Filmography: Tok, Tok, Palatok (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: F. H. Constantino; Screenplay: Bert R. Mendoza; Cast: Vilma Santos, Panchito, Bentot, Pugak, Dencio Padilla, Tange, Max Alvarado, Jojit Paredes, Ike Lozada, Ponga, Rodolfo boy Garcia, Alicia Alonzo, Mary Walter, Ange; Original Music: D’ Amarillo; Cinematography: Fermin Pagsisihan

Plot Description: Vilma Santos played a twin sister…of a snake.

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…That was not the first time I met her. Actually, I know her way way back when she was only 8 or 9 years old, pumupunta sila sa amin. Kasi regular customer ng Mother ko ang Mama niya sa ready made clothes, yun kasi ang business ng Mother ko noon sa Rustans. I was about 10 or 11 years old then, and while her mom is making the selection of cloth, iniiwan naman niya si Vilma sa living room namin. Minamasdan ko siya, ang ganda-ganda ng mukha niya…Maasikaso sa set, malambing, mabait lalo na sa maliliit na crew. Doon kami nagkaroon ng bonding when we were doing that film. Mabuting tao talaga si Vilma, she has a good heart and always willing to help others. We became very close, di ko makakalimutan na minsan ay nag-drive ako ng 3 hours just to see her…Let’s split it up into two. Personality and how she relates to others. Personality wise, mabuting tao siya, she is so trusting to the extend that it becomes disadvantage on her part , she trusted people so much. About relation to others, she is so approciable, a perfect politician, she’s always ready to help, not skimming, she has social conscience and will do things to achieve her goal…” – Franco Gabriel (READ MORE)

“…And so, to prove them wrong, Vilma’s manager smartly plotted follow-up recordings. Not only did Vilma record her follow-up album, she recorded a string of mini-LPs. Mini-LPs are shorter version of the big vinyl record with two songs on each side. She ventured into Tagalog songs, recording six songs that include instants hits like Isipin Mong Basta’t Mahal Kita, a theme song to a film she did opposite Filipino chess grand master, Eugene Torre; Palong-Palo, where she received a golden record award in 1974 and an up-tempo opm, Tok-Tok Palatok, another theme song from one of her comedy film with the same title opposite Jojit Paredes…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Very few probably are aware that Ronnie was once a matinee idol in the music profession. He was the other half of the famous singing duo called The Two of Us. His partner was Jojit Paredes, the cousin of Jim Paredes, who was also a kilabot ng mga colegiala as part of the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, now better known as the APO. Ronnie and Jojit were schoolmates in La Salle grade school, while Jim and his then large group were from rival Ateneo…After The Two of Us, Jojit eventually disappeared from the scene (he is now in L.A. married to an American and works as an assistant administrator in a hospital), while Ronnie’s popularity lingered, especially when he and Vilma Santos began dating. Ronnie also joined Penthouse 7 as executive producer/dancer and also part of the group was Ida Ramos, who many years later would become his wife. (Ida Henares now heads GMA Artist Center.) In between, he also hosted his own variety shows on TV, primarily in the Broadcast City stations…” – Butch Francisco (READ MORE)

RELATED READING: Interview with Jojit Paredes

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Filmography: Basta’t Isipin Mong Mahal Kita (1975)

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Basic Information: Directed: Armando De Guzman; Cast: Vilma Santos, Eugene Torre, Panchito, Coney Reyes, Roldan Aquino, Teroy De Guzman, Teddy Blarmino, Ellen Esguerra, Ponga, Greg Lozano, Rhonna Mercado, Golay, Menggay, Marlyn Pastera, Ursula carlos; Theme Songs: “Isipin mong Mahal Kita” performed by Vilma Santos

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Eugene Torre: “…Medyo mahirap kasi (It was quite difficult because) I played a poor man and a rich man at the same time…I had to wear a tuxedo in some scenes then plain clothes the next. It was hard to make the switch…” – Manolo Pedralvez, Rappler, 28 June 2014 (READ MORE)

