Huwag Mong Buhayin Ang Bangkay is a Mother’s Day Movie (seriously!)

Okay, so this is so 80’s because the movie was shown in the late 80’s. I used to be very scared of this movie!

Disclaimer to those who still want to watch: Spoiler alert!

The story is just the usual plot; a mother (Charito Solis) who favors the younger son (Jestoni Alarcon) over the elder son (Ricky Davao) resulting to sibling rivalry. The rivalry thickens when both brothers fall in love with the same girl (Pinky Suarez).

Helen (Pinky Suarez) uses Robertito (Jestoni) for her personal gain so it is easy for her to dump him in favor of his elder brother (Ricky). Heartbroken, Robertito tries to end his life but is stopped by his mother (Charito) and Julie (Rita Avila) just in time. Robertito and Julie start dating much to the chagrin of Julie’s suitor (Jojo Alejar) and reveals that Julie is just playing with his feelings.

Believing that Julie (Rita) is just playing, he leaves the house and meets a fatal road accident. The doctors cannot do anything to save his life so his mother resorts to the mysterious Lucio (Ruben Rustia) to repair his damaged body.

Unable to cope up with his demise, his mother brings his corpse home and lets herself to believe that a miracle will happen. Her relationship with his elder son (Ricky) worsens because she blames him for Robertito’s death. She shuns away visitors to keep her secret that she is hiding her son’s corpse; only her loyal servants and Julie are allowed inside the house.

Her faith in God is tested when despite her pleadings that God brings back to life her son yet he decomposes, she resorts to evil faith. Satan grants her wish but her son is no longer the meek child she knows. Robertito turns into a zombie-monster and starts to attack all those that will either expose him or hurt him in the past. He kills their male servant and Helen (Pinky) in a series of attacks.

During a sacrificial ritual, Lucio (Ruben) instructs Robertito (Jestoni) to kill Julie (Rita) but his mom (Charito Solis) attacks one of Lucio’s men, thus giving way for Julie to escape.

The final scene in the cemetery is the fighting of both brothers and Gabriel (Ricky) being saved by his mom Aurora (Charito) from Robertito’s attack. Robertito weakens from “crucifix exposure” and goes to Aurora for that final good-bye. Wounded, Aurora dies with Robertito on her lap.

Gabriel, who has always felt insecure about his brother, asks the priest why his mother saved him. The priest replies that it is because he (Gabriel) is her (Aurora) son as if telling us that in the end, Aurora finally treated her sons fairly.

Movie Review:

As I mentioned earlier, this is just the usual sibling rivalry plot and the movie is even low-budgeted. The saving grace of this movie are the actors.

Charito Solis is excellent in her role and you can feel her pain when Robertito dies. Ricky Davao is supposed to be the antagonist here but you can also feel his pain and longing for his mother’s love. Jestoni Alarcon looks vulnerable as Robertito and somewhat funny as the zombie-monster. Of course, this is the 80’s so expect Rita Avila as his leading lady.

Ironically, I found the second half of the movie boring when Robertito turned into a zombie-monster. Why can’t they realize that Robertito is afraid of the crucifix? Julie could have survived had she realized that the reason why Robertito fell down during the first attack was because of the crucifix on the wall. Even the parish priest did little to help realize that.

Without looking at the inconsistencies, well, this movie is all about motherly love and how an unequal love can lead to sibling rivalry. This movie is also about a mother’s repent when she realizes that too much motherly love is toxic. This movie is about reminding mothers that there is little that we can do about our children’s behavior later in life because the formative years are the most important. In the case of Robertito, Aurora probably shielded him from pain and rejection when he was small so he grew up weak and dependent.

From a point of view of a sister, the movie reminds us that while unequal love is not okay, sometimes we just have to understand that our parents give love to our siblings who need it the most but it doesn’t mean that we are not important.

Conclusion: 4 out of 5 stars