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e'Tzaintes: Giving Self Deceit a Better Name

Singapore 2003
produced by
Lee Amizadai, Rizal Rahman, Tzang Merwyn Tong, Karan Low (associate) for Inri Studio
starring Wesley Teo, Tzang Merwyn Tong, Richard Phillip, Tiana Tay
written by Tzang Merwyn Tong, music by Ubermensch, Optical Bros., Stompin' Ground

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Wynn is the new kid in school, and therefore not all that respected. The cool kids in school are the Backside Boys, but they are also violent bullies ... but somehow their dirty deeds are always covered up, since the school's principal is coincidently the father of Ah Hock, leader of the Backside Boys.

But then there's Faeke Ashe, one of the outcasts in the school, who organizes the other outcasts, including Wynn, to teach Ah Hock and the Backside Boys a lesson. And suddenly, the outcasts, calling themselves e'Tzaintes, are the talk of the school and are suddenly considered cool.

Somehow Wynn feels, he and his friends are becoming the next bullies, the next Backside Boys, and detests event he thought of it ... but he is even more shocked when he is called into the principal's office and the principal tells him to stay away from Ashe, who is supposed to be dangerous (though probably hardly as dangerous as Ah Hock).

Wynn runs away and hides out in the school's attic, where he meets Ashe again, and the two have a heart-to-heart conversation, and it turns out they are very much alike.

Eventually, Ashe and Wynn run into the Backside Boys again, who try to get back at Ashe for humiliating them. Eventually a gun is pulled and one of the Boys shoots Ashe. In the ensueing confusion, Wynn picks up the gun, but suddenly realies he is surrounded by people who don't understand him, including the principal, while his best friend lies dead at his feet. At first, Wynn tries to threaten the others withthe gun, but ultimately he commits suicide.


This film tries so hard to tell something deep that it seems to totally fail to realize it's telling nothing but an age-old, overly clichéd story ... and isn't even good at telling it, more relieing on intentionally jumpy cuts, fast camera movements, cool music and the actors' weird outfits than on actual storytelling, let alone any believable character development. Not worth wasting even the 50 minutes it lasts.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD