“Keep that weird man away from my girls!”

basag ang pula 1984


3 Stars  1984/118m

Title Translation: Crazy

Director: Ben G. Yalung / Writer: Tony A. Calvento / Cast: Maria ‘Snooky’ Serna, Ace Vergel, Liza Lorena, Armida Siguion Reyna, Angela Perez, George Estregan, Bomber Moran, Arnold Mendoza, Debraliz Velasote.

Body Count: 16

Despite some years backpacking, I never got as far as the Philippines so know next to nothing about the place – go see the awesome Kaijunu at Sticky Red to learn things. But wonderful site comment-depositor Jenny Lo alerted me to both the existence of this film, and where to watch it.

Like some Indian and Pakistani films, this is presented largely in its regional language – Tagalog – with maybe 15-20% of dialogue uttered in English. Tagalog sounds a little similar to Spanish. Is it? I dunno.

Anyway, a couple of people are murdered and their moustached, itinerant killer, Fernando, who then attacks some necking teenagers, but only succeeds in killing the boy, while the girl alerts the cops and the hunt is on. He hides out in a school bus, killing the driver and hiding at the back, with the body, while numerous perky schoolgirls clamber aboard for a graduation trip.

basag ang pula 1984

For reasons not explained in English, they all get off the bus and wait for morning to go, by which time Fernando has decided to pose as the driver to flee town, and accompanies the class to a remote camp where they’re going to learn to grow as people n’ shit, under the guidance of strict headmistress, Nida.

Fernando is transfixed by nice girl Chiqui, who either is, or looks like a girlfriend of his from before. I think the latter. There’s a flashback where Fernando is shot by some gangsters who try to rape her.

He eventually flips and kills some of the girls and a boyfriend who rocks up. Meanwhile, Nida is having weird sub-lesbian encounters with a girl, while the others squeal over a ouija board as a storm rages outside.

The next night, one of the teachers catches Fernando in the act and we have about 25 schoolgirls running and shrieking at once. He’s kidnapped Chiqui, and there’s a very, very long dialogue scene – all in Tagalog – which I took to be her saying he needed to chill the fuck out. This gives the police time to come, and the final 20 minutes consists of marksmen hunting Fernando through the woods.

basag ang pula 1984

High bodycount, blood (though the version I saw was very aged and drained of colour), teens smoking pot, playing with spirit boards, lesbian teacher-student goings on… Basag Ang Pula ticks just about every box its American counterparts did, and were it a US production, it would doubtlessly be viewed as a classic. As it is, the film is so obscure it doesn’t even have the minimum five votes on IMDb. Super fun.



  • Hmm, perhaps I can help fill in a few things:

    During the opening scare/kill (which is based on an obscure Filipino urban legend, by the way) the girl was killed offcamera. By the time the crime scene got swarmed by reporters, one of them exclaimed “babae naman ‘to!” when the chief inspector pulled the cover off one of the bodies. “babae naman ‘to!” translates to “this one’s a girl!”

    As to why they didn’t drive to the retreat that night when Fernando killed the driver, schools in the Philippines don’t usually go bus riding that late or that early in the morning. What’s weird about this gig, however, is that how exactly Fernando knew where they’ll be going?! o_o

    Regarding to what Fernando was saying to Chiqui near the climax, he more or less tells her that he have been waiting for her return ever since her parents told him that she was killed during the rape, something he thinks is bullcrap. *Spoiler alert* it’s not bullcrap. his girlfriend did die during the rape and Chiqui just happens to look like her. Enter Fernando going even crazier…

    Hope that’ll help, Hud!

  • Ahh this clears up a few things! Thank you!

  • No problem! And now that you tasted a Filipino slasher, here are a few more hack’n slash from my country that you may (and/or may not) enjoy:

    ~Sa Aking Mga Kamay (1996) (Not so much of a slasher flick per se, but more of “yuppie horror-cum-giallo” with a slasher-esque climax)

    ~Kutob (2005) (cliches! cliches everywhere!)

    ~Ligalig (2006) (this one’s pretty infamous for me for ripping off “High Tension”)

    ~The Healing (2012) (kinda goofy but pretty sweet bodycounter in the vein of Final Destination, only with possessed people(with googly eyes))

    ~Bloody Crayons (2017) (Our most recent offering. Kinda generic for its 90s vibe but I got a feeling you’ll be annoyed with this one *cough*mostofthekillsareaccidentalkillings*cough*)

    Have fun!

  • I knew you’d like it. :)

  • Bloody Crayons – the title alone makes me want to see this! PLEASE tell me it’s literal.

    Kutob I’ve heard of.

    @Jenny Lo – thanks for the link xo

  • Bloody Crayons? yeah, nope. It’s a name of a within-the-film game where they pick random crayons from a box and…rules…and stuff- I don’t know, half of it didn’t make sense.

    No one gets killed with a dumb crayon, if that’s what you’re getting at…

  • That’s a shame. Would have been interesting to see the crayons actually used as weapons or at least incorporated somehow into one of the kills.

  • There’s always that one scene in The Children for all your Crayola-based homicide needs.

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