When Filipino action films were in season, filmmakers resorted to “fighting” words in movie titles to “punch-up” the “must-see” pugnaciousness of their cinematic confrontations.
The competition for action film buffs’ attention and patronage became so fierce and furious that some of the feisty titles the ’90s conjured up practically flew off the screens and movie ads for the combative actioners!
Recalled in relative tranquility by nostalgia buffs decades later, they still veritably shout and sizzle, pugnaciously harking back to those “baaaad,” old days, before local action flicks shockingly lost favor with viewers.
The combustible and combative titles speak feistily for themselves: “Ibabaon Kita sa Lupa,” screamed one loud and livid title, to which another in-your-face actioner responded, “Kahit Singko, Hindi Ko Babayaran Ang Buhay Mo!” What macho fun and gumption!
Other “rough and tough” examples continue the combative conversation: “Dadaan Ka sa Ibabaw ng Aking Bangkay” elicited the retort, “Karapatan Ko ang Pumatay,” followed by the dare, “Ikasa Mo, Ipuputok Ko,” the threat, “Baril Ko Ang Uusig”—and the knockout punch, “Hindi Ka Na Sisikatan ng Araw!”
Bahala na ang Diyos,” “Masahol Pa sa Hayop,” “Daig Pa ang Asong Ulol,”
“Hindi Pa Tapos ang Laban,” “Paghihiganti Ko, Tapos Na,” “Bala Ko sa Huling Tapang Mo,” “Bilang na ang Araw Mo,” “Humanda Ka, Oras Mo Na,” “Hawak Ko ang Buhay Mo,” “Habang Nasasaktan, Lalong Tumatapang,” “Humanda Ka, Babalikan Kita,”
“Itataya Ko ang Buhay Ko,” “Kamandag Ko ang Papatay sa ’Yo,” “Akin ang Ulo Mo,” “Ako ang Lalagot ng Hininga Mo,” “Ibabalik Kita sa Pinanggalingan Mo,” “Magkasubukan Tayo,” “Pasasabugin Ko ang Mundo Mo,” and “Aagos ang Dugo.”
By the year 2000, however, the action film titles became less quotably combative—on hindsight intimating that the action film was going from hot, to cool, to cold!
Yes, viewers still got to watch movies with titles like “Asong Kalye,” “Bugbog Sarado” and “Lisensyadong Kamao”—but, they were a far cry from “Lulutang Ka sa Sarili Mong Dugo,” right?
Indeed, the dreaded action film slump had started to choke the local movie industry, eventually reducing actioners to a veritable comatose state that compelled even action superstars to drastically cut back on their high-flying lifestyles, or run for public office.
As for the industry’s stuntmen, many of them had to find work as taxi drivers—and dance instructors!
Thank goodness, the deep freeze is starting to warm up this season, with hit TV action series like “Ang Probinsyano” leading to the production of local actioners again, paced by “Ang Panday” at this December’s MMFF.