REVIEW: Tony Labrusca shows promise in bold psychological thriller Double Twisting Double Back

Tony Labrusca and Joem Bascon tackle mental health issues in Double Twisting Double Back.
by Jill Tan Radovan
Oct 21, 2018
Tony Labrusca makes use of his gymnastics background in his Cinema One Originals 2018 entry Double Twisting Double Back.

In Double Twisting Double Back, Tony Labrusca stars as disturbed gymnast who is given a chance to revive his declining athletic career, but has to battle his inner demons to make it happen.


Tony Labrusca as Badger is your typical colleague at the office who mostly keeps to himself, but surprises everyone with his stellar performance. However, he doesn’t care much about hitting sales targets and his ultimate goal is to be part of the national team so he can compete in the Olympics.

He mirrors Filipino athletes who feel that they don’t receive the support they need from the government. Most of these athletes come from financially challenged families, so they see gold medals as tickets out of their humble beginnings.

Like most timid and abnormally reserved stereotypes with sociopathic tendencies, Badger has a few skeletons in his closet that pull him away from his dreams. He constantly has to fight them.


One of his detractors is also his only friend. Joem Bascon’s character is the antitheses of everything Badger is: overconfident, irresponsible, and overly promiscuous to the point of absurdity—causing trouble for them both. They constantly bicker at each other throughout the film, fighting over matters such as whether they should attend training at the gym, or just get laid.

Double Twisting Double Back is loaded with gymnastic stunts, slathered with sex, and fueled by episodes of unstable and disturbing behavior—an odd mix. It doesn’t hold back, not even at exposing someone’s penis.

It may be odd, but it’s a fairly engaging film.


On the surface it's unlike anything you’ve seen before, at least in local cinema. And then it hits you: there’s just too much of Fight Club in this film. You find yourself asking, “Was he trying to be a hyperactive Tyler Durden in that scene?”

Double Twisting Double Back may be set in the Philippines and within the realm of gymnastics, and yet there are scenes that remind you so much of David Fincher’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel. Let’s hope this is all coincidence, and not fandom going overboard.



Double Twisting Double Back is a brave although reckless attempt at a psychological thriller. Kudos to the creators for encouraging viewers to step out of their comfort zone and wean from everything fine and dandy for a while.

It’s a gilded opportunity for Tony Labrusca to prove that he’s more than a poster boy from a fastfood commercial who got into the acting game because of his showbiz genes.

With all due respect to Tony who will probably get more offers after this project, the most memorable element of this film is Joem Bascon.

Joem epitomized what it means to be every bit repressed, obsessed, and deranged, twice over.

Twisted, indeed.

Directed by Joseph Abello, Double Twisting Double Back is one of the entries of the Cinema Originals 2018 film festival.

Ed's Note: The "PEP Review" section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial team.

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Tony Labrusca makes use of his gymnastics background in his Cinema One Originals 2018 entry Double Twisting Double Back.
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