Two From Cirio H. Santiago: Silk and Silk 2

When is an Andy Sidaris film not an Andy Sidaris film?

When it’s directed by Cirio H. Santiago, of course!

Santiago, the Roger Corman of the Phillippines, is credited with directing 100 films over the course of his 60-year career and the 1986 film Silk is definitely one of them! And the sequel, 1989’s Silk 2, is definitely another one. That may sound like faint phrase and I guess it is. Let’s just face it — not everyone is going to be a Cirio H. Santiago fan. Some people are going to want movies that make sense and maintain some sort of continuity from scene to scene. To those people, I will say that Silk and Silk 2 are probably not for you. However, if you just enjoy watching people fire guns and blow things up, the Silk films might be for you.

In the first film, Cec Verrell plays Jenny Sleighton, also known as Silk. Silk is the toughest cop in what we’re told is Honolulu but which is obviously Manila in real life. Early on Jenny informs us that she’s known as Silk because, “I’m so fucking smooth.” Silk may be smooth but she’s also deadly. The film establishes early on that Silk will basically shoot anyone. Normally, that might be a problem but, fortunately, Silk only seems to meet criminals. Over the course of the film, Silk investigates a smuggling operation. She starts out busting heroin dealers and then eventually comes across an identity theft ring …. at least, I think that’s what happens. Trying to follow the plot isn’t always easy but then again, why would you want to follow the plot of a film like Silk? The plot’s not the point. The action is the point and Cec Verrell is such a convincing action star that I’m surprised that she didn’t have a bigger career. Seriously, Cec Verell kicks ass!

Unfortuantely, Cec Verell did not return for Silk 2. In Silk 2, Monique Gabrielle steps into the lead role. Technically, Gabrielle is better at convincingly delivering her dialogue that Verell was but Gabrielle is never believable as an action star. As opposed to the first Silk, which emphasized action, Silk 2 emphasizes nudity and it even features a strangely blurred sex scene. (It’s like soft focus times twenty.) The plot of Silk 2, however, is a bit more fun than the plot of the first film, as it deals with the search for some ancient scrolls and it features Silk’s partner continually getting captured and tortured by the bad guys. After a while, you start to wonder if maybe Silk should stop rescuing him every time that he kidnaps because, seriously, the guy needs to learn to make more of an effort not to kidnapped every time he leaves his house. Eventually, Silk teams up with an ancient scroll expert, who looks like a reject from the brat pack. He and Silk fall for each other, of course. As with the first film, it’s not always easy to follow what’s going on but it’s a short movie and it’s quickly paced, making it ideal for when you want to watch a movie but you don’t necessarily want to have to pay too much attention to it.

Technically, neither Silk nor Silk 2 are that good but they’re both entertaining when taken on their own admittedly special terms. For all of his flaws as a filmmaker, it’s hard not to appreciate the fact that Cirio H. Santiago, like Andy Sidaris and Roger Corman, never let a lack of budget or ability stand in his way. Between 1955 and 2014, Cirio H, Santiago directed 100 films and every single one of them is uniquely his. There’s something to be said for that.

Right Man At The Right Time? On “Captain America By Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1” : Part One Of A Three-Part Series

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Patriotism, the old saying goes, is the last refuge of scoundrels, but I dunno — these days it just might be the first. From Donald Trump to Alex Jones to Larry Elder to Ben Shapiro to the rapidly-growing list of right-wing “shock jocks” dropping over from COVID at a steady clip (hey, who says all the news is bad?), the media landscape is utterly polluted by scurrilous grifters dry-humping Old Glory for a quick buck and tossing her aside until it’s time to milk their audience of lemmings for even more of their hard-earned (unless it was given to them by means of one of those dastardly “gub’mint handouts” they oppose for other people) cash. The ringleaders of this shell game writ large don’t care about America any more than they care about you, of course, but it seems there will always be a ready and willing audience for…

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Norm MacDonald, R.I.P.

I’m still in shock about the news that Norm MacDonald died today, at the age of 61. He died of cancer, which he had been battling for nine years.

