Penekula, the other form of melodrama was that species most characteristic of the decade that witnessed the celebration of the sex urge in the arts. Penekula was melodrama that was as moralistic as the traditional sarsuwela. Its values were as old fashioned as those found in earlier forms of popular culture like the soap opera, the komiks novel and the serialized novels of weekly vernacular magazines. What gave it its sensational character was the subject of sexual relations and the frankness with which the camera filmed bed scenes only coyly suggested in bold movies. Hindi Mapigil Ang Init (RJR Films International / Fantasy Films International) was the first penekula. It is about a young woman named Carmen (Myra Manibog), her sexual urges and the men who would quench it. Her suitor Kardo (Orestes Ojeda), her boyfriend Arnold (Albert Eugenio), her brother-in-law Ramon (Mark Joseph) and her husband Fernando (George Estregan). The movie was an instant hit, prompting every other producer to outdo its sexual acrobatics that sold so well. This soft porn trend did not produce anything that would qualify as a classic of the genre. Penekula ties the issue of eroticism in Filipino filmmaking with the political maneuvers of the Marcos regime. The economic and political crises that have shaken the regime since the Aquino assassination in 1983 are an inescapable and eloquent context for the rapid proliferation of erotic representation. History has not recorded a single case of a genuinely democratic revolution successfully defined by an avalanche of pornography.
Talk about penekula and the name Lito de Guzman comes to mind. In Hindi Mapigil Ang Init, he showed that women deserve to enjoy sex as much as men. They have the right to pursue their happiness without feeling guilty and they also have the right to defend themselves. The characters are caricatures in the tradition of the porn movie and of the media drama. There's also no worthwhile conflict that unfolds. Situations are contrived and pretty predictable. Hindi Mapigil Ang Init is obfuscated by mediocre acting, bad lighting and sloppy editing. The film is tidy and awkward in characterization. It has neither script nor direction in some scenes. Sickening is the fact that in the end, after wallowing in distorted images, Hindi Mapigil Ang Init moralizes by sending a message that sex is bad, woman is bad and if there is no exit, woman is to blame for all the mess. Its impact on the form of subsequent Filipino films was to manifest itself in new candor in the handling of sex as an integral part of any true-to-life treatment of love relationships. Erotic movies blatantly indulged the penchant for comfort and luxury which includes enjoyment of pleasure offered by food and sex under a repressive political regime.
Directed By: Lito J. de Guzman
Screenplay: Ramon Catubigan
Director Of Photography: Joe Tutanes
Music By: Jennylee
Film Editor: Rene Tala
Produced By: RJR Films International And Fantasy Films International