME!!!
February 22, 2010
Plus, gender-bending superheroes! A Filipino musical with gender-bending superheroes! This could fit into about ten different genres. Totally awesome! By the way, I think I know what the first official collaborative review for the site should be. I'll be e-mailing you in a bit. You're going to love it!
February 22, 2010
The last Filipino film I saw was back in the John Ashley era--stuff like BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT. Yuck. So you can imagine how pleased I was to find that they've really upped the ante. Everything has improved, especially from a technical aaspect. I love this film and will probably buy it when I can find it at a reasonable price.
February 22, 2010
Yeah Count, this movie has just about everything. And it's so sweet and chaste at the same time. I was expecting something raunchy.
February 23, 2010
Not looking to get into anything new Count. I'm just happy I got the cross-collectible XENA issue!
February 21, 2010
Holy crap. How did you pull this review off so quickly? This looks great, kind of like a "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" meets "Wonder Woman" or something. I'm kind of curious to see if I can find the comics too.
February 21, 2010
I'm not sure they exist in English. And the answer to speed is unfortunately vodka.
February 21, 2010
Mmm, vodka. LOL! I think that they may be available in English. I'll have to do some research. They'd probably cost a ton, on account of being rare, but it would be fun to read them.
February 21, 2010
I'd love to have 'em, but cost could be prohibitive.
February 22, 2010
That's usually the case with underground and cult comics. Have you heard of "Strangers in Paradise". Kind of deals with similar themes, only in a slightly more mature way.
February 22, 2010
Yeah. I have an issue they did where the characters became Xena and Gabrielle.
February 22, 2010
Isn't that a great cover?
February 22, 2010
It is indeed. The cover is what caught my attention initially.
February 22, 2010
I've been dying to pick up the entire series in the Omnibus set, but damn, that's expensive. Too bad too, because it's that sort of unorthodox material that could do with the exposure, but at that price who can afford it!
February 22, 2010
You've seen it offered?
February 22, 2010
Check out Darna and Captain Barbell if you want more siliness LOL!
February 22, 2010
"The Strangers in Paradise" Omnibus was made available early last year and then promptly sold out on most sites, despite being about $200. It's still available on the official SIP site though. Here's the link...
Strangers in Paradise Omnibus
Like I said, pricey!
February 22, 2010
DARNA and CAPTAIN BARBELL? I'm drooling already!
September 10, 2011
Karen, would you like me to send you copies..?
September 12, 2011
Is there a way to ethically clone comics so we can all have copies?
September 20, 2011
I'd love to have copies.
More ZsaZsa Zaturnnah: Ze Moveeh reviews
Quick Tip by . May 01, 2010
Filipino flick about a transexual SuperHeroine. It's a gas!
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Wild and crazy Filipino flick about a transgender Superheroine. There's singing & dancing & flying zombies, a giant frog, & alien bimbos! Wow.
About the reviewer
karen ()
Ranked #21
I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER.   So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why   the chicken … more
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Genre: Cult Films, Comic Book and Graphic Novel Adaptations, Comedy
Release Date: December 25, 2006

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