I sucked at Spanish in highschool. I’m not much better at it now. My limited grasp on the language comes from a want to not sound like a complete asshole while ordering food. Delicious food. Beyond my half assed attempts to impress the waitresses at hundreds of different Mexican restaurants all over the Chicagoland area, I am at a loss when it comes to speaking or understanding the language. This did not stop me from watching Santo Y Blue Demon contra Los Monstruos.
I discovered this movie in grade school when I read through the box ok Classic Movie Monsters by Donald F Glut. In his chapter on the wolf man, it featured an image of this film’s werewolf about to chow down on a woman’s neck. That image stayed with me. When I found out this film had finally been unleashed on dvd, I immediately ordered myself a copy. I had no idea that it had been released without subtitles. “Fuck it.” Lost as I am everytime I watch it, I still love this Mexican oddity.
El Santo and Blue Demon are two beloved luchadores. The wonderful thing about Luchadores is their refusal to remove their masks. In these movies they are never seen without them. It is bizarre and fantastic watching a beefy dude make out with a woman while wearing a lucha mask. It’s also quite fun to experience for yourself. Try it some time.
El Santo watches on as Blue Demon wrestles and seems to approve of what he sees. That or he is sexually aroused by Blue Demon’s sweet skills. It may be the mask he is wearing but I still feel as if he may be licking his lips a little too much. There is a running commentary throughout the match calling all of the action but, as I can only make out a few words, it does nothing for me. Luckily victorious arm raising means the same thing in all cultures so I at least know Blue Demon won his match. The match is followed by scenes from a funeral. A blonde woman and her father watch on as a coffin is placed inside a mausoleum. From the cemetery, a midget and his black clothed goons watch as well. El Santo and Blue Demon have a brief discussion in what may be El Santo’s office and the goons steal the body from the coffin. Blue Demon happens to be driving by and witnesses the goons heading towards a castle. Like all masked wrestlers, his curiosity gets the best of him and he decides to investigate. This was a mistake. He witnesses the resurrection of Dr. Halder (the corpse from the coffin) by his midget assistant and is captured. Halder’s Vladimir Lenin looking ass places Blue Demon in what may be a transparent tanning bed and clones him. Boom! Now we got an evil Blue Demon on our hands.
El Santo is out for a drive with the blonde woman we saw earlier at the funeral. They stop for some lucha lip locking and come across Evil Blue Demon. He and the goons attack. They manage to kidnap the lovely young lady and Evil Blue Demon throws Santo off a cliff. Luckily, Santo will not be taken out in such a lazy manner. He hops in his car and pursues the kidnappers. They have a bit of a head start but, through the magic of film, El Santo’s car drives as if the film has been sped up. The blonde jumps into his convertible and the villains fly off a cliff. Obviously, their car explodes on impact but somehow not one of them is hurt. This forces Dr. Halder to undertake more drastic matters to complete whatever it is his evil