Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Rolling Stones Do Lovecraft

Didja ever wake up to find

A day that broke up your mind

Destroyin' your notion of circular time?

It's just that Evil Eye

... that got you in its sway.

Words: "Sway" by the Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, from the album STICKY FINGERS (1971).
Images: "Dreams in the Witch-House" (2005) by Stuart Gordon, based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft. From the series MASTERS OF HORROR, available from Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Note 10/9/08: I've had a few e-mails from helpful readers who inform me that, according to the song lyrics posted on whatever website, I've got the lyric wrong and that the real line is "It's just that demon life has got you in its sway." I know, I looked around for lyrics, but finally went with what's on the actual recording. "Demon life" may have been part of a rough draft, it might even be in the background vocals, but it's not what Mick Jagger is singing. I have the album and I studied the recording carefully prior to, and even after, posting. It's a common saying that the evil eye or malocchio has one in its sway, or thrall. "Demon life" in this context would make no sense. Granted, Jagger sings the song like he's a couple of bottles of cognac to the wind, but I believe "evil eye" is fairly plainly heard, considering how some entire other verses are slurred.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Farewell, Cirio Santiago

Cirio H. Santiago, in a 2007 photo from the Search for Weng Weng blog.


The PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER has reported the death of Filipino exploitation master Cirio H. Santiago, best-known as the line producer of New World Pictures' popular WIP quartet of THE BIG DOLL HOUSE, WOMEN IN CAGES, THE HOT BOX and THE BIG BIRD CAGE (the first and last of which were directed by Jack Hill). As a director, Santiago was also responsible for such legendary '70s drive-in fare as T.N.T. JACKSON (scripted by Dick Miller), COVER GIRL MODELS, FLY ME, VAMPIRE HOOKERS and FIGHTING MAD. The DAILY INQUIRER report, written by Marinel Cruz, reads as follows:

Filmmaker and producer Cirio Santiago, who award-winning Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino considers a big influence and inspiration, died Friday night of complications from lung cancer. He was 72.

Santiago, who was diagnosed early this year, was pronounced dead at 11:50 p.m. at Makati Medical Center. His doctors declared respiratory failure as the immediate cause, his sister Digna, an official of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, told the Inquirer by phone on Saturday.

Like Cirio, Digna is a film producer for the family-owned Premiere Productions.
At the time of his death, Cirio was chair of the Laguna Lake Development Authority.
Cirio’s son Cyril died of testicular cancer six months ago, said Digna. “Cirio became very depressed.”


She said her brother was taken by ambulance to the hospital on Sept. 18 after he complained of difficulty breathing. “His family learned of his condition in March, after his son, Cyril, was buried,” Digna said. “He didn’t even tell us, probably because he didn’t like too much attention.”
He is survived by wife Annabelle; children Christopher, Cathy, Claudine and Cirio Jr.; and siblings Digna and Danilo.


Cirio was cremated on Friday. A Mass will be held tomorrow, 10 a.m., at Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati.

Cirio, who also used the screen name Leonard Hermes, was chair emeritus of Premiere Productions. In 1995, he was president of the Philippine Film Development Fund.
In 1960, he was one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines, for Movies.


Among Cirio’s better-known films were T. N. T. JACKSON (1975) and FIREHAWK (1993). In the 1980s, he made low-budget Vietnam war movies, working with American producer Roger Corman and directors Jonathan Demme and Carl Franklin.

Several of these B-movies have become cult favorites, cited by such “renegade” Hollywood filmmakers as Tarantino. During his first visit to the country last year, Tarantino sought a meeting with his two “idols,” Cirio, and Filipino director, Eddie Romero. Tarantino proudly announced that he had based some of the characters in his iconic film, KILL BILL, on those in Cirio’s earlier movies.

At the time of his death, Cirio was filming ROAD WARRIORS [sic, actually ROAD RAIDERS], produced by US-based 147 Productions, as the sequel to his [1983] sci-fi flick STRYKER. He was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines next month.

Among Santiago's other productions were THE BLOOD DRINKERS, EBONY IVORY AND JADE, UP FROM THE DEPTHS, BLOODFIST I and II, and DEMON OF PARADISE. Thanks to Joe Dante for sharing this news with me.