Erik Matti pays tribute to friends who passed away during production of ‘BuyBust’

August 7, 2018 - 4:35 PM
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Erik Matti
Director Erik Matti.(Photo by Jill Tan Radovan/InterAksyon)

Director Erik Matti paid tribute to the people who contributed to the hit film “BuyBust” but passed away during the film’s production in a Facebook post.

Paying tribute

The veteran director behind the hit action flick finally explained the stories of the people commemorated in the credits of the movie.

Matti first talked about a Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency consultant identified as Chekie Llerin who ran them through what it was like to be on the ground during the drug war.

According to Matti, Llerin was gunned down in front of his house after having dinner with his wife.

No report on the killing of a ‘Chekie Llerin’ could be found. CNN Philippines reported that PDEA told them that they did not have any employee named ‘Chekie Llerin.’

Noe Evangelista, a stuntman on the film who passed away due to an ‘unknown disease,’ was also commemorated by Matti.

Evangelista played an extra who assaulted the character played by Brandon Vera in the movie.

Matti next paid tribute to Lupe Romulo, who passed away in November 2017.

Lupe is the sister of BuyBust musical director Erwin Romulo. Both are members of the prominent Romulo clan.

The late Lupe was the eldest child of former and cabinet member diplomat Alberto Romulo. Her other siblings are Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat and former Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo.

Matti related how the late Romulo was his “number one fan” and whose laughter was infectious.

Next was Baldo Marro, the legendary action star turned director who was in charge of the fight direction in the film’s test shoot.

Marro starred in more than 30 films and later in his life became a fight director for a number of films and television series, including “Si Agimat At Si Enteng Kabisote,” “Ang Panday 2,” “Amaya” and “Ika-6 na Utos.” He had a brief cameo as a prison warden in another thriller directed by Matti in 2013, “On the Job.”

He passed away October 22, 1987 at the age of 69.

Lastly, Matti paid tribute to three graduates of the Philippine Military Academy tapped to be extras in the movie.

The three young soldiers according to Matti were among the 168 military casualties during the Marawi siege of 2017.

Movie of the year candidate

“BuyBust” has been praised for its intense action sequences, solid performances, gritty cinematography and a brave take on the topic of the drug war in the Philippines.

Veteran film critic Phil Dy on his review of the film called it “a tremendous achievement”, praising the cast and discussing how the film’s plot had genuine substance underneath the flashy and violent action sequences.

“BuyBust” began production as early as mid-2016 and is top-billed by award-winning actress Anne Curtis. It was submitted by Matti to the Metro Manila Film Festival but was rejected for the MMFF 2017. 

The film costs $1.6 million or P80 million and received raves following its local release and is now being shown in 170 cinemas nationwide.