Norm MacDonald was the funniest man alive, though he often didn’t seem to get the appreciation that he truly deserved. There are so many comedians who claim not to care what people think about them and their jokes but, when it came to Norm, it was no act. He would joke about anything and anyone, delivering his punchlines with deadpan but savage nonchalance.

Like a lot of people, I first knew Norm MacDonald as the anchorman of SNL‘s Weekend Update. He was the last great Weekend Update anchor, which unfortunately led to him losing his job when NBC president Don Ohlmeyer took offense to his frequent jokes about OJ Simpson.

Personally, I liked Norm MacDonald’s takes on the movies:

After he was fired from Weekend Update, Norm MacDonald appeared on David Letterman’s show and said that he had been told that he would still be allowed to be a performer on Saturday Night Live and that he would still be doing celebrity impersonations but “I suck at that.” However, anyone who ever saw Norm MacDonald plays Burt Reynolds knows that MacDonald was being too modest.

After Saturday Night Live, Norm MacDonald continued to be a popular and beloved talk show guest. His appearances on Conan O’Brien were legendary.

My personal favorite Norm MacDonald talk show appearance was when he showed up on The Larry Sanders Show, along with special guest Henry Winkler. Though everyone on the show was concerned about a missing Hank Kingsely sex tape, Norm kept the audience laughing.

Norm MacDonald, Rest in Peace.

Music Video of the Day: He Can’t Love You by Michael Stanley Band (1981, directed by ????)

On August 1st, 1981, MTV premiered.  Over the course of 24 hours, 166 unique music videos were played on MTV.  Yes, there was a time when the M actually did stand for music.

The 47th video played on MTV was the video for He Can’t Love You by Michael Stanley Band.  I hadn’t heard this song nor did I know much about this band up until a few days ago but I have to give credit where credit is due.  This is a good song and a good video.  The video, including the hospital scenes, was filmed in a Los Angeles factory that manufactured shopping carts and, more so than the many performance-orientated videos that also aired on the station’s first day, it indicated the direction that would soon be taken by both MTV and music videos in general.


The First Videos Shown on MTV:

  1. Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles
  2. You Better Run by Pat Benatar
  3. She Won’t Dance With Me by Rod Stewart
  4. You Better You Bet By The Who
  5. Little Suzi’s On The Up by PH.D
  6. We Don’t Talk Anymore by Cliff Richard
  7. Brass in Pocket by Pretenders
  8. Time Heals by Todd Rundgren
  9. Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon
  10. Rockin’ in Paradise by Styx
  11. When Things Go Wrong by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters
  12. History Never Repeats by Split Enz
  13. Hold On Loosely by .38 Special
  14. Just Between You And Me by April Wine
  15. Sailing by Rod Stewart
  16. Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden
  17. Keep On Loving You by REO Speedwagon
  18. Better Than Blue by Michael Johnson
  19. Message of Love by The Pretenders
  20. Mr. Briefcase by Lee Ritenour
  21. Double Life by The Cars
  22. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
  23. Looking for Clues by Robert Palmer
  24. Too Late by Shoes
  25. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  26. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy by Rod Stewart
  27. Surface Tension by Rupert Hine
  28. One Step Ahead by Split Enz
  29. Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
  30. I’m Gonna Follow You by Pat Benatar
  31. Savannah Nights by Tom Johnston
  32. Lucille by Rockestra
  33. The Best of Times by Styx
  34. Vengeance by Carly Simon
  35. Wrathchild by Iron Maiden
  36. I Wanna Be a Lifeguard by Blotto
  37. Passion by Rod Stewart
  38. Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello
  39. Don’t Let Me Go by REO Speedwagon
  40. Remote Control and Illegal by The Silencers
  41. Angel of the Morning by Juice Newton
  42. Little Sister by Rockpile with Robert Plant
  43. Hold On To The Night by Bootcamp
  44. Dreamin’ by Cliff Richard
  45. Is It You? by Lee Ritenour 
  46. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac