Friday, December 2, 2011

Week 36: Santo y el tigresa en el aguila real (Santo and the Tigress in the Royal Eagle, 1971)

       Here we are at week 36. The number almost feels like a milestone of sorts. I'm not sure why.  It certainly has nothing to do with the movie, which is another mundane, cookie cutter exercise. One of my fears lately with this experiment is that after seeing films like Santo & Blue Demon vs. The Monsters, and Mummies of Guanajuato, both considered high water marks for Santo, and the the genre at large, a lot of the movies that followed would be a downhill decline in quality. After all, Santo is older, and these movies have become progressively cheaper looking as I've moved along through them.The Tigress in the Royal Eagle indicates that my fears may be valid.

Santo, macin' on his dead friend's daughter.

    This time out, Santo and his comic relief sidekick, find their expertise being requested at the Morales estate, in a rural, isolated part of Mexico. It turns out that Santo was once friends with the late Don Morales, a land baron who has long been in dispute with some of his neighbors over property lines and livestock. This rich people feud has been taken on by Don's descendants, already claiming his oldest son's life, and now, his daughter, the last remaining Morales, is under threat of repeated clandestine assassination attempts. Having the ego to call herself "The Tigress", she struts around in leather biker get ups, accompanied everywhere by a vicious pet eagle, its not hard to understand why all of her neighbors might hate this silly bitch.

Those are upside down people hanging from that thing...

      If any of this plot sounds like there's a good deal of intrigue involved, I assure you, there is not. Sent against the back drop of a large, multi-day cultural festival of sorts, one watches this movie and speculates if the whole effort was merely so Santo and friends could take a paid vacation. Large chunks of the movie are almost like tourist videos for a travel brochure. At approximately 100 minutes, (making it one of the longer Santo movies so far) it feels very plodding. There are actually some interesting cultural moments though. In particular, a sequence where Tigress has a sort of mexican sing off with her rival's main squeeze. This is immediately followed by a cock fighting sequence, shown in pretty much full, gory detail. 

Cock fighting!

    El Tigresa En El Aguila Real isn't the worst Santo I've seen yet. But its damned close. Not much effort is put into moving the plot forward. And none of the characters are really compelling enough to keep one interesting. There is some interesting coverage of the local culture, but with almost too much emphasis, dragging the film out to somewhat unbearable lengths. 


One Silver mask out of a possible Five. 

Fun Fact: Eagles are neat.

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