Friday, January 20, 2012

Week 43: Santo y Blue Demon contra el doctor Frankenstein (Santo and Blue Demon Vs Dr. Frankenstein, 1973)

         So Blue Demon is back again. This is his penultimate team up with dear old Santo. I wish it were a better team up. It seems that when it came to these final team ups with these two guys, less money was spent to give them a proper film to team up in. Maybe their star status was waning, or maybe most of the budget was eaten up by both men's salaries. Who knows such things. 

"Why aren't you wearing a shirt?"

      The movie is more or less a toothless rehash of Santo  vs. Frankenstein's Daughter. Instead of our boy dealing with a wayward offspring, they're supposedly tangling with the family Patriarch now. With the addition of Blue Demon, you'd think they'd want to go big and have all sorts of guys in crazy monster make up, but no. It's all pretty standard, hum drum fare. This is also from the same director as the previous Frankenstein film, so you'd think some of the weird, kinky, creepy shit might carry over, but none of it does. 

Blue Demon visits the set of the Andromeda Strain

    Somehow, Dr, Frankenstein has wound up in Mexico, doing deranged brain transplantation experiments on people. It's never explained how or why he came to Mexico, nor is it explained how he created such a massive underground laboratory that looks like an interior set from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Like his daughter in the previous movie, Frankenstein has developed a blood serum to keep himself from aging. While his daughter's serum had the fatal flaw of causing its users to develop a resistance to it over time, Dad Frankenstein's serum will cause him to age rapidly if he suffers any sort of physical trauma. He's also assembled a number of hulking, mindless henchman, and his plan for world domination is to put the brains of great athletes like Santo into them. He brags that an army of twenty such "super soldiers" could help him conquer the world. Huh? Even if these guys each have the strength of twenty men, (another fact Frankenstein brags about) will that make them impervious to being run over by a tank? What about napalm, or Atomic weapons? It doesn't strike one as the most well thought out world domination plan. Some brain surgeon he is...

The girl in the foreground never wears pants, ever.

        One of the things that's always amusing about the team up movies between Santo and Blue Demon is knowing that these two disliked each other off set, and in the ring. In most of the movies, they're portrayed as equals who respect each other, and are of late, a tag team in the ring. They even go out to fancy dinners with their respective new squeezes. One watches and wonders what exactly their facial expressions are under those luchador masks. What's also interesting is that neither wrestler is involved with the plot in any significant way until about 30 minutes into the movie. The first half of the movie is mostly padded out with Frankenstein explaining...his plans...and achievements....veeery.... slooowly. I'm pretty sure I folded some laundry while he was babbling on. 

Santo & Blue, smashing through a window.

        I had somewhat high hopes for this latter day entry in the Santo franchise. I thought the addition of Blue Demon meant it would be promising, but alas, its just another low budget entry in a franchise that was seeing diminishing returns at the point this film was made. It's not as terrible as some other entries of late, but its not so great either. 


Two Silver Masks out of a possible Five

Fun Fact: In the ring, Blue Demon's signature finishing movie was the "octopus hold", in which he'd use his own weight to pin an opponent in a bent over while standing position.

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