TOPNOTCH comedian and television host John Lapus plays a closeted gay character raised in an uptight religious family in the much-awaited horror-comedy film, “Echorsis: Sabunutan Between Good and Evil”—and he is endlessly amused by it.
“Gosh, my character, Kristoff, and I have contrasting experiences with being gay. I was never ‘paminta’ (closeted). Never ako naging stiff and never kong itinago kung sino talaga ako,” John says.
And unlike Kristoff, too, John did not go through a traumatic “coming out” moment with his family. His mom, especially, had accepted his sexuality early on.
“Walang naganap na confrontation kagaya ng eksena sa movie na makikita sa trailer. One day, isang araw, necktie na lang ng nanay ko na ahit ang kilay ko. Tapos noong second year college ako, pina-invite nya ang mga friends ko sa Teatro Tomasino (the theater guild of UST), eh puro mga bakla ‘yon at mga babaeng bakla. Nakita ko naman na inintertain sila ng nanay ko,” he recalls.
“My father abandoned us when I was in Grade 6, so it was much easier siguro in my case na mag-come out, unlike Kristoff na lumaki kasama ang tatay nyang military,” John muses.
In “Echorsis,” John’s character Kristoff is an emotionally vulnerable, closeted gay virgin who falls prey to a gigolo named Carlo (Alex Medina), who is possessed by a gay demon after Kristoff’s untimely death. Carlo later undergoes exorcism rites performed by Father Nick, played by Kean Cirpriano.
Movie fans believe that Echorsis’ which was produced by Chris Cahilig of Insight 360, directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Lemuel Lorca, and written by Jerry Gracio, is another breakthrough film for John who has played memorable roles in blockbuster movies like “Here Comes The Bride” and “Moron 5 and the Crying Lady.”
“Kahit na horror-comedy ang ‘Echorsis,’ malalim ang role ko dito. May kaunti ring drama kaya kakaiba,” he reveals. “Nakakaaliw din ang concept na paminta ako nung una at first time ko yatang gumawa ng isang ‘dark comedy’.”
John’s on-screen romance with the ruggedly handsome “kilabot ng mga beki” (gay heartthrob) Alex Medina has intrigued netizens, particularly the local LGBT community.
“SweetLex is the love team to beat,” the comedian quips, giggling. “Mas mahaba pa ito sa SLex at NLex. Malamang magkakatuluyan din kami—like JaDine,” he jests.
And is it true that John had a love scene with Alex?
“Actually ako ang nahiya sa kanya sa mga bed scenes namin. Pucha, nauuna pa maghubad sa akin eh . . . Nakaka-tense talaga!” he recalls.
John confesses that he has never been attracted to his fellow actors but it might be different this time around. “Malamang kay Alex pa lang!” he laughs.
John says he isn’t surprised that the trailer of Echorsis has become viral. “It’s different and yet familiar. Turns out horror and comedy with a touch of kabaklaan is a winning combo,” he laughs.
The comedian likewise affirms that Echorsis is a potential box-office hit. John, however, urges fans to show their support by watching the flick on its first day and then sharing their feedback on social media.
“Kahit maganda ang pelikula, mawawala agad sa sinehan kapag mahina sa unang araw. Dapat wag na tayong maghintay. Sugod agad kapag ipinalabas na sa April 13!” he stresses.
Completing the ensemble cast of Echorsis are Alessandra de Rossi, Chokoleit, Kiray Celis, Mich Liggayu, Ruby Ruiz, Negi Negra, Bekimon, Nico Antonio, Francine Garcia, Odette Khan, and 1:43’s Yuki Sakamoto, Anjo Resurreccion, Gold Aquino, and Yheen Valero.
Echorsis is supported by BellaVita Land Corp. and McJim Classic Leather.