Live Action: Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh

April 14th, 2013

zaturnnahToday is a “something completely different” kind of day. Yesterday, I watched a movie so special that I wanted to tell you about it right away. Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh is like everything you’ve ever seen, only better. ^_^

Ada is a transsexual living in Manila. After her boyfriend takes her money and dumps her, she decides to move to a small town to leave her bad memories behind. With her best friend Didi and her her niece Aruba she opens up a salon, where she tries very hard to not fall for the local hunk, Dodong.

And then she’s hit in the head with a pink meteorite. Didi convinces her to swallow it to gain power (she saw it in a comic book) so Ada does…and transforms into the superheroine Zaturnnah, played wonderfully by Zsa Zsa Padillah, who matches her body language to Ada’s and boy can she sing!

Did I mention this was a musical? Oh yes. It is.

Ada is played by BB Gandanghari – formerly known as Rustom Padilla, a hunky lead actor who, in 2009, came out as transsexual and changed her name. She’s utterly fantastic in every way as Ada. Sensibly, Ada wants to avoid having her heart broken again, and  is convinced that Dodong is only in love with Zaturnnah. In the meantime, as Zaturnnah, she’s busy saving her village from threats like giant frogs, zombies and aliens.

The movie was fun and all, right up to the aliens, where it was catapulted into my personal list of “thank the gods I am alive to see this.” The alien queen, Queen Femina, is obviously a Psychotic Lesbian – with a properly tragic backstory. She and her Amazonistas were…I’m running out of superlatives for this movie. Let’s just say if they made figurines of Queeen Femina and her Amazonistas, I would *so* own them.

Didi is a perfect sidekick – she reads comics, so she *gets* what it’s all about and makes sure Zaturnnah has a suitable costume (and one for herself.) Plus she’s got “comedic sidekick” written all over her. She’s a frickin’ hoot.

You’re probably wondering if Ada and Dodong get together. Of course they do (!) and it was an adorable end scene, with all the townspeople singing and dancing and fireworks and flowers and hearts everywhere. Totally “Awwwwwww….”

I found you the full trailer. Watch and enjoy.


Overall – 9

This movie is, apparently, based on a wildly popular Filipino graphic novel of the same name (which looks spectacular, too.) If any of my readers from the Phillipines have read it, please let us know how it is!

Many, many thanks to Donna for finding this. You are the Master of movies. I loved it. ^_^

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13 Responses

  1. Wow, this is actually mainstream in the Philippines! :D

    Meanwhile, back in the benighted States, stodgy and conservative old DC’s management have decided they want to be “with it” again and made some existing character transgender. Sure enough, my reaction was the same as when Marvel outed B-list superhero Northstar: I am not amused, for stodgy and conservative old Marvel and DC are perpetually clueless. And of course a transgender character won’t fly (pun intended) among the loser fanboys of the Superhero Fanboy Ghetto. That ghetto, alas, is what our comics industry calls “mainstream”. Is it any wonder manga has become our mainstream? [/rant]

    Somebody needs to get this comic into English and onto bookstore shelves, and soon. I second you on Amazonista action figures. <3

    • Wouldn’t they be awesome?

    • Ellen says:

      DC has already *had* a transsexual character — Coagula, in the Doom Patrol (1993-1995) written by Rachel Pollack. I loved her arguments with Cliff Steele (Robotman) about the relationship between gender and body.

      Of course, they had to kill her. But by then the comic was near cancellation, so they *all* went away.

  2. Josh says:

    My bad about the question a post or two ago. I misread the directions. My apologies.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Can I ask how you were able to see this movie? I’ve been trying to find a copy forever. Is there a region 1 release?

  4. puy says:

    Hi Ms Erica,

    This is very surprising and I am sure the director of this movie would appreciate this wonderful review you made. Not your surprise, I’m a native but I can’t reveal myself I apologize, lots of reasons and all. But I’ve been reading your blog since 2008 and Its perfect and inspiring.

    Having read this, Id like to watch it too. Its really funny that I’ve yet to learn this in here or if this movie was a big hit internationally, it be announced on our local television.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi puy – I don’t know if this movie had any formal release in the US at all. I’m pretty sure what I watched was not a legit copy. If there ever is a legit English-subtitled DVD, I’ll definitely get it. ^_^ Thanks for commenting!

  5. Hello, Erica! I chanced upon this blogpost after clicking a link on Twitter. :-) I’m the guy who made the graphic novel upon which that movie was based.

    The movie didn’t do too well in the Philippines, but mostly because of the demographics and the local competition. The film has had a small taste of the international film festival scene.

    This article might be of interest to you:

    Thanks for telling your readers about the movie!

    • Hello Carlo! Wow, I am so honored! I loved the movie and very much hope one day to find copies of the comic. It’s such a stellar idea…and I love your art. Thank you so much for commenting here. Consider me a fan of your work.

  6. Kate Fitzsimons says:

    It’s now available in American release and rentable on Netflix as a dvd. I’m watching it right now!

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