2019 has been a year of “firsts” for genre filmmaker Mikhail Red. He had his first studio blockbuster with “Eerie”, announced his first HBO series with the third season of “Halfworlds”, and made history with “Dead Kids” being the first Filipino Netflix original.
It appears that he has no plans of slowing down! This year, his zombie film, “Block Z”, will be premiering on January 29, and he’s apparently working on a prequel to “Eerie” (titled “Eerie Zero”), and a remake of Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes’ “Magic Temple”
“Dead Kids” continues to be one of Red’s most talked-about films, even inspiring memes and artworks in social media. He recently had an #AskDirekRed session in Twitter and he revealed some interesting trivia about the teen thriller:
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
12 Dead Kids trivia you probably didn’t know
1. Mikhail Red has a cameo
He appears in the film as the DJ. Director Rae Red (Babae at Baril) also appears in the school play together with the Eerie producer, Micah Tadena. And that girl who tries to steal the Raw Sienna bag? That’s the film’s assistant director, Alyssa Villanueva.
Editor and Mikhail’s brother, Nikolas Red, also appears in the film as a guy in 2020 who mistakes Sta. Maria for someone else (inspired by a party scene from Superbad).
2. Sta. Maria died a virgin
Apparently, it’s also Sta. Maria’s first and last time to enter a “spakol”.
3. The Receptionist in Geisha Spa also has a number
I guess this means you can also pick her as an option?
4. The Apartment reference
The film suggests that Mark rents out his apartment as a makeshift motel to Pao and Yssa. Apparently, this is a reference to Billy Wilder’s 1960 film, “The Apartment”.
5. Uy came out of the closet
Literally, that is. My movie buddy and Unreel EIC, Armand, noticed this the first time! Jan Silvero’s character, Gideon Uy, literally came out of the closet when Auntie Bebe left Sta. Maria’s apartment.
6. The masks are allusions to Red’s films
Red calls this a conspiracy theory but it actually makes sense! Sta Maria’s eagle mask could be a reference to Birdshot, Blanco’s skull mask to Eerie, and the zombie mask fits perfectly with Block Z. Not sure about the monkey mask, but maybe it alludes to Dead Kids itself?
7. You can actually go clubbing in “2020”
“2020” is a real club in Makati that Red goes to. “The Last Home” is also a real bar in Kapitolyo.
8. All members of the cast were Red’s first choice
In Direk’s own words: “no politics or studio interference” were involved in the casting.
9. The term “Dead Kid”
Red first heard the term “Dead Kid”, when he was still at Lourdes School Mandaluyong.
10. Real-life inspirations
You probably know by now that Dead Kids is inspired by a real-life kidnapping involving students from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. But what you probably didn’t know is that the names of the main characters are inspired by Red’s real-life classmates!
11. Red’s favorites from the film
Red tweeted that his favorite scene in the Dead Kids is when the lightbulb exploded during the school play, because it was unplanned. His favorite line from the film is the one said by Janina to Sta. Maria, “You were never a dead kid. You just don’t know how to live”. It’s Red’s own message to himself!
12. Ivan the Terrible
Vance Larena gave an outstanding performance in the film. My favorite was when he cradled Sta. Maria’s lifeless body after being shot. His inspiration for the chilling performance is Ilya Reppin’s 1885 painting, “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan”