The Merits of Sin: The Boy God aka Stone Boy (1982) (Philippines)

I’m not sure how many toys you had growing up but I was fortunate enough to have an older brother I wasn’t too far behind in age. We were also into a lot of the same shit which meant I got just as much joy out of the army men, dinosaurs and He-man toys my brother relished. He’d get into sports, I’d fall deep in love with monsters and those toys were key pieces in various adventures concocted in my monster kid skull. Godzilla would take on Spider-Man, Skeletor rode Gamera into battle and the Real Ghostbusters would find themselves in mortal combat with the giant ants from Them! (which haunted my nightmares for longer than I’d care to admit). Linear storylines and plot development meant exactly nothing, I just wanted the things I loved to exist together in the same world. I have a feeling the angels behind The Boy God were in the same headspace. They’re my kindred spirits and they made one hell of a psychotic cocktail of comic book fun, a dash of Filipino folklore, an odd mix of Roman and Greek mythology and some monster movie hijinks. It shouldn’t work and by normal cinematic standards it does not…thank the old gods we aren’t about that here.

normal cinematic standards

An immortal materializes on the front porch of a human he has the hots for and because gods are often selfish pieces of crap, he has his way with the poor woman while invisible. Don’t worry, the mortal and the immortal will both pay for his crime later thanks to the others of his kind frowning upon relations with lowly humans. Nine months fly by and out pops Rocco. He’s delivered by his no nonsense grandma and right after he is brought into the world (unbreakable umbilical cord and all), trouble arrives for his mother and her husband. Enraged with jealousy and also just being a complete dickhole, the dastardly Robbie shows up and guns down Rocco’s poor parents. Grandma flees into the cover of night with the baby and manages to escape.

Papa?

They return to the town several years later, Rocco now a pudgy young boy who shares an odd resemblance to Winnie Cooper. Rocco also has superpowers. Thanks to his rapist father, he is somewhat indestructible. His granny explains to him that he is like a limestone. He gets hard when he gets heated (what?) but when he gets soaked he begins to dissolve (what?)

So, much like Bruce Willis, his one weakness is water. As the film progresses you’ll come to realize that Rocco must have some sort of death wish ingrained in him with how much he finds himself submerged in that good old agua. Anyways, it would seem Rocco has returned at the right moment because the small village could desperately use the help of a hero…no matter how pudgy and inexperienced he is.

It was always you, Winnie

Three witches who turn into werewolves are up to no good and are creating some vampires of the bat/human hybrid variety. Adding to the issues that bastard Robbie is still being a dick under the employ of a mad scientist we will later find out is the nefarious Dr. Mengele and I believe he is supposed to be THAT Dr. Mengele (portrayed by a chunky Filipino man in a neckerchief) who has plans to create a master race. There’s an army doctor in the village looking into the poisoned water in the area which the mad scientist is behind. This research will put the army doctor on the same heroic path as Rocco…at least to a point. About half way through the film, the witches and vampires are taken care of and Rocco’s story takes a more mythical turn.

First act issues

After falling into a large body of water when he loses his grip on the feet of a flying bat-human (yes, you read that correctly), Rocco wakes up in a cave in the company of elderly blind man. Turns out he is also an immortal and luckily for Rocco he doesn’t have the same thing on his mind his father had. He lets Rocco know that there is a chance he can free his parents from their purgatory like punishment and become the true hero he is destined to be. He must travel to the land of immortals and pass a few trials, Rocco agrees without even thinking it over. Decked out in some tiny armor, he teams up with a tribe of dwarves to take down a cyclops (it involves Rocco becoming a human projectile), teaming up with a super hot warrior woman to take out some evil twins which can attach to each other and have faces on the back of their heads and death himself who has the ability to shoot lasers out of his eyes. By this point, you may be ready to put down your tea and inspect it for LSD. Fear not, your significant other has not drugged you, this is all happening. Rocco eventually makes it back to the land of mortals and takes care of those evil bastards Mengele and Robbie. After accomplishing these final goals on earth, his parents are free and he has a happy reunion with his mother and her rapist. Yay?

Second act dreams

I know it may sound like the end stages of syphilis have finally eaten away at my brain but I guarantee you all of this crazy shit went down. I didn’t even mention the fully naked Rocco (vegetation carefully covering his ding dong) being basted with water by one of the witches in preparation to be barbecued or the mad doctor’s prize creation, a box he imprisons people in which zaps them with lightning and turns them into smoldering ash. I probably didn’t need to. It’s all done on the cheap but any lack of budget is more than made up for by an over abundance of enthusiasm. This is the kind of lunacy I could watch till the world explodes… hopefully Rocco won’t let that happen. 10/10


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