“…And so, to prove them wrong, Vilma’s manager smartly plotted follow-up recordings. Not only did Vilma record her follow-up album, she recorded a string of mini-LPs. Mini-LPs are shorter version of the big vinyl record with two songs on each side. She ventured into Tagalog songs, recording six songs that include instants hits like Isipin Mong Basta’t Mahal Kita, a theme song to a film she did opposite Filipino chess grand master, Eugene Torre; Palong-Palo, where she received a golden record award in 1974 and an up-tempo opm, Tok-Tok Palatok, another theme song from one of her comedy film with the same title opposite Jojit Paredes…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Coney made her movie debut in “Return of the Dragon” in 1975. She has been hosted for Student Canteen since its first airing on GMA Network in 1975. In 1982, Coney Reyes left Studio Canteen for Eat Bulaga on RPN. In exchange, Chiqui Holmann-Yulo filled the slot vacated by Reyes. Coney’s hosting stint with Eat Bulaga opened more opportunities for her and has been co-starred with Dolphy, Fernando Poe Jr., Vilma Santos, Lorna Tolentino, Maricel Soriano, Helen Vela, Aiza Seguerra and Vic Sotto among others in several movies and TV programs…” – Wikipilipinas (READ MORE)

“Eugenio Torre (born November 4, 1951) is a chess Grandmaster (GM). He is considered the strongest chess player the Philippines has ever produced during the 1980s and 1990s period, following the heels of Fischer-era Filipino chess champions National Master (NM) Ramon Lontoc, International Master (IM) Renato Naranja, IM Rodolfo Tan Cardoso and GM Rosendo Balinas, Jr. Super GM Wesley So is currently the top Philippine chess player. GM Torre shot to prominence in 1976 as a possible future title challenger after winning a strong four-man tournament in Manila ahead of world champion Anatoly Karpov – thus becoming the first player to finish ahead of Karpov in a tournament since the latter became world champion. The high-point of his career came in the early 1980s when he was ranked world No.17; successfully going on to qualify to be a candidate for the world championship after tying for first with Lajos Portisch during the 1982 Toluca Interzonal. Torre has the distinction of being the first Asian player to earn the title of International Grandmaster. He qualified for the Candidates Matches for the 1984 World Championship. In that preliminary stage, the contenders play matches against each other to determine who will challenge the world champion. Torre was eliminated when he lost his match against Zoltán Ribli by a score of 6-4. After losing his quarter-final candidates match to Zoltán Ribli in 1983, Torre became disillusioned with chess and more or less went into semi-retirement. He went on to become a minor celebrity due to his daily one hour TV programme Chess Today…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Pag-Ibig, Masdan ang Ginawa Mo (1969)

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Basic Information: Direction and Screenplay: Luciano B. Carlos; Cast: Dolphy Nida Blanca, Panchito, Myrna Delgado/ Also Starring Katy dela Cruz, Bayani Casimiro, Teroy de Guzman, Georgie Quizon and Vilma Santos, Rolly Quizon, Manuel Quizon, Pete Andal, Frank Vera, Jaime Ladiano, Angel Casaje, Ben David, Ike Fernando, Vic Pacia, Jessette; Story: Dan Quizon; Choreography: Al Quinn; Music: Restie Umali; Production Company: RVQ Productions; Release Date: September 7, 1968 at Globe Theatre

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: The second of four films films of Dolphy and Vilma (the other films are King and Queen for the Day, Happy Days Are Here Again, Buhay Artista Ngayon); 1970 FAMAS – Best Actor Nomination – Dolphy

Film Review: “…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“Pag-ibig, Masdan Ang Ginawa Mo” ng RVQ Films (Setyembre 7 – 13, 1969)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

Here’s the picture with the secret formula for birth control…”Pag-ibig Masdan Ang Ginawa Mo (September 7, 1969) ng RVQ Productions ang pinangunahan nina Vi, Dolphy, Nida Blanca, Panchito, Myrna Delgado, Katy de la Cruz, Bayani Casimiro, Rolly Quizon, Georgie Quizon at Teroy de Guzman. Ito ay sa iskrip at direksiyon ni Luciano B. Carlos at istorya ni Dan Quizon…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Filmography: King and Queen for a Day (1963)

