Filipino vet Mel Chionglo has helmed at least two of the many prior "macho dancer" mellers that followed Lino Brocka's 1988 hit of that name, and his third trip to this particular well is among the cheapest and dullest yet. The boys look just as bored as most viewers will be when this hits DVD niche markets.

Filipino vet Mel Chionglo has helmed at least two (“Midnight Dancers,” “Burlesk King”) of the many prior “macho dancer” mellers that followed Lino Brocka’s 1988 hit of that name, and his third trip to this particular well is among the cheapest and dullest yet. “Twilight Dancers” puts more young hunks through the usual titillatingly tragic paces involving crime, poverty and family shame. Plus, of course, umpteen sequences of on-stage bumping and grinding. The boys look just as bored as most viewers will be when this hits DVD niche markets.

Current most popular performer at a gay club in the Philippines (though it’s patronized by an awful lot of ogling straight women), Dwight (Tyron Perez) has a crush on a collegiate girl and an eye on better prospects working abroad. But he unwisely gets involved with boytoy-hungry Madame Loca (Cherry Pie Pichache), a ruthless, corrupt businesswoman. Her disillusioned ex-dancer bodyguard Bert (Lauren Novero) tries in vain to warn Dwight. Meanwhile, past-prime-at-28 Alfred (Allen Dizon) struggles to find legit work to support his wife and child. Despite patina of political commentary, pic’s shrill supporting stereotypes and sloppy narrative/tech assembly dominate.

Twilight Dancers

Philippines

Production

A CenterStage production. Produced by Fernando Lapuz. Executive producers, Brilliante Mendoza, Arlene L. Sy, Patrick V. Vasquez. Directed by Mel Chionglo Ogpi. Screenplay, Ricardo Lee.

Crew

Camera (color, vid-to-35mm), Nap Jamir II; editor, Charliebebs Gohetia; music, Jerrold Tarog; production designer, Edgar Martin Littaua. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 8, 2006. Tagalog dialogue. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Cherry Pie Picache, Allen Dizon, Lauren Novero, Tyron Perez, Ana Capri, Arnell Ignacio, Joel Lamangan, William Martinez.
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