4Df94Dfd3Now here’s a comic book we bet you haven’t heard of, but based on this still, wouldn’t you like to? It seems the Phillipines are about to be rocked by Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, a film based on a comic by Carlos Vergara about a gay man who turns into a voluptuous woman warrior.

Cast: Zsa Zsa Padilla, Pops Fernandez, Rustom Padilla, Alfred Vargas, Chokoleit, Say Alonzo, Pauleen Luna, Christian Vasquez, Giselle Sanchez, and Glaiza de Castro
Director: Joel Lamangan
Writer: Dinno Erece
Production: Regal Entertainment
Plot: This revolves around the life of a gay parlor queen Ada (Rustom) who gulps a mysterious stone from the sky. After which, he turns into a red-haired heroine named Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah (played by Zsa Zsa). She defends the truth, justice, and liberty against all the menace of the world like zombies, giant frog and the Amazonistas from Planet X, led by Queen Femina (Pops).
Box-Office Potential: This year’s dark horse, we will not be surprised if it lands among the topgrossers.
Awards Prediction: Zsa Zsa’s role as a superhero is the strongest among the best actress contenders in this year’s filmfest entries. Pops and Rustom-who plays a gay role for the first time after coming out-are also potential winners. With a director like Joel, this film is most likely one of this year’s best works. Its special effects could also win in the technical categories.

As high concept as this is, we peg the odds of an American remake as…dissappointingly low.


  1. The comic book is actually very good, and in fact, the receipient of the Comic Book of the Year award handed out by the Manila Critic’s Circle a few years ago.

    Before this movie, it spawned an insanely popular musical, which strangely enough, translated the comic book perfectly. I wish it’s still being staged because it had a lot of great actors, great music, and inventive and clever solutions to the comic book special effects.

  2. I see an American Remake happening.
    Hell, American Remakes of Korean, Taiwan, Japanese and Chinese horror flicks are already happening. And most don’t even cite the original source (take for instance THE DEPARTED and INFERNAL AFFAIRS).


  3. Thanks for this story.
    I’m interested in the comic, the movie, and the musical.
    Looks like a parody of “Darna”, another Filipino Superhero, i recently discovered.
    Darna has had a number of movies, and tv shows based on her adventures since the 50’s.
    I’m always surprised at how little, North Americans know about world comics culture.
    Myself included.

  4. I actually thought that the original comic was a bit misogynistic, considering that the villains were these women who had been enslaved by the males of their home planet, so they sought revenge on other males. I really wanted to get into the story but that bit bothered me. And all of the females were drawn in such a hyper-sexualized way…maybe I’m reading too much into what’s supposed to be a campy farce, but there ya go. You could also say it was making fun of Americans/ Pinoys who worship America because no one but the villainesses speak English…haha. But I think that’s funny.

    Anyway, Carlos Vergara sure loves his Adam Hughes (who also draws some of the best-lookin’ men in tights, IMHO). Hope he continues to publish.

    I’m looking forward to seeing this movie and totally love the concept, the costumes. Damn! Maybe I can hope over to Manila in January, when the price of plane tickets goes down…

  5. And lest I be accused of ‘Crab-ism’ (that supposedly Filipino tendency for putting my compatriots down, like crabs climbing over each other in a basket) I have nothing but respect for Carlo Vergara (not to be confused with Brazillian artist CARLOS Vergara). He has a very strong visual sense and his art is very accomplished, he has been extremely brave in making comics about homosexuality, and is an asset to the Philippine artistic community, and I love his art. There!

  6. The play’s going to be running again soon, Gerry. I’m not sure the details, but you might be able to google it.

    Carlo was disappointed with the film, wasn’t he? It was on his blog that he would’ve done it differently. Or something.

    Toby, what in hell are you talking about? The Departed clearly mentioned it was an adaptation of Infernal Affairs.

  7. I’ve watched the musical play last summer and enjoyed it thoroughly. I hope that the movie version is just as good. I wonder why they didn’t get Eula as the lead in the movie, she is actually surprisingly great with the role. (You should hear her sing!) Besides, her previous roles on TV have proven time and again her acting abilities. Oh well, here’s hoping that the movie won’t disappoint ZZZ fans who raved about the comics and the musical.

  8. mr.vergara’s work and its stage adaptation deserve nothing but applause.

    the movie on the other hand…is…ummm…zzzzzzzzz.