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Basic Information: Director: Mar S. Torres; Story and screenplay: Ading Bernando, Jose Leonardo; Cast: Dolphy, Chichay, Jose Mari Gonzales, Liberty Ilagan, Panchito, Aruray, Naty Santiago, Johnny Misa, Ven Medina, Venchito Galvez, Vilma Santos, Herminia Carranza, Cora Maceda, Pepe Salameda, Naty Mallares, Apolonio Abadeza; Producer: Jose O. Vera; Original Music: Carding Cruz; Release Date:3 July 1963 (Philippines); Produced: Sampaguita Pictures; Film poster: Video48 – IMDB (READ MORE)

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: First movie with Dolphy and Chichay

Film Reviews: “…This movie was in tribute of the staff and crew behind the movies produced by Sampaguita Pictures. They were played by Dolphy, Panchito, Chichay and other actors and actresses of the said film outfit. The title was about a popularity contest in the studio where some of the said staff and crew were the candidates. Here, the King of Comedy played a janitor named “Julio Antukin” who became involved in most of the hilarious situations in the movie studio premises like throwing the pin of the grenade instead of the grenade, when he replaced a bit player, at the site where a movie director, played by Ading Fernando, was standing giving instructions about a scene. Another one was when he was assigned in the sound room where his clumsiness in the operation of its equipment caused the switching of the male and the female voices of its contract stars, played by Jose Mari Gonzales and Liberty Ilagan, in a musical number scene. In the end, he redeemed himself, when he was able to help the studio from being robbed by a gang of criminals which made him the “King” while Chichay was the “Queen”. Vilma Santos appeared in this movie as Dolphy’s younger kid sister…” – Melcore’s CinePlex Blog (READ MORE)

“Chichay (born Amparo R. Custodio; January 21, 1918 – May 31, 1993) was a Filipino comedienne. Her short and stocky stature, scratchy voice and prematurely aged appearance allowed her to portray grandmothers while only in her thirties. She was born in Tondo, Manila, the daughter of a ship steward, Jose Pacifico Custodio and Maria Robles of Bulacan. In 1945, she married Hercules Saenz Moya of Iloilo. She entered showbusiness as a teen, joining the “Samahang Antonieta” as a singer with her sister Iluminada. She also appeared as a chorus line dancer at the bodabil shows of Katy de la Cruz. Soon a regular at the bodabil circuit, she received her stage name “Chichay” from Atang de la Rama. The name was a corruption of the Japanese word “Chiisai”, meaning “short”, in reference to Chichay’s own short height and she got famous for her toothless appearance but in reality she still got 2 molars left. Chichay appeared in her first film, Sampaguita Pictures’s Huwag Ka Nang Magtampo, in 1949. She became a star in 1953 after appearing in Gorio and Tekla, opposite Tolindoy. In the next decade, Chichay and Tolindoy became a popular comic duo, often paired together in films….” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

“…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“King ang Queen For A Day” (Hulyo 4 – 13, 1963)…ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya…Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“…Pangkaraniwang papel niya ang Everyman na mula sa karalitaan ay humahantong sa tagumpay – at lover boy pa, tulad sa mga sumusunod na pelikula: “King And Queen For A Day” (1963), “Rodolfo Valentino” at “Tayo’y Mag-Up Up And Away” (1970). Matagal siyang nakakontrata sa Sampaguita, pero nang magsara ang pangunahing movie company ay gumawa si Dolphy sa iba’t bang studio, tulad ng Lea Productions at Regal Films, at sa sariling RVQ Productions…” – Mario A. Hernando (READ MORE)

“…Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, who’s now identified with ABS-CBN, told the Inquirer: “The whole country is saddened by the news. He was simple but someone with a big heart for Filipinos. He entertained us for over 60 years.” The actress-politician recalled that she first shared the screen with Dolphy when she was a child star. “I worked with him and the late comedians Panchito and Chichay when I was 11 years old in the Sampaguita movie ‘King and Queen for a Day.’ That was 1963…” – Bayani San Diego Jr, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jul 12 2012 (READ MORE)

