Last week saw the simultaneous European and American DVD release of the controversial Filipino classic Silip/Daughters Of Eve (1985), courtesy of specialist label Mondo Macabro. Silip is set in a remote and intensely Catholic village and follows three girls as their feelings for the local lad Simon are twisted into religious repression, mania, demonization and ultimately retribution. Imagine an Asian softcore remake of Ken Russell’s The Devils, and you're not even close! MM, renowned for their superb packaging of Third World genre films, went overboard with Silip, releasing it as a double disc edition… and my on-camera interviews are on the second disc! Filmed in Manila during the Search For Weng Weng shoots, the interviews with director Elwood Perez (who almost disowns the film), bold superstar Maria Isabel Lopez (a true professional who has, shall we say, “mixed feelings” over the film set’s psychodrama), and art director Alfred Santos (a good Catholic boy who almost had a mental AND spiritual breakdown!) total almost an hour of screen time. Needless to say, as a huge fan of Mondo Macabro’s work from their book on Third World genre cinema to their Channel 4 series and now their stunning DVD releases, I’m over the moon to be a part of one of their releases! The film is in both English AND Tagalog with subtitles, and comes with an essay on the curious Filipino phenomenon of “bold” films by MM author Pete Tombs. Here’s what the reviews say:
From Mondo Digital: “Holy crap! Just when you thought you'd seen it all, along comes the Philippines-created Silip (shown far too rarely overseas as Daughters of Eve), one of the strangest, sweatiest, sleaziest films you'll ever see. No, seriously; though the packaging likens this to Japanese pink films, a closer description might be an acid-fueled remake of Maladolescenza by Alejandro Jodorowsky with lots of graphic sex and violence…. Even better, this is a two-disc set which provides some essential context for this film…. Easily one of Mondo Macabro's most eye-opening and valuable releases to date, this is already a top candidate among the most essential cult film releases on DVD to date. "
Bonus disc reviewed on DVD Talk: “First off is an 18-minute interview with the film's Director Elwood Perez. We hear the voice of Andrew Leavold, Phillipines B-movie scholar, questioning once in the interview, but mostly it's Perez covering a fair amount of ground quickly, with lots of abrupt fades-to-black interspersing questions. Topics range from an overview of Filipino cinema (and the 'Bold' genre of Silip) to Perez's background and ethos to the real meat, the behind-the-scenes story of Silip. Perez comes off, earnest, realistic and entertaining - the type of guy you'd like to have a beer with. But things go deeper. The next 13-minute interview is with star Maria Isabel Lopez, who hits the usual background marks before outlining her experiences on the 'set' of Silip. She seems to remember some hardships among the rough scenes she had to film - hardships borne of Perez's desire for realism - as well as bemused confusion with how aspects of the filming process and script seemed to change daily. The last 8-minute interview is with Art Director Alfredo Santos. Aside from being amusingly located in an art gallery in which an assistant is loudly sanding the walls in the background, this interview gently dissects how
From Twitch: It is films like that this one that I count myself privileged to write for a website like Twitch. It is not often that this type of essential cinematic discovery comes along, and I'll admit there is quite a heady-thrill when you are caught so off guard about a film… Kudos to
From DVD Drive-In: “SILIP (which translates to "peeping" in English) is a hard picture to categorize. It features scenes of harsh savagery backed against ones of erotic tension. Primitive lust, religious confusion and the blossoming of womanhood, all book-ended by scenes of decapitation and rape. The back of the DVD case warns that "this film contains scenes of sex and violence that may disturb some viewers" and they aren't kidding. Before the opening credits end, it will become very apparent that SILIP is a truly unique cinema experience… Considering the rarity of the workable film sources, Mondo Macabro has gone above and beyond with their most recent release, and has only begun to give
From 10K Bullets: “…Mondo Macabro’s most ambitious and accomplished DVD release to date, highly recommended.”
From DVD Maniacs: “A genuinely unsettling look at the juxtaposition of sex and religion by way of an artsy exploitation film. Silip is an interesting and very well made film. Mondo Macabro's two-disc set treats the film with the kind of respect rarely afforded to quirky foreign imports such as this, and it's a testament to the company’s dedication to preserving and expanding the audience for some of the most interesting movies from around the world.… All three interviews on the disc were recorded by Andrew Leavold who is currently in production on his documentary The Search For Weng Weng! All we can say is God bless you, Andrew, you're truly doing the Lord's work.”