Friday, May 23, 2008

Silly newbie mistake

I'd read a lot online about one of the classic Filipino horror movies, Patayin sa sindak si Barbara (although the IMDB says the original title was Patayin mo sa sindak si Barbara, and my Tagalog isn't such that I can explain the difference). The translation they give is Kill Barbara With Panic...or as we might say in the vernacular, Scare Barbara To Death.

Since it was otherwise unavailable, I went to eBay, found a copy at a reasonable price in U.S. dollars, and waited for it to ship from the Philippines. I was surprised to find it a two-disc set. So, belated, I did the research I should have done in the first place. The movie came out in 1974, and my best guess is, that's the version people talk about.

Then there was a 1995 remake, directed by Chito S. Rono, well-known for Feng Shui, Sukob, and the tv show Spirits. The version I got in the mail, however, actually stars Feng Shui's Kris Aquino, and is a remake done in 2008 as part of a television show called SineSerye.

But none of that is the silly newbie mistake. Since the cover art prominently features something akin to a Chuckie doll, I'm sure I'd enjoy it anyway. (Also, crazily, this story just aired in January, so it's a contemporary slice of Filipino horror). Nope: I forgot to check for the presence of...subtitles!

It's especially frustrating since the cover art, the DVD menus, everything is all in English. And the opening scenes are in both English and Tagalog; just like in some Hindi movies where the characters are themselves multilingual, so I might be able to muddle a little. But I have movies in which every scrap of script on the packaging and on the DVD itself is in Japanese or Korean, and they still have subtitles.

You'd think I'd know better by now not to take subtitles for granted. Just swept away by enthusiasm, as I so often am...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have done that so many times (with Indian movies)...I use the disks as coasters (usually have great artwork!) and wait for the subtitled version to appear :-)