Filmography: Buhay Artista Ngayon (1979)

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Basic Information: Directed: Frank Gray Jr.; Story: Roy Vera Cruz; Screenplay: Tony Cruz; Cast: Dolphy, Vilma Santos, Freddie Quizon, Panchito, Babalu, Eddie San Jose, Cachupoy, Bayani Casimiro, Metring David, Georgie Quizon, Amay Bisaya, Danny Catindig, Pons De Guzman, Tatlong Itlog, Ellen Esguerra, Moody Diaz, Odette Khan, Cloyd Robinson, German Moreno, Ike Lozada, Florante, Joe Quirino; Executive producer: Rodolfo V. Quizon; Original Music: Dominic Salustiano; Cinematography: Amado De Guzman; Film Editing: Efren Jarlego; Sound: Gabby Castellano; Theme Songs: “Buhay Artista” performed by Dolphy, Music by Dominic Salustiano Lyrics by Florante

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Dolphy and Vilma Santos did four films together. The first one was in her first year in show biz and in a Dolphy-Chichay film. After six years, the two reunited in one of early films of Nida Blanca and Dolphy. The film was sort of about family planning and birth control. Vi was in minor role and one of the child actors featured in the film. They followed this up with minor roles in the Cirio Santiago’s all-star-cast film. By later part of 1970s, both Dolphy and Vilma became a regular staples in award shows receiving several trophies as box office king and queen. Finally, after almost a decade from their last outings and no longer his film daughter, Dolphy and Vilma did their last film (to this day), this time, Vilma played the leading lady, in a film, ironically, about show business. Also, that year, Doply became the only male actor who portrayed Darna, the female comic-super-heroine in Darna Kuno. Not to be undone, Vilma will reprise the role the following year in her fourth and final film as Darna in Darna at Ding. At present time, both superstars made headlines as contenders for Philippines’ National Artists honors. Vilma respectfully and publicly asked for Dolphy to confer the title ahead of her. – RV (READ MORE)

Film Review: “…Dolphy and Vilma Santos were honored Dec. 28 by the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) and the Department of Education (DepEd). The King of Comedy and the Star for All Seasons received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 1st Lingkod TV Awards held at the Rajah Sulayman Theater in First Santiago in Intramuros, Manila…” – Crispina Martinez-Belen, Manila Bulletin, December 29, 2010 (READ MORE)

“…Talagang poor second lang noon si Vilma kay Nora Aunor, subali’t nang gawin niya ang trilogy film ng Sine Pilipino na Lipad Darna Lipad ay talagang lumipad ng husto ang kanyang box office appeal. Sinundan pa ito ng mga pelikulang Takbo Vilma Dali at Hatinggabi Na Vilma. Anupa’t itinambal din si Vilma sa mga matured leading man na katulad nina Eddie Rodriguez sa mga pelikulang Nakakahiya, Hindi Nakakahiya Part 2 kung saan nagkamit siya ng Best Actress Award sa 1st Bacolod City Film Festival at Simula Ng Walang Katapusan, Dante Rivero sa Susan Kelly Edad 20, Chiquito sa Teribol Dobol, Dolphy sa Buhay Artista Ngayon, Joseph Estrada sa King Khayan & I, Fernando Poe Jr. sa Batya’t Palu Palo at Bato Sa Buhangin, Jun Aristorenas sa Mapagbigay Ang Mister Ko, Dindo Fernando sa Langis at Tubig at Muling Buksan Ang Puso at Romeo Vasquez sa Nag-aapoy Na Damdamin, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Pulot Gata Pwede Kaya at Pag-ibig Ko Sa ‘Yo Lang Ibibigay…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Darna at Ding (1980)

