Friday, October 21, 2011

Week 30: Santo en la venganza de la momia (Santo in the Mummy's Revenge, 1970)

         So week 30 is the first of two mummy movies in a row. I fear this week's movie will likely turn out to be the lesser of the two. The Mummy's Revenge is interesting, in that its plot is bookended by two, totally unrelated wrestling matches. These matches are interesting because Santo is really showing his age in both of them. It's mostly apparent in his speed, or lack there of. At this point, Santo has to be in his 50s, and jumping all around the ring, bouncing off the corners, had to be arduous. 

Santo help the professor out. 

       After the first match is complete, we jumpcut to Santo sitting in on an expedition meeting for a trip into "the jungle" to find the tomb of Nomoc, the prince of the Native Opalche Indians. Apparently this prince decided to defile a virgin girl meant for sacrifice to the God of the Opalche, and as punishment was entombed alive in a remote, relatively unknown grave site in "the jungle". Going on this expedition with the history professor determined to defile this man's tomb, are a big boobed photographer, who becomes Santo's new squeeze, Sergio, an engineer/big game hunter, and a senile old man everyone refers to as "the professor", who I assume is meant to be comic relief, but who's jokes are so lame, it becomes embarrassing. Why is Santo a part of this expedition? I don't know. Because he's famous? I'm not sure why you'd need a masked wrestler to go dig up mummies. 

Santo wrestling a jaguar.

       This movie feels pretty cheap, even by Santo standards. There's another jumpcut from the meeting to a shot of the expedition's jeep being stuck in the mud, and that's the ONLY scene that's seemingly shot on location in actual jungle. The rest of the movie takes place in three different, shoddy sets. A jungle set, a cave/tomb set, and inside a tent. These places are occasionally re-dressed to make them look like different locations, but its obvious they're not. A lot of audience reaction footage during both wrestling matches are recycled over and over during the matches too, I guess to pad them out. 

The Mummy, getting his revenge.

   The vengeful mummy comes into play when they reach Nomoc's tomb, where they're told by their native guide, that if they remove his necklace of death, he will rise from the grave and waste all of them. Of course this native's superstitions are dismissed as just that. In fact, Santo and Co. are fairly stubborn assholes to the natives they employ to find this guy's tomb. It's kinda funny to see Santo talk down to people whose heritage he is basically helping to pilfer. 

A Santo getting punched in the face POV.

   Once the necklace is removed, Nomoc reanimates, and roams the jungle set of our heroes, picking them off, Agatha Christie "and then there were none" style. Santo at first is too grounded in reality to accept mummies rising from the grave, even though he's fought a mummy previously, as well as vampires, werewolves, aliens, and god knows what else. I guess we're not suppose to remember any of that.

Santo's new squeeze with his new Milton.

    Of course, Santo's stance on mummies is proven valid when his third act confrontation with the mummy reveals it to have been Sergio the entire time. What a jerk. This is one of Santo's lesser motion picture efforts, to be sure. The production values and choppy editing really show the decline in this franchise during the early 70s. 


Two Silver Masks out of a possible Five

Fun Fact: Some mummies found in South American have proven to be so old, they predate the mummies of Egypt. 

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