Friday, September 2, 2011

Week 23: Santo y Blue Demon contra los monstruos (Santo and Blue Demon vs. the Monsters, 1969)




           So here we are with our second Blue Demon team up, and one of the more go for broke Santo movies. All involved must've decided they wanted to do something really zany this time out, and thus Santo & Blue Demon vs. the Monsters was born. While the name recognition monsters get top billing with Santo and Blue Demon, even getting their own respective title cards in the opening credits, this film also sports a bit of a who's who of previous adversaries. The monsters that appear are as follows...




Frankenstein
  



The Mummy





A really shitty Wolfman





The Cyclops (basically a one eyed Gill Man)





The Vampire
  


Lady Vampires







And last but not least, the Zombies from Santo Contra Los Zombies, AND the hunchback midget from The King of Crime. 


        You'll also notice there is a weird, sort of alien looking thing with its massive brain on the outside of its head. It shows up a couple times in the monsters' hideout, and whatever it is, or suppose to be, is never explained. It's presence in the movie is never even acknowledged.



Santo in a 007 pose.


     The gist of the film, what gist they bothered to give us as an excuse for so much monster fighting, is that a mad scientist named Dr. Bruno Halder has not only found a means to reanimate himself from the dead, but also had managed to exert mind control over numerous forms of supernatural life. Halder intends to use his discoveries to murder his brother, niece and Blue Demon, who all contributed to his death somehow. I guess that was explained in a Blue Demon movie I didn't see? It's uncertain. Santo becomes involved, since Halder's niece Gloria, is his new squeeze. Also at Halder's disposal is a duplication machine, similar in function to the one used by Hugh Jackman in The Prestige. Of course, Halder being a bad guy, he uses the machine for his own shallow selfish ends, managing to capture and duplicate Blue Demon, he sends out this evil clone to wreak havoc while the real Blue Demon is imprisoned in his lair. 



A group shot of the Antagonists.

      
       The only thing that really matters with this movie is the monster fights, and they give it to you in spades. Santo fights as many as five monsters at once in any given fight sequence, and while the monster suits are amazingly shoddy (especially the Cyclops, whom you can see tears in the suit of by the climax), its part of the film's charm.


Fun with Frankenstien!


       My only real complaint, aside from making Blue Demon a bad guy AGAIN for most of the run time, is the use of footage stolen from other movies. Santo, Gloria and her father try to hide out at a night club during one scene, taking in a show. Footage is then inserted from an obviously much older mexican musical. If you can't tell by the change in color and film stock that its not something they shot, you can tell by the fact that its a massive studio set, and when they cut back to santo, he's inside a small restaurant. No way in hell does that even flirt with the illusion of matching up. 


More stolen footage.


        23 films out, we finally get a film that feels like the makers behind it let it all hang out. When one thinks of mexican wrestling movies, and the concept of a masked wrestler fighting evil doers in crazy situations, this is the movie one expects to discover. It's only major flaws are its need to pad out its run time with stolen footage again, and also the incessant need to pad things out by showing us the monsters emerge from the master's lair, over and over and over...


ENJOYMENT!













Four Silver Masks out of a possible Five

Fun Fact: This was actually Santo's personal favorite of all his films, citing the film's fun, goofy tone and story. 


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