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Basic Information: Directed, story, screenplay: J. Erastheo Navoa, Cloyd Robinson; Cast: Vilma Santos, Niño Muhlach, Celia Rodriguez, Marissa Delgado, Veronica Jones, Max Alvarado, Panchito, Angie Ferro, Bayani Casimiro, Rez Cortez, Teroy de Guzman, Moody Diaz, Paquito Diaz, Ike Lozada, Lily Miraflor, German Moreno, Palito, Don Pepot, Jimmy Santos, Al Tantay, Tsing Tong Tsai, Donna Villa; Cinematography: Hermo Santos; Film Editing: Eduardo Jarlego Jr.; Production Design: Ruben Arthur Nicdao; Sound: Luis Reyes

Plot Description: Darna at Ding, Vilma’s fourth and final portrayal of Darna, takes her to another wild adventures, this time with her younger brother Ding. When a mysterious rock falls into the hands of Narda, she has no idea that it will change her life forever. Later, she finds out that the rock is an amulet that gives her super power. This is the start of the many adventures of Darna, that have her battling with the evil sorceress Lei Ming and Hawk Woman. A whole new adventue with the popular Philippine heroine, Darna at Ding is another classic worth watching! – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Narda (Vilma Santos) and her young brother Ding (Niño Muhlach) find a glowing stone that has fallen from that sky and when swallowed by Narda turns her into a superwoman. From then on, the tandem of Narda and Ding embark into adventures of saving the world from evil. Together they fight the avenging German woman scientist (Marissa Delgado) who turns healthy people into zombies by injecting them with microbes that is transmittable through their saliva. Then Narda and Ding stay with their aunt in Chinatown, Manila where a Chinese witch is kidnapping children. But Ding is made ill by the witch’s sorcery. Will Darna’s power be effective to save her brother against black magic? – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: The last of the four Vilma Santos Darna films; Official Selection: 11th FilmAsia (2015) Czech Republic

Film Review: “…The climax of this “Darna vs. the Dragon Lady” part of Darna At Ding sees Lei Ming conjure up an evil double of Darna to keep our heroine busy while, elsewhere in her lair, a towering robot bears menacingly down upon Ding. It’s a suitably whiz-bang finale to this loopy, kitchen sink confection, and one that makes the long, strange and circuitous route that we’ve taken to get to it seem perhaps less arduous in retrospect. Still, at a solid two hours, Darna At Ding is an example of a movie that pulls out all the stops, but perhaps shouldn’t have. While it’s combination of horror movie chills, superhero thrills and slapstick spills might have been catnip for the Filipino audience of its day, for the rest of us it might prove mildly exhausting. Nonetheless, I find Vilma Santos so appealing in her role that it’s hard for me to imagine hating any Darna movie that she appears in, and this one’s no exception.” – Todd of “luchadiaries” (READ MORE)

The movie started on how Narda got her power as Darna. As soon as Narda transformed into Darna, she quickly started her adventure with Ding fighting the Hawk Woman. And soon after Darna and Ding found a giant and both lost the fight to Darna. As the story unfold Dr. Vontesberg pretended as a good samaritan with an evil plan to destroy the towns people who killed her grandfather mistakenly accused as a devil worshipper. Dr. Vontesberg summoned the dead and terrorized the townspeople. Narda was captured by the mad Dr. Vontesberg and showed her how she operates her plans. Ding got on time to rescue her helpless sister and they both stopped Vontesberg evil plans. Then, Darna and Ding flew their way to the city. And on their way, they captured a bunch of loose prisoners, after this scene was a long lots of talking non-action scenes. Finally, Lei Ming and Darna measured their strength and powers. Lei Ming created an evil Darna to destroy the real Darna. At the end Lei Ming lose and took her own life. – Super Heroes Lives (READ MORE)

