Like any genre or sub-genre, there are good films and bad and The Deathhead Virgin is a Filipino horror that runs somewhere down the middle. The movie is not awful by any meaning of the word, but neither is it the genius piece of cinema one might have somehow expected it to be. The film concerns some treasure hunters who discover a sunken galleon containing the bones of a fabled Moro princess. Of course, said princess awakes to get her revenge and what follows is a fair amount of nudity, some violence and killing and some decent action scenes. For the most part, the movie actually does very little despite it being an hour and a half. The problem with it all is the fact that it just plods along as it does so. There is no tension and little suspense and while blood and murder and naked women usually a good horror make, this film just never seemed to find its footing.
It is hard to say just what ultimately made it falter, whether it was the direction from Norman Foster which was less than solid at best or the script by Jock Gaynor and Larry Ward who also happened to star in the movie or a combination of those things among others. The story itself was a good one and it held potential, but the narrative was shaky and the audience never found oneself caring for any of the characters on top of that. Whether a big-budget picture or a Z-grade schlock-fest, one has to at least care about the characters in some way, love or hate, it really does not matter which and here, it was hard to get invested in any of them other than the dead princess.
There is some good to go along with the bad and the underwater cinematography was done quite well. Some of the best scenes in the entire movie took place beneath the waves, especially when the princess engaged one of the men and not simply because she was naked. Any fighting that takes place deep in the ocean makes for a good film as it really adds a level of danger to something that would otherwise be tame, not to mention a bit of horror for there is nothing quite as scary as the fact that one could possibly drown at any given moment.
While there are better films, it is not as if this movie is a complete waste of time and if one wants to see something different, The Deathhead Virgin definitely fills that need. To sum it up, if the focus had just been a little bit stronger, this movie would have been a great one, but as it is, mediocrity is the best one can hope for.
2.5 out of 5