a film by Joel Lamangan
2009 | 90 mins | Philippines
›› Heavenly Touch
a sweet story of gay love; massage parlour style.
Heavenly Touch by Joel Lamangan
Official Synopsis:-

Medical student Rodel supports his schooling by working nights at the Heavenly Touch Spa; a gay massage parlour. He likes working with his hands and his knowledge of anatomy makes him one of the most desired masseurs. When he discovers that his high school crush, Jonard, is unemployed, Rodel decides to teach him both the ropes and the rubs that will secure him a job at the spa.

Only the Heavenly Touch Spa lives up to its name solely for the gay men who frequent it, as the place in reality is run by a crime syndicate who sell drugs, enforce prostitution and treat some of the boys cruelly, as Rodel and Jonard are set to discover.
Heavenly Touch by Joel Lamangan
Dave Says:-

Films from the Philippines all too often arrive with a repetitive masseur theme to them and this sensuous tale from director Joel Lamangan of No Way Out fame, is no exception. But putting that aside, this is actually a sweet story of gay love; that of two young men who when not servicing strangers in the night, come to find true friendship and more in each other's arms.

Sure, there's overacting in parts, in particular from Jim Pebanco as the Madam of the piece and yes, and like many a work from this part of the world, it underlines the desire for so-called easy money; in this instance Rodel, for his education and Jonard, for a mortgage missing one too many payments, a need that comes to find them offering "extra services" to their clients, including trying to satisfy the sexually insatiable, mistress Sheila. Yet it is the sequences of the two young men, naturally played by Paolo Serrano as Rodel and newcomer Joash Balejado as Jonard when seen outside of the masseur environment that cuts to the romantic heart of the film, including a beautifully playful scene between the two on a beach at sunset.

Sexy, homoerotic and gay to the core, goes without saying. Yet this is equally a film that alternates its "when you've found the right person, you don't want to let go" theme with a telling depiction of the violent underbelly of massage parlour life, courtesy of gun-trotting heavy Tong. That it comes complete with a happy ending, is a spoiler, but given the plethora of bleak gay films of late, frankly that's something of a welcome relief. And boy, how these boys do kiss.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.
available on DVD as part of the Water Bearer Films catalogue: 16.February.2010 / US.
principal players: Paolo Serrano / Rodel, Marco Morales / Biboy, Gwen Garci / Sheila, Paolo Rivero /
Sandy, Jeffrey Santos / Tong, Jim Pebanco / Mama Orange and introducing
Joash Balejado as Jonard.
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #514
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