Philippines - 1986
Director – Cirio H.Santiago
MGM/UA Home Video, 198?, VHS
Run Time: 1 hour, 24 minutes
For a movie named after its lead protagonist, Silk is infuriatingly coy about using her. Few action films are so audacious as to be named after the key protagonist but in such cases there is no hesitancy to demonstrate the reasoning behind this decision. Both Dirty Harry and Cobra open their films with an explosive introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Perhaps it is because Silk is a woman that director Santiago didn’t feel that people would buy the idea of a tough, trigger happy female cop. Perhaps it’s because the name doesn’t make any sense considering the character’s lack of personal suavity and the film’s dearth of nudity.
I won’t say that it’s all downhill from there, it’s not a bad movie per-se, but neither is it very memorable. Cec Verill (you wouldn’t know her from anything else) plays Silk, a hard-ass cop who busts drug smugglers in Hawaii (actually the Philippines.) Trouble is, much of the film seems to be about her male coworkers arguing amongst each other and fighting over money. Through a meandering plot Silk tracks down baddies and blasts ‘em, uncovers nefarious plots and blows ‘em up, gets captured, escapes and does it all again, but despite claiming to be “so fucking smooth,” her primary function appears to be fucking up dude’s plans. With a name like that I expected a veritable cacophony of one-liners or a sea of sweat slicked skin. I’m guessing the movie was named after the fact (as often happens) in order to create as false an impression as the cover. An image which, though titillating in the extreme, is about as egregious as the movie gets.
Santiago didn’t often waste a chance to get the women out of their clothes, (his earliest efforts included numerous Women In Prison films) but I can’t understand it here. I do appreciate the fact that her value to the film is not purely sexual (her outfits do make this claim dubious) but her hard ass attitude is as much a sensationalization of her gender (in it’s “unusualness”) as T & A, but the extra skin would have cheapened its appeal even more. Perhaps that’s the irony of Silk. In all it’s unreasonableness it upsets our expectations and reminds us not to make assumptions. Or not. Maybe I’m trying to validate what’s really just a bunch of crap.
Go read the review at Comeuppance!