Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 33: Santo contra la hija de Frankenstein (Santo vs. Frankenstein's Daughter, 1971)

       So we're back to color for the 33rd movie, and in honor veterans day, Santo is battling Frankenstein's daughter. Yeah, it's not for veterans day. Santo finds himself, and his girlfriend, menaced by Dr. Frankenstein's Daughter, Freda, that's right, her name is Freda Frankenstein. The man made abominations against all moral and ethical sense of decency, so why would he give his daughter a proper first name? 

Santo's new girl, watching him on TV.

       Freda's managed to keep herself alive and relatively youthful via a de-aging serum she's developed. The only problem is that over time, the serum's users develop a resistance to it, and its effects are shorter and shorter lived. At the point we meet Freda, the serum is only working for her two weeks at a time, and she fears that window may shrink rapidly with each next dose. Her solution is to kidnap El Santo, of course. Freda has discovered, via stealing a blood sample off of one of Santo's soiled ringside towels (gross...), that Santo's blood actually has a mutation in it that keeps Santo from aging rapidly. Her wish is to capture Santo for a larger sample and isolate whatever gene it is that gives him this ageless power, and use it for her serum. 

Freda Frankenstein, rapidly aged.

        For some reason, Freda also needs Santo's eyes for one of her creations as well. Its never really explained why Santo's eyes are essential to that experiment, other than Freda is a goddamned loon. This eventually leads to her kidnapping Santo's new girlfriend, forcing Santo to hunt her down, with his girlfriend's sister in tow. The girlfriend gets free, and then the sister is captured. The sister gets free, and then the girlfriend and Santo get captured. Santo and the girlfriend get free, and then the girlfriend and her sister get captured. If you think I'm being a smartass, trust me, I'm not. That's more or less how the events in the second half of the movie play out. 

Santo's eyes, in peril.

      The first half, on the other hand, is a snore. Nothing really happens for the first 45 odd minutes of the movie. Sure, there's lots of exposition and machinations and such from Freda and her de-aged goons, but who cares? We want to see Santo clobber a Frankenstein monster! 

Santo battling one of Freda's monsters.

      One of the most common images of Santo you'll find, should you do a google image search for him, is of the poster to this movie, which features Santo with his arms in shackles. This image features prominently here, during the scene in which Santo is held captive by Freda. She hits on Santo quite overtly, even de-masking him (the back of his head to us) in order to ram her tongue down his throat. She then forces him to fight one of her monsters, which santo beat senseless with his own shackles. It's all very overt and S&M and weird. Who knew Santo was so into kink?

S&M Santo

       Not as atmospheric as something like Santo vs. the Vampire Women, and not as fun and silly as Santo & Blue Demon vs. The Monsters, this one falls into that middle category, where there's some interesting elements to keep a viewer going, but not enough to make it one of the higher end Santo films. 


Two and a half silver masks out of a possible five.

Fun Fact: This film's director, Miguel M. Delgado, would also direct two other Santo features, Santo & Blue Demon vs. Dracula & The Wolf Man, and Santo & Blue Demon vs. Dr. Frankenstein.  

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