Friday, July 1, 2011

Week 14: Santo en los profanadores de tumbas (a.k.a. Santo in The Grave Robbers, 1965)

         We're at week 14 true believers and while I wish I had better news for you folks, I'm afraid we've come upon yet another dud in this film saga. De Tumbas involves a nefarious eastern european (READ: Russian) mad scientist, and his henchmen tormenting Santo and his Soccer friend Carlos. The concept itself is unique for a Santo picture, as it involves the villains actively pursuing the Protagonists from the get go.


       Unfortunately, the concept is where anything resembling a coherent motion picture ends. The villain of the piece is a fat, nasty Cur known as Dr. Toichier (pronounced "Touch-E"), a scientist, and ghoul, who's nebulous frankenstein like plans find him needing the heart of a super human to achieve perfection. This leads him on the hunt for the heart of El Santo, the greatest of all masked wrestlers, and obvious super human. His henchman include a cantankerous hunchback (is there any other kind), and that same stunt guy who's appeared in almost all of these damn things so far. 

A "dirty Santo" *snickers*

      Aside from tormenting Santo and his friend Carlos, and his girlfriend Martha, both of whom become targets themselves when Toichier sees them and realizes they'd be perfect physical specimens for his experiments, the Grave Robbers have a vague world domination plan involving a store front that sells items the hunchback has crafted from their deceased victims. These items run the gamut of merchandise, including, but not limited to, red paint made from still-warm blood, wigs that seem to be alive and murderous, and what appears to be a haunted violin. What the hell kind of store in 1960s Mexico would sell all that kind of crap in one place? Is it a pawn shop?

Santo enjoys his ham radio.

     There's actually a running bit throughout the movie that, while meant to be a superhero trope, plays more like a site gag. Santo pops up incognito at least three times through the movie. He's wearing his silver mask under a false face. He's a man in Martha's club, and a traveling corn on the cob vender. The last one is the most hysterical, because he sells two corns to Carlos, then rescues him, and still keeps his peso.


Santo in disguise! 

     I actually kinda hated this movie. It's pretty terrible. Its not the worst one yet, its somewhere between Infernal men and hotel of death. The villains are useless, and impotent. Spending countless scenes in their hide out, posturing about what they want to do to Santo when they get their grave robbing hands on him. Santo never really seems to be in any real danger from them, managing to always be a dozen steps ahead. They even try to bury him alive, but the grave is so shallow that Santo easily crawls out of it. Halfway through the movie, Toichier resorts to sending his hunchback to one of Santo's matches, with a needle full of rabies, the plan being to give Santo rabies...The only trick they use that seems effective is the hunchback's malevolent lamp shade. It makes loud noises that drive Santo insane, twice. Santo finally solves this by wrestling the lamp. It's inane and groan inducing, but now I can at least say I saw Santo fight a lamp. 


One silver mask out of a possible five.

Fun Fact: Hunchback syndrome can result from nutritional deficiencies, especially during childhood, such as vitamin D deficiency, which softens bones and results in curving of the spine and limbs under the child's body weight.

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