“Due to the Internet, one day soon I’m sure information on all of the cinematic obscurities of the world will be available to us, but at the moment it’s still wonderful to uncover a country’s hidden pop culture hitherto unnoticed by the rest of the planet. Take Video48, a mind-shattering trip into the uncharted realms of Filipino cinema, featuring a menagerie of stills, posters and articles from films I never even dared to dream existed! I stumbled across home-grown super-heroes such as Mars Revelo’s Darna a few years back, and Eric Cueto’s fansite provided a wealth of information on her cinematic adventures, (whilst also revealing tantalising glimpses of her on-screen contemporaries), but I certainly hadn’t realised the extent to which comic book characters pervaded the Philippine big-screen. Chances are the country was second only to Turkey when it came to cinematic Super-heroes – Darna herself has starred in 14 films and two TV series, which certainly puts Wonder Woman to shame…Sadly most of these fantasy films are unlikely to have survived – the condition of the Vilma Santos’ early Darna movies is supposedly so wretched that a DVD release has been permanently canned, and ancient VHS copies of Darna & the Giants and Darna & the Planet Women are jealously guarded by the few collectors who salvaged them from rental shops. Just as in Turkey, these films were probably considered to be as disposable as the comic books on which they were based – but I for one would go ga-ga for a double bill of this years The Dark Knight with 1973’s Fight Batman Fight (fair enough, my brain might melt out of my ears afterwards, but what a way to go…” – Poptique (READ MORE)

Most Popular Darna “…Ding, ang bato!” yells Narda, the adolescent country lass, to her younger brother. Ding obligingly hands over a shiny pebble which Narda swallows to turn herself into the vivacious super-vixen, Darna. Mars Ravelo’s superheroine, clad in crimson bikinis and knee-high stiletto boots, may perhaps be the most famous local fantasy character given life on the silver screen. Though not actually considered a career-defining role, portraying Darna is, nonetheless, highly-coveted. Darna has been portrayed by no less than nine actress in 12 feature films. Rosa del Rosario first wore the scarlet two piece in May 1951. She reprised the role after three months. Liza Moreno, Eva Montes and Gina Pareno followed her. The inter-galactic pebble found its way to Vilma Santos’ throat in 1973 via the flick “Lipad, Darna, Lipad!” Santos, now a two-term mayor of Lipa City in Batangas, is probably the most popular Darna, with a total of four movies in a span of seven years. Some of these were made known to younger generations through afternoon airings on television in the late ’80s. Maybe RPN 9 should do that again so that even younger generations can marvel at Darna’s greatness, albeit antiquated, in such movies as “Darna and the Giants” and “Darna vs. the Planet Women…” – Armin Adina, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 06, 2003 (READ MORE)

“…That’s not to say that there aren’t fun moments to be had in this twelfth Darna outing – quite the contrary. The opening is fantastically absurd [I really dig those forced perspective giant effects], as is the Darna-versus-Darna battle that serves as the climax. But for every moment of overt glee there are twenty or so more in which nothing happens at all. It’s a pity, really, as the potential for entertainment is certainly there, but remains woefully un-tapped. From a production standpoint Darna at Ding was better than I anticipated, and there was obviously at least a little money put behind it. Special effects were about as good as I expected, and work well enough without becoming entirely embarrassing. The cast is quite good too, paltry as the material they have to work with is. Vilma Santos is always a pleasure to have on screen, and Nino Mulhach never becomes tiresome or annoying as Ding. The giant who sees such little action is familiar as well – Max Alvarado, who would go on to play Columbus, one of the multitude of villains in for y’ur height only. The soundtrack is groovy but of dubious legality. I recognized much of what was played, but could only pin down Pink Floyd’s Time for certain…” – Kevin Pyrtle, WTF-FILM (READ MORE)

Darna is Not a ‘Rip-off” of Wonder Woman – “…Because of the character’s immense popularity, several other studios would license the character and produce more Darna movies throughout the next several decades. After Rosa Del Rosario, Vilma Santos (who first played Darna in 1973’s “Lipad, Darna, Lipad”) would be the most well known and the most in demand to play the character. She starred in a total of 4 Darna movies. Her 4th and final one being in 1980. For years after that, no more Darna movies were produced…” – Raffy Arcega, Comic Book Movie (READ MORE)

Intergalactic Warrior – “…There were comic-inspired franchises that never travelled beyond their own borders, such as the Darna series from the Philippines in the 1970s – she was an intergalactic warrior disguised as an earthling – and which helped actress Vilma Santos turn the fame she achieved into a political career that still sees her serving as governor of Batangas province…” – Matt Scott, South China Morning Post, 20 April, 2014 (READ MORE)

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