At last!!… some free time for another review… and just when your Favorite Catgirl thinks she’s seen about every wacky horror film to come her way out of Asia… something always comes along to prove me wrong. If you think that Indonesia’s haunted toilet epic “Toilet 105” was about the craziest ghost story ever… then you’ll absolutely love the latest Philippine ghost horror story to hit DVD, “Pridyider” with it’s… wait for it… honest-to-goodness haunted refrigerator… Oh yeah…. I kid you not… 😉
Our synopsis? Well that goes like this: “Several years ago, Tina (Andi Eigenmann) was sent away to the United States to live with her aunt because of a tragic and horrific incident involving her parents kept as an embarrassing family secret and never adequately explained to her. Grown up and in need of a fresh start to her life, she moves back to the Philippines and into their old home. Unfortunately for her, she’s not alone in the house. The kitchen is home to a demonically possessed, human-eating refrigerator. Tina must dig into her hidden past to discover the truth about what really happened to her parents, and to somehow find a way to defeat the infernal appliance before it is too late.”
A movie with an evil refrigerator with it’s own nutty “Cthulhu” style Hentai tentacle demon? Think this wee Catgirl could pass on this one? Are you thinking you just gotta see it too? Well then hunker on down and let your Favorite Movie Lovin’ Catgirl Princess tell you all about it. 🙂
Now…. first up… this isn’t a Japanese movie, it’s a Philippine one…. so all slimy demonic tentacles aside, with Pinoy film sensibilities on hand, you just know there wont be any “naughty tentacle action” to speak of here. Yes…. Now Neko knows that’s a big disappointment for many of you out there…. you naughty, naughty guys. But that’s just too darn bad, so there…. 😉
Nope this particular story draws more from an old Philippine horror anthology film back in 1984 called “Shake, Rattle & Roll”… an anthology series sooooo popular there that it’s been a regular yearly film fixture ever since. Yours truly hasn’t seen that particular Pinoy horror classic…. at least not yet, but hey…. I’m a persistent lil’ Catgirl so who knows? It could happen…. Hehehehe!!
Anyway, what’s the story on hand here then? Ok, so in this one, our heroine, Tina Benitez (played by Andi Eigenmann) has returned to the Philippines and her ancestral home to escape from the unwanted attentions of a would-be boyfriend and full time asshole (played by Baron Geisler). (Don’t worry Gentle Visitors… He shows up and gets eaten later in the movie… Yay!! 😉 ) She’s always wondered why she had been sent away by her father to live in the US with her aunt, and… as might be expected in a horror movie…. has always been kept in the dark about that big dark secret in her past. Even though her aunt keeps trying to keep her from going, it’s inevitable that she’ll find out all those grisly details once she finds her way back to the old family home. So what’s that secret?
Well…. it seems that just about everybody but our heroine knows that when she was little, her Mom (played by Janice de Belen) just kind of…. well…. went completely bat-shit crazy with jealousy and killed Tina’s Dad (played by Joel Torre), the family maid, and a bunch of other women she thought were his mistresses with a big ol’ knife. Not only that… but she used an evil old book to cast a satanic ritual to summon up a demon to help her. (Because sometimes a big ol’ knife just isn’t enough revenge, I guess…)
Naturally there was a police investigation at the time… and even a tough-as-nails Police Inspector named Detective Albay (played by Ronnie Lazaro) to try to solve the crime. But when the demonic powers of Evil are involved you just know even the toughest “Dirty Harry-est” cop ain’t gonna come out on top. Luckily for Tina, she was soooo outta there before the murders went down , her Dad disappeared, and her Mom died while hiding from the cops inside their now demon possessed refrigerator. By the middle of this movie I’m betting she wishes she’d stayed back in the good ol’ US of A.
But we wouldn’t have much of a movie then would we? Oh… and her homecoming isn’t all bad…. she makes friends with her kooky neighbor Celine (played by Venus Raj) and she also does manage to rekindle her romantic feeling for electrician, James (played by JM De Guzman) an old schoolfriend who’s carried a secret crush for sweet Tina all these years since she’s been gone away. He was a geeky overweight boy that all the other kids picked on but who the pretty and popular Tina always had a soft spot for. Luckily for her… he’s all grown up and now he’s just the hunky sort of chap a girl like her needs to lean on when that creepy ‘fridge along with the ghost of her crazy Mom starts trying to eat her.
Yep. Now that big ol’ Frigidaire may look like a leftover from an old episode of “I Love Lucy” but trust me… it isn’t. Big enough to be a coffin…. built like a tank… and sometimes filled with O.J., yogurt and yummy looking noodles, other times stuffed full of severed body parts and slimy demon tentacles. Hmmmm…. once that starts happening, I’m thinkin’ Tina seriously needs the Philippine version of the Exorcist, but quick.
Eventually we do get around to that, but first there’s plenty of the expected horror elements packed in to fill out the story. We get to meet the great ex-detective and now loony hermit Albay living out his days as a one-eyed “Rambo” like dude waaaay out in the provinces. He fills in some of the true details of Tina’s tragic family story that most of the rumors got wrong… and later her supposedly deceased Dad pops back in all messed up and scarred by an attack from Tina’s Mom all those years ago to fill in the rest. He’s been hiding out all these years you see… keeping an eye on the old family home and trying to work up the nerve to deal with his wife’s murderous ghost and the evil refrigerator once and for all.
Yes, yes…. that all rolls around before we wrap those credits, and pretty much as you might expect. So how did this one end up feeling for this wee lady?
Not too bad actually. Director Rico Ilarde didn’t stray too far from his source material, but still manages to put all the right touches to what is, for the most part, a pretty by-the-numbers horror effort. He’s got a good eye for what works… what doesn’t… and manages the difficult trick of investing our “inanimate object” with a fair amount of atmospheric character all it’s own. The cinematography on display is good too, especially given the smaller budgets that are on hand for such Philippine horror films, and the acting throughout is decent, if not amazing. I mean…. remember… it’s a movie about a demonic refrigerator…. not Shakespeare ;). Anyway…. at least both Carolyn and I ended up enjoying things quite nicely on “Movie Nite” and that’s really all I ask for in a film, so we were happy. With that, I can easily give this one 3 well deserved “Meows” out of 5. But then… there’s the distinct possibility that I’m just nutty for silly stuff like this…. 😉
The official Philippine DVD is great as always, with nice accurate English subtitles and can be found easily for the reasonably nice price of 15-19$ US most places. Not a film that many will rush right out to grab, but if nutty Asian flavored horror is your thing, this wee Catgirl thinks you’ll probably enjoy a look.
Yep… I’ve got the Official Trailer for those of you that want a little “Haunted Appliance” action of your very own to whet your appetite for this oddball Horror offering… Enjoy!!