Burlesk King (2000)




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Harry leaves Olongapo, the former site of American bases, with his best friend James. They end up in Manila where they soon find work as macho dancers in a gay bar run by Mama Odette. Harry has a troubled past- his American father used to pimp him and his mother, Betty. When his father accidentally killed his mother, Harry struck out on his own. He made a vow to kill his father. In Manila, Harry witnesses various kinds of relationships. He meets Aileen, the sister of James. Aileen is a lesbian whose lover's family frowns on their relationship. He strikes an unusual friendship with Mario, a gay writer whose love life with a former live-in partner, Michael, is not as rosy as the romance novels he dishes out. Harry finds love with Brenda, a teenage hooker with a soft heart for street kids and a mind for superstitions. She teaches him love and survival in its right time. A group of thugs Harry and James encountered in Olongapo, comes back to exact vengeance. James dies and Harry is inconsolable. He starts pimping Brenda who opens his eyes to the reality that he has become like his father. Now, Harry sets out to hunt him. He looks for his father everywhere . He finds him in a lonely shack in a squatters' area in the heart of the city. His father, nearly skin and bones and dying of AIDS, is being taken care of by an old friend, Miong. His father tells him his mother, Betty, is alive after all. Harry looks for her in Angeles City, where aging hookers ply their trade in darkened sidestreets. Harry and mother are reunited. She teaches him forgiveness. They seek out Harry's father to bring him home. Harry learns to accept his part and finally attains his salvation.


Critic Reviews for Burlesk King

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

Though using the same format and basic elements--sexually titillating scenes with heavy dosage melodrama--this is an inferior follow-up to Mel Chionglo's charming efforts, Macho Dancers and Midnight Dancers.

May 10, 2006 | Rating: 1/4
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