Although Zaldarriaga doesn't flinch from delivering genre's necessary meat and red, red sauce, the film becomes more interesting as it examines the effects of a plague and pestilence of Biblical proportions on its tightly-knit Visayan community, with the crisp and often stunning hand-held digital cinematography giving its undead apocalypse a palpable immediacy and velocity. The relative lack of blood (relative, of course, to most of zombiedom's post-Night Of The Living Dead gorefests) may be due more to Zaldarriaga's severe financial constraints than aesthetic or generic imperatives, but it gives the characters breathing space to contemplate the film's wider philosophical concerns: is this Judgment Day, and are the bodies being brought back to life to punish us? Are the restless spirits "evil" by Christian standards, or much older and more deeply-rooted in the province's animistic beliefs? To his credit, Zaldarriaga never reveals his hand, leaving science and logic to battle the forces of chaos on their own.
A key player in independent production these days is Di Ingon 'Nato's funder Cinema One Originals, the "indie" wing of powerful media conglomerate ABS-CBN. Their output certainly ape the poverty-level budgets of most indies, and Di Ingon 'Nato's one million peso (approximately US$25,000) price tag is no exception. Which begs the question, are the films commissioned, bankrolled and distributed by Cinema One Originals part of a deliberate and quite arrogant move into the increasingly lucrative indie market? Is it possible that ABS-CBN's cheapies are the latest incarnation of "pito-pito" films (seven days to shoot, seven to edit), and that Cinema One Originals are merely the no-budget wing of a major studio, akin to Regal Films' subsidiary Good Harvest Productions in the late Eighties and Nineties?
Andrew: But really, the "plague" is never explained away?
Andrew: How would you describe the way you shot, then?
Andrew: How did you manage the effects you did on such a low budget?
Andrew: I called that early part of the film "provincial pace" - sleepy, languid. Then the film suddenly changes gears very quickly.
Andrew: Rez is GREAT in the film. How would you describe his place in the film world to a non-Filipino?
Andrew: Can you picture a revival in regional filmmaking?