"Buto, kalansay, tabi-tabi po sa bangkay. Lulubog, lilitaw, sasarado hukay!"
If you just read that line, understood what it is, and recall where it came from, then you're probably among the group of people who rejoiced upon hearing the news that Magic Temple is getting restored and remastered.
But for those of you who read the exact same line and said "WTF?!?", Magic Temple is a Pinoy fantasy-adventure flick from directors Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes that came out in 1996. It won the Best Picture at the Metro Manila Film Festival the same year, and was followed by Magic Kingdom: Ang Alamat ng Damortis (which featured a young Anne Curtis in her first film role).
Rumor has it that a third film, to be titled Magic City, is slated to come out.
If you've been following this year's Metro Manila Film Festival lineup, you're probably familiar with the controversy surrounding it. This year's selection, the powers-that-be handpicked "quality" over commercial viability. So instead of the perennial Enteng Kabisote and Vice Ganda movies, audiences will be able to consume what most consider as "independent films."
A lot of people have lauded the move, saying it's high time for the MMFF to offer first-rate opuses, while some have criticized it for not providing enough movies that cater to families and children.
That being said, now might be the perfect time to reboot movies like Magic Temple; those that can be considered top-quality films with a high chance of being box-office hits. Audiences were impressed with the fantasy adventure's special effects when it first came out during the '90s. Imagine how a production like Magic Temple will turn out once rendered in today's technology...
Here are other Pinoy Fantasy films that deserve to be remade:
1) Pedro Penduko
A Filipino comic character that first came out on the pages of Liwayway Magazine, the role was made famous by Janno Gibbs in 1994 and 2000. Pedro Penduko is a normal human being who lack superpowers but is gifted with resourcefulness and a quick wit that helps him in combatting Pinoy mythical creatures like the Kapre, Tiyanak, and all those other beings our yayas would warn the naughty us. His last incarnation was portrayed by Matt Evans in the TV version, while there are talks of James Reid being next in line to play the wacky part. While James definitely has the star power, comedian Sef Cadayona is also a good choice to breathe life into the character because he offers the same charm Janno Gibbs brought to the table.
2) Spirit Warriors
Directed by Chito Roño, the 2000 Filipino fantasy-horror film starred members of the dance group Streetboys as a bunch of high schoolers who goes ghost hunting. They bumped into the shape-shifting supernatural Ulanaya, who is intent on spreading terror across the land. A reboot could feature James Reid, Daniel Padilla, and the other teen stars of local showbiz with a cameo from Vhong Navarro and Jhong Hilario. Add in Spencer Reyes to make it more nostalgic!
3) Batang X
Don't let the title throw you off; with Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes at the helm, Batang X is another local fantasy delight that came out in the '90s. It starred John Prats as KidLat, Janus Del Prado as Control, Anna Larrucea as 3-Na, John Ace Zabarte as A-Gel, and JC Tizon as G:Boy. Together, the kiddie crew is out to save the world from the evil machinations of Dr. Axis played by Aiko Melendez. Think of them as the local version of the X-Men if Wolverine and Cyclops weren't even old enough to drink beer. The next installment doesn't have to be a reboot, instead we could have a new set of heroes with John, Janus, and other members of the original Batang X serving as their mentors.
It can refer to both the hit GMA-7 television series and the eventual mid-2000s big-screen offering that brought us the heavenly beauty of FHM covergirl Angel Locsin. The story is about the conflict of two winged humanoid races namely the Mulawin and the Ravena. The latter are out to subjugate the former, and the humans and set out to find the half-Mulawin/half-human Alwina—their Sugo who is played by Angel. In the case of a reboot, our bets for the actress to reprise the Sugo role are either Max Collins or Andrea Torres (both GMA talents). Better yet, let's have both of these beauties on the installment!
5) Captain Barbell
Mars Ravelo's Captain Barbell first came out in Pinoy Komiks #5 in 1963 and has since been adapted for film and TV several times. Bong Revilla, Edu Manzano, and even the Comedy King Dolphy himself once called themselves "Captain Barbell" at some point. Tengteng—the hero actually has had many alteregos—is a thin and sickly person who dreams of being strong and muscular to fight off bullies. He finds a magical barbell (no surprise there) that transforms him into the hero known as Captain Barbell. The last iteration of the Pinoy version of Superman was portrayed by Richard Gutierrez. For the reboot, there's probably no better actor to play the role than Coco Martin. His alter ego can be played by Pepe Herrera, his sidekick from hit-show Ang Probinsyano. Now all we need is a melodramatic Gary V. soundtrack to go along with the tear-jerking scenes.