Friday, March 23, 2012

Week 52: Santo en la furia de los karatekas (Santo in Fury of the Karate Experts, 1982)

      Well folks, here we are. This is it. The final official El Santo movie. We've waded through all the movies starring the original man in the silver mask. It feels like we've accomplished something. What that something might be, I have no idea, but whatever it is, it feels profound. There were times when I didn't think I'd make it, but I did, and since you're reading this, it means you did! Hooray!

NOT Courtney Love

         This week's movie is a continuation of last weeks. It's one of the few direct sequels in the Santo oeuvre. The only other set I can think of is the Strangler cycle, and the less said about those two movies, the better. The evil priestess and her glittery gold henchman from the last movie return to menace the Jungle Girl once more, now on her wedding day to Prince Chang, the titular "Karate Expert". Santo and Carlito parachute into action, literally. This time out, they decide to skip the endless travel involved in getting to this esoteric castle and just parachute in from a Cessna. 

Santo parachuting in.

And Carlito parachuting in...

     Some how the bad guys manage to steal the penis shaped space rock AGAIN, and use its magic to cause all sorts of trouble for Santo and his friends. I don't know how they keep getting their hands on this thing. You'd think after the events of the first movie, they'd put that shit under lock and key, instead of leaving it the open air temple they worship in. 

The bad guys, plodding. Get it? Plodding...?

       I'm not exactly sure why this is called Fury of the Karate Experts. The karate experts, or expert, since there's really only one in the movie, don't really do jack shit. Santo has to do most of the heavy lifting. The only scene where his skills come into play is a brief sequence where Santo is brainwashed by the evil priestess and sent to kidnap the jungle girl. Prince Chang is the only one who is a physical match for the 60 something Santo. The whole bit is an obvious plot device to get these two bruisers into a fight. The rest of the movie has Prince Chang sitting on the sidelines.

Santo's friends console him about the end of his movie career.

       The next time he comes into play is to be killed, that's right, killed, by a pack of killer apes, left as a trap by the bad guys. It's actually one of the more hilarious scenes in this, or any Santo picture, as the apes are obvious men in ape suits, and the entire fight scene erupts into a blood bath, with numerous heroes and villains being wasted. Just about all the heavy hitters show up for this scene, with most of the antagonists getting killed. The Good prietess' advisor, a man who spent the better part of two movies trying to convince the viewer that he's a zen master, hilariously pulls out a revolver and just starts filling killer apes with lead, until he's throttled to death by one of them.

Fun with Ape costumes!

      It's because of the hilarious and bizarre Ape filled re-enactment of the Wild Bunch, that I'm going to give this film a kinder rating than its predecessor, even though it pads out its own runtime by showing us the exact same Jungle Girl origin from the previous film. I would've liked for Santo's final feature to have been something grander, but I had a feeling, given how bad or forgettable some of the previous movies were, that the man wasn't going to go out on a high note. Still, however goofy this movie was, it at least gave him a grander villain than the run of the mill criminal types he started his movie career with. 


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

Coming Soon: My top five recommendations for those looking to start watching Santo movies, and my bottom five movies that I'll implore you to stay away from! 

Plus! The "official" Santo movie series might be done, but there's one more movie we have yet to watch! Stay tuned...


  1. This has been a great series. Thank you!

    Do you plan on doing more Mexi-movie goodness, like the Blue Demon flicks...?

    1. Hey Justin!

      Thanks for sticking with it and reading this! And for being basically the only person to leave comments. :-P

      I actually have given some thought to watching the Blue Demon series and/or the Mil Mascaras series. As a life long Godzilla nerd, I've also thought about revisiting all the Godzilla movies. right now though, I'm looking forward to taking a nice long break.

  2. Enjoy your break, and keep me posted, ya heah? I'd love to see your future projects. (And, yeah...a Godzilla/Toho retrospective would be awesome.)