Friday, March 9, 2012

Week 50: Chanoc y el hijo del Santo contra los vampiros asesinos (Chanoc and Son of Santo vs. The Killer Vampires, 1981)

The passing of Santo Mantle...

         So as we get towards the bitter end here, we come upon a bit of an anomaly with this week's movie. It features the Son of El Santo. Santo himself only cameos briefly in the opening prologue. He has a sort of passing of the torch moment with his son, who has become ready to don a silver mask of his own and defend the weak and put-upon. He's also saddled with Santo's latter day movie sidekick Carlitos, who's tells people he is the young man's guardian, even though son of Santo is old enough to grow a mustache and wear a speedo in front of grown women. Yup, we see his face.

The most awkward pool party ever.

       As you can see by the title, the fruit of Santo's loins isn't even the top billed hombre in this. He plays second fiddle to some dork named Chanoc, who when not singing, runs around with a knife on his belt, telling people about how he wants to save the seals. That's right, Son Of Santo has to put up with the antics of some pseudo green peace nut who's primary goal in life is protecting the cute water rats that inhabit the Mexican panhandle.  Chanoc also has his own insufferable tool of a sidekick, some clown in a bad wig and mustache so phony looking, that I'm not going to even dignify him by finding his name for you readers. 


      So what the hell does this movie have to do with vampires? Well, nothing really. You see, Chanoc is visiting with his seal friends, when he's clubbed over the head by smugglers and left for dead at sea, where Son Of Santo finds him. Son Of Santo is obviously not aware that the life you save is your responsibility from now on, and is saddled with this clown, who insists on investigating these smugglers further. So now does it have nothing to do with vampires, but the seals are out of it as well. A half assed attempt to include vampires occurs at the midway point of the movie, when our gang is informed of urban legends about vampires on the loose in Tijuana.  It's funny that the urban legends they hear from there concern vampires and not things like donkey shows. It turns out the smugglers are posing as vampires while moving their smuggled goods in and out of a graveyard hideout in Tijuana. 

Sweep the leg!

        As not exciting as any of this sounds, its even less so. A good deal of the run time is filled with the two sidekicks teaming up and getting into unfunny mischief. I'd say a good 45 minutes of the movie is filled with these two idiots bumbling around getting into trouble and being rescued by Chanoc and/or Son Of Santo. Son Of Santo acts more like his father did in his early movies, appearing and disappearing rather nebulously like Batman. He's a bit lighter on his feet than his old man, throwing in some martial arts moves for fun, but much like the early Santo movies, a lot of the fights scenes are shot from a static wide angle, with the action really far away. Throughout these 52 movies, there are a number of them I'd likely revisit someday. This is not one of them.


Silver Masks not applicable due to lack of El Santo. 

Fun Fact: Chanoc is actually a Mexican comic strip hero, whose origin is similar to Tarzan. 

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