An action-packed adventure through the Philippines featuring terrifying and amazing creatures from Filipino Mythology, The Monsters Without is the latest film from writer/director Randal Kamradt (Faraway). With an international cast led by Jake Macapagal (Metro Manila, Watch List) and YouTube sensation Jessica Neistadt, The Monsters Without is a thrilling love letter to genre cinema and the beautiful Philippines islands.
When an ancient rogue monster threatens the world, a scrappy team called P.H.A.S.E. resolve to keep man and monsterkind safe.
When a terrifying ancient Yablo called Nameless arrives with a plan to forcibly return his kind to their home dimension, only the members of P.H.A.S.E. resolve to stop him. Their leader is Setsuko, a Japanese-Korean woman who has clawed her way to the top of her field, only to request a P.H.A.S.E. assignment. Her fiance, Rommel Romero (Jake Macapagal), is an ex-police detective and the second in command. Two Americans, April and Richard, specialize in security and technology, respectively. Rommel's sister Wonder has a unique connection with the Yablo and serves as team biologist. The new intern Benito still has trouble believing everything he sees with P.H.A.S.E. And the newest recruit, Miranda (Jessica Neistadt), holds a stunning secret that will change everything. Though Nameless is nearly invincible, these lonely, conflicted, difficult, loving, and altogether human men, women, and monsters of P.H.A.S.E. must band together to save the world.
When I first thought of the concept of 'The Monsters Without' it was right after the release of my previous film 'Faraway', which was an incredible experience in every way and I wanted very much to repeat and improve upon it. 'Faraway' was shot entirely in the Philippines with a mostly local cast. So the idea of using Filipino mythology and creatures and setting a film in that world was a terrific engine to use Philippines again and go way further!
It's an important project in many regards, but especially for highlighting local Filipino talents. You'll see in the picture some terrific, previously unknown actors. Even the extras are incredible! Our production designer, Jerime, had never worked on a film of any sort before. Based on his work here he was able to start a career in the Philippines film industry, and we are so happy for him.
I was inspired to write this story also to explore a multitude of social issues. The monsters are stated early on to have human level intelligence, and also to be immigrants from another dimension. Pretty quickly the metaphors start working their way into the story. As the son of an immigrant, working for the 2nd time in my mother's home country, I felt a great connection to this story and these characters.
As a monster movie of course the prime influence here would be Guillermo Del Toro. He inspired the approach to design in makeup, prosthetics, vfx, set design and wardrobe. More hidden is the influence of Welles. This is an ensemble film, where the team is more important then any single character. Welles was a master of staging and movement, and we wanted to emphasize long takes full of movement rather than break every scene down into seven close-ups.
This is my first picture working with extensive VFX, most of which I created myself in After Effects and Blender 3d. We tried as often as possible to combine practical effects with CGI, especially in the climax of the film where we finally reveal the Aswang. One of the most iconic creatures of Filipino mythology, the Aswang is typically a woman who comes apart at the waist and can fly. We approached her scenes with a combination of makeup, greenscreen filming, a ton of drone footage, and cgi wings. Scary stuff!
I hope our audience enjoys the film, it is meant to be played on a big screen with a rowdy crowd, ready for a really surprising and unusual take on the creature feature. Enjoy!