Friday, February 3, 2012

Week 45: Santo en la venganza de la llorona (Santo in the Revenge of the Crying Woman, 1974)

      45 movies down, 7 movies to go. This week, Santo teams up with a famous boxer to punch out some crying women. Also, they fight mobsters, but mostly they just go around punching women who cry too much. Then those women get revenge...

Only the finest grave robbing attire for these two.

        Alright, so that's obviously not the plot of this week's movie. There is a crying woman in it! Santo and his new boxing friend Jose never do punch her though. Santo is enlisted by an archaeologist to help him rob the grave of a certain Doña Eugenia Esparza who was a Mexican aristocrat, infamous for murdering the three illegitimate sons she had with a Spanish Viceroy. She also stole all of this Viceroy's gold doubloons and hid them someplace, and now the necklace around her entombed Corpse's neck holds the location. At first Santo refuses, offended at the idea of robbing someone's grave and tries to storm out. When the Archaeologist chases him down and explains that they're going to give all the doubloons to a children's charity, Santo is suddenly okay with it and agrees. Santo should put on his resume that he's okay with robbing graves, as long as it's for charity. 

NOT Apollo and Rocky

        For superfluous reasons that don't begin to justify a professional boxer's presence in the movie, Santo recruits José Nápoles, nicknamed "Mantequilla", which means butter in Spanish. Santo and the rest of the cast of characters refer to him only as Mantequilla throughout the entire movie, so they're all calling him Butter with a straight face, awesome. He also likes to wear a lot of fuchsia, and when asked to join the expedition by Santo, enthusiastically signs on, stating that he hopes to see a ghost, indicating to Santo and the audience that the blows this guy's been taking to the head are likely starting to affect his brain.

NOT Mr. Miyagi 

        Jose actually was an accomplished welterweight boxer. He won the world welterweight title twice, once in the late 60s, and again in the early 70s. At the time of this movie's production, he was likely as a big a national hero in Mexico as Santo was. Unfortunately he can't act worth a shit here. When not having a boxing match, where he obviously shines, Mantequilla has two speeds as an actor, "simpleton" and "block of wood". 

NOT Raiders of the Lost Ark

         Of course it turns out that Doña Eugenia Esparza is cursed by Satan for her deeds, and once her necklace is taken by Santo and Mantequilla, she rises from her tomb to wreck havoc on the descendants of the Spanish viceroy who done did her wrong. It turns out that the grandson of the archaeologist is one such descendant and his whole reason for leading this project was to break Esparza's curse and save his grandson. Mantequilla sees her moving corpse, but Santo doesn't and just assumes that Mantequilla has gone soft in the head. In fact, Santo never encounters the resurrected Esparza, as he spends most of the second half of the movie dealing with a bunch of Gangsters out to get their hands on the gold doubloons. These same gangster also hide out in a Colt 45 bottling plant. I shit you not.

Madonna in the morning.

      La Venganza del la Lorona is a bit of a throwback to some of the Santo movies in the teens, where he battled occult villains, who almost always were done in by their own evil doing. While the crying woman mummy is effective and eerie and reminds one of the crude make up effects from The Evil Dead, one is left frustrated by the fact that not only does Santo never interact with the fiend, but doesn't even acknowledge its existence. It's like watching two movies spliced together. 


Two and a Half Silver Masks out of a possible Five.

Fun Fact: José "Mantequilla" Nápoles was inducted into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 1990. 


  1. I'm rather late to your viewing party, but I really enjoy these updates.

  2. Better late than never Justin! Thanks for checking it out!