Friday, December 23, 2011

Week 39: Santo contra la magia negra (Santo vs. Black Magic, 1972)

      So this one starts out promising. Santo combatting black magic, yet I honestly can't really tell you much about it, because the movies was so damned dull. This time out, Santo finds himself embarking for Haiti, under the pretense of a series of wrestling bouts, but in actuality, he's there to keep a clandestine group of radicals from obtaining a new form of uranium, that could render stronger nuclear weapons. Wait, what? What the hell does any of that have to do with black magic?

Scrapbooking with El Santo.

     It turns out that these radicals intend to overthrow the current haitian government, and install themselves in its place, using the weapons rendered from this rare form of uranium to make their new Haiti government a formidable world power. To do this, they need to enlist the services of an unscrupulous voodoo priestess who uses zombies to do her bidding. These aren't george romero, flesh eating zombies though, so don't get too excited. They're more of the Serpent And The Rainbow variety. They menace Santo and his friends early on in the movie, and then just sorta get forgotten about. I assume they're the workers mining the uranium.

"Manage a what?"

      It all has the makings of a compelling 70s era Roger Moore 007 movie, yet it never really comes together. Santo parades around in a white tuxedo a couple times, takes in the sites, and the movie just crawls along. A lot of it honestly seems like documentary footage on Haiti, with a nebulous Santo movie built haphazardly around it.


      I don't know what else to say really. It's not the worst one of these I've sat through so far, but its far from the best. It's just an ultimately lazy effort. The concept is solid, but it seems like all involved didn't know how to go about executing it, as if a brainstorming session resulted in someone suggesting Santo fighting a voodoo priestess, but the plot wasn't developed beyond that. 


Two Silver Masks out of a possible Five

Fun Fact: Voodoo was created by African slaves who were brought to Haiti in the 16th century and still followed their traditional African beliefs, but were forced to convert to the religion of their slavers.

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