Massacre era

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The Vizconde massacre made headlines in thePhilippines in the '90s and started a trend in filmmaking. Besides the horror itself, the suspected perpetrators included high-society figures. Movie producers and directors rode the wave of public outcry by creating true-to-life films based on such heinous crimes.


Massacre movies during the '90s boomed out of the killings that racked Philippine society in that decade. The Vizconde massacre in 1991 started the moviemaking trend.

Enterprising directors and producers put their fertile imagination to work as they creating masterpieces that helped raise public awareness on crime and punishment beyond the daily news reports. Massacre films tackled extreme life-and-death situations based on actual events. Hence, dramatizing crimes that nobody witnessed was no small feat.

PEP's Top List remembers the massacre movies that were released in the '90s. The list highlights four of these films, starred by some of showbiz's biggest names.

THE VIZCONDE MASSACRE: GOD HELP US. This 1993 movie was based on the brutal murder of the Vizconde family members—Estrellita, Carmela, and Anna MarieJennifer—on June 30, 1991, in their home at BF Homes Parañaque. The case became controversial due to the alleged involvement of Hubert Webb, son of formersenator Freddie Webb; and Antonio Lejano, son of actress Pinky de Leon andnephew of actor Christopher de Leon.

The controversy caught theattention of director Carlo Caparas, who made his movie apparently in support for the aggrieved, as the title suggests.

Shot entirely where the heinous crime tookplace, the movie strongly projected reality. For example, Kris Aquino as Carmela Vizconde acted out the victim's final moments while being stabbed to death. Kris subsequently starred in other massacre films, making her the "Massacre Queen" in showbiz.

A year after the box-office success of The VizcondeMassacre, Carlo Caparas gave moviegoers a fresh sequel, The VizcondeMasacre 2: God have mercy on us (1994). The sequel tells the untoldchapter of the Vizconde massacre.

THE LIPA MASSACRE: GOD SAVE THE BABIES! Vilma Santos portrayed the role of Mrs.Helen Arandia, wife of an Overseas Filipino Worker in Saudi Arabia. The Star for All Seasons starred with JohnRegala, Joel Torre, and then-child actors Charina Scott and Angelica Panganiban in this 1994 movie.

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While boarding a plane back to the Philippines, Mr. RonaldArandia (played by Joel Torre) was shocked when he saw his murdered family on a newspaper's front page. The killer (John Regala) visited Mrs. Arandia at their home in Lipa City, Batangas,and brutally murdered her and her two daughters, aged 8 and 6.

The film directed by Carlo Caparas won Best Picture and Best Director at the 43rd Famas Awards (1994).

THE ELSA CASTILLO STORY: ANG KATOTOHANAN. This movie directed masterfully by Laurice Guillenpopularized the term, "chop-chop lady." Starring Kris Aquino and Eric Quizon, the1994 movie became an instant hit in the box office due to the engagingstoryline and, of course, Kris' mounting popularity.

Another movieof the same title, directed by Edgardo Vinarao that same year, starred Lorna Tolentino, Matt Ranillo, and Mark Gil.

Based on the real life events of Elsa Castillo, the moviefocuses on the tragic love triangle involving the married couple and the illicitaffair between Elsa and her divorced lover. The husbandfound them out and, in a fit of rage, butchered hiswife. Hence the term, "chop-chop."

THE LILIAN VELEZ STORY. The popularity of massacremovies dug up an old case involving actress-singer Lilian Velez.Lilian, who gained popularity as a film actress for LVN Pictures after WorldWar II. She was the leading lady of actor Bernardo "Narding" Anzures in tha films, BinibiroLamang Kita, Ang Estudyante, and Sa Kabukiran. The success ofthese prompted LVN Pictures to change Lilian's leading man, and Bernardo Anzures was replaced by Jaime de la Rosa. Bernardo became thoroughlydistressed, for he harbored an "obsession" for Lilian, reports said.

On the night of June 26, 1948, Bernardo visited Lilian unexpectedly at her Quezon City home and stabbed her to death. A housematewho attempted to help Lilian was also killed. Bernardo wasarrested, tried, and convicted for the murders. He later died in jail due totuberculosis; his motive for the killings never established.

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Forty-seven years after the crime, in 1995, it was dramatized by Sharon Cuneta (LilianVelez) and Cesar Montano (Bernardo Azurnes). Although the case was long past,moviegoers were still hyped up by the star quality of Sharon andher portrayal as Lilian Velez.

Now, your turn to make your own list of massacre movies...


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