|Modern Pulp||Jan 6 2009|
Known as the King of Philippine Movies, actor-director Fernando Poe, Jr. was such a popular figure in his home country that he ran for president in 2004. After a hotly contested election that he lost, his supporters accused the opposition of fraud. Seven months later he was killed by a coronary thrombosis, whereupon some people close to Poe blamed his enemies, but that’s a pulp story for another time. What we’re interested in today in his huge body of work—nearly 175 movies over more than five decades. You’d almost have to be two people to produce so much and, in a way, he was. He directed for years under the name Ronwaldo Reyes, and kept the identity secret until the night he walked onto stage at the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (or FAMAS) Awards to claim a statuette. The above film, the actioner Ang Padrino, may have low budget promo art, but it won three more FAMAS Awards for Poe, including best picture. It opened today in Manila in 1985.