You can certainly bet from a local perspective that a film like Pedring Lopez’s new thriller, Maria, has been a rarity in the Philippines for years. There’s been actioners, but not as much and certainly not to the same measure and scope as other productions, and gladly, there’s been a pretty visible sea change in recent years in that regard. For this, a film like Maria is a reasurring sign of better times ahead with much deserving ceremony.
Try looking for writer/directing Pedring Lopez’s 2016 action horror, Nilalang, anywhere stateside and if you’re lucky, you’ll find it under some innocuous, generic title thanks to whatever schmuck snagged it for a legit U.S. release. It’s what’s always irked me – the dismissive, flippant way distributors handle Asian titles. That habit seems to haven’t dissipated, and thankfully, Netflix took notice in the wake of Lopez’s most recent feature outing, Maria, which hit theaters late last month to promising audience and critical responses.
Earlier this month saw Viva Films offering a small dose of the action to come in director Pedring Lopez’s new film, Maria. Now slated for a March 27 release, Cristine Reyes fronts her first action role in what looks to be nothing short of a thrilling contender for this year’s rousing feats since Erik Matti’s BuyBust put the Philippines on the map just a little more for genre fans.
It’s high time as Pedring Lopez’s latest action thriller, Maria commences rousing the fandom for its release. Leading the girls-with-guns charge is actress Cristine Reyes in the title role to start off the next wave of female-centric thrills following Anne Curtis’ own success in last year’s BuyBust from director Erik Matti.
Continuing the countdown, we’re naming at least a hundred titles to look out for going into the new year. We named five so far as of Monday, now here’s five more:
The recent surge of excitement from Erik Matti’s new crime thriller, BuyBust, has done well in gracing the action genre a much needed spotlight in the Philippines. It’s an effort continued with the ongoing work of filmmaker Pedring Lopez who took hold of the festival scene a few years ago for cult action horror, Nilalang, with Cesar Montano, Meg Imperial and Maria Ozawa starring and now he’s back at it with the current production of assassin revenge thriller, Maria, featuring actress Christine Reyes in the title role.
Philippine-Based BlackOps Studios Asia Announces Rights Acquisition Of Two Distinguished Action Horror Titles
EXCLUSIVE: Makati-based BlackOps Studios Asia officially acquired the development and worldwide rights this Sunday to two short films that have made waves in the last two years.
Writer and director Epoy Deyto’s QCinema short film finalist, Pixel Paranoia is first on the roster which BlackOps will grow as a feature-length action horror hybrid. Actors Niko Lorenzo Tabid, Angela Munsayac and Jaruis Oloquina starred in the short which focused on a politically-charged look into the back alleys of the Dark Web market and mass surveillance.
It’s critical reception last year lended recognition with Armando Dela Cruz describing it as “tremendous fun”, wherein “anything goes, be it a deliciously grindhouse-slash-b-horror-esque surgery snuff or a drone-like black-and-white footage that—creepily—seems to have found a life of its own”, while John Tawasil tells of its “…certain texture”, “especially in the last few sequences where things get really crazy”.
BlackOps Studio Asia had a hand in producing the short project next tollidBilly Productions, Shonenbat Collective and Story Street. Deyto will serve as producer this time for the feature version next to BlackOps development head Jay Pou, and with BlackOps’s own Pedring A. Lopez and Rex Lopez executive producing.
The second project listed will be 2016 Filipino action horror, Kampon: Ghost Assassin, based on a concept also by Shonenbat who produced the shortfilm with Primarch. Film duo Joal Eduarte and Carlo Cielo penned the short with Eduarte at the helm, and with Karen Testibia (The Entity – a.k.a Nilalang) and Japo Parcero (Expressway, Ang Probinsiyano) starring with action sequences choreographed by Jearome Calica (Asian Treasures).
BlackOps will expand its narrative centered on a female assassin who takes on contracts for the dead; the new incarnation sees our heroine now faced with a contract tied to a powerful politician which ensues a bloodbath that threatens the very fabric of human existence.
Kampon: Ghost Assassin was screened at various film festivals throughout the Philippines such as Gawad CCP and CineKasimanwa. Eduarte and Cielo will have a hand in developing the new movie with BlackOps’s own Pedring A. Lopez, Rex Lopez and Jay Pou producing.
Both projects now add to the growing resumé at the Philippine-based BlackOps which also has offices in Hong Kong and Vietnam.
BlackOps has received recognition and acclaim from wide audiences for its several genre-film ventures with Viva Films of late, namely horror thrillers Darkroom (2017) and Binhi (2015) and the 2015 award-winning international action horror hit, The Entity (Nilalang) starring Cesar Montano and Maria Ozawa. Pedring A. Lopez directed all three feature films and also stands to continue his craft behind the lens for two more upcoming titles, including femme-fatale actioner, Maria starring Christine Reyes with a late 2018 release, and multi-national crime thriller, Breach, which remains pending as of early last year.
To boot, we also have a sultry teaser poster circulating as of Monday which you can view below in full.