by Tuna

This graphic Fliipino exploitation film announces itself as something different in the opening scene, in which we see Simon, the village butcher, kill an ox by repeatedly hitting it over the head with a hand ax, then butchering and beheading it. All the while, children of the village are pleading with him not to kill their ox. Note that a real ox was used.

The film was shot entirely in a remote village, and stars a former Miss Philippines, Maria Isabel Lopez. She plays Tonya, a young woman acting as the village teacher because their priest is away recuperating from pneumonia. She had been in love until her former best friend (Sarsi Emmanuelle) took her would-be lover, then left the village. Maria's dream man had been Simon the butcher, who does double duty as the town's virgin slayer. Tonya has remained a virgin, and seems pious on the outside, but is a caldron of lust on the inside, and still wants Simon. When Tonya's former friend returns from Manila, where she has been turning tricks and leading the high life, she has an American in tow, but it doesn't take long for her to go after Simon again, which leads to a tragic conclusion.

Silip was produced in a Golden Age of Philippine Cinema which came about because Imelda Marcos, wife of the President and a former actress, wanted cinema to have a larger footprint in the Philippines, and prompted her husband to withdraw all censorship. The sudden uncharacteristic burst of freedom led to a group of particularly graphic films called "pene" films, because they featured actual penetration on screen. Silip is one of the best, if not the single best of the pene group. Don't confuse these films with the low-budget American films shot in the Philippines during the same era. Yes, Silip is an exploitation movie, but it also provides a genuine window into life in a remote Philippine village, reveals the influence of the Catholic church there, and demonstrates the natural and healthy obsession with sex that the church tried to suppress.

Before now, this film has only been available on a poor quality bootleg in very badly dubbed English with Greek subtitles. Mondo Macabro has located the original print, completely restored it, and is releasing a two disk special which includes interviews and a choice of either the original Tagalog soundtrack with an amazing musical score and optional English subtitles, or a poorly dubbed English track with a cobbled-together free music score. The language selection menu strongly and unsurprisingly suggests you view it in Tagalog.


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Top of the line for its type, fully restored, and surprisingly good.


  • Sarsi Emmanuelle, Maria Isabel Lopez and Myra Manibog (as a married woman who romps with Simon), all show everything


  • Mark Joseph, as Simon, shows everything, including a raging erection.






There are no major reviews online, but many genre specialty sites have reviewed it, and they are linked from IMDb.










5.5 IMDB summary (of 10)






Order it directly from Mondo Macabro