Friday, December 16, 2011

Week 38: Santo contra los secuestradores (Santo Vs. The Kidnappers, 1972)

      Hey Santo! You forgot to put the kidnappers in your kidnapper movie! Also, you forgot to be in it yourself. The 38th time out, you can feel the genuine lack of effort in this movie. It opens strong enough. Santo is on a boat, combating a number of shirtless, angry men. After pummeling eight to ten guys into submission, Santo exits the ship, and informs a police chief who lazily ambles up to him on the dock, that he's captured the smugglers and is going on vacation now.

Santo, in another cheap looking, sound stage match.

    While on vacation in Ecuador, Santo is pulled into a kidnapping case involving a money forger he helped to go straight. Apparently his reformed criminal pal has gone missing, and the authorities, and his enormously big breasted sister (more on her in a bit) fear he's been grabbed, and is being forced to take up his old ways. 

The titular kidnappers, and their kidnappie.

      Once again, this makes for what *should* be an interesting set up to a movie featuring Santo, but once again, there's never a proper pay off. After the gist of the plot is set in motion, the movie suddenly diverts its attention to Baristo, a hobo-ish cab driver. This guy is chauffeuring the forger's sister, Elsa, around, and he takes her, eventually Santo, and the movie et large on a number of unnecessary subplots. Actually, they're not even subplots, so much as vignettes. One involves a car accident, while on his way to cash a winning horse racing ticket. Another is a vacation for himself and all his friends, paid out for by his friends against his impending winnings. Later on, Baristo drinks half a bottle of old grand dad while hiding in Santo's hotel room, tries on a Santo mask, and then passes out and has a Manos hands of fate style dream sequence.

Baristo, getting good and tight.

     The kidnapping story line more less disappears until the third act, while we spend an inordinate amount of time focused on this Baristo asshole. Santo weaves in and out of the story line here, rather nebulously. It's as if he's Aslan the lion. I haven't seen a lead character appear so little in their own movie since Steve Guttenberg in Police Academy 4. 


     The movie's only really saving grace is Elsa. I don't know where they found this specimen, but I hope we see more of her in the movies to come. Elsa is the counterfeiter's go go dancing sister. When she's not fretting over her missing brother, she's shaking her massive mammary glands at the camera lens. We see so much of her in her two big dance numbers, basically everything but the nipples, that it left me wondering why they stopped there, and didn't have her bare all.


And more Boobs.

     The kidnappers don't really show up at all until the third act. They're around before that, but in such a clandestine, vague way, that you wonder why the movie was even called vs. The Kidnappers. It's so little, so late, that you don't even give a crap anymore, because you know Santo is going to save the day. The actual mastermind behind the kidnapping is such a telegraphed twist, I was left wishing it turned out to be big boobed Elsa, or Baristo the drunken idiot. That would've at least explained why we spend so much time on such a worthless character. 


One Silver Mask out of a possible Five

Fun Fact: Rossy Mendoza, who played Elsa, actually started out as a Mexican exotic dancer in the 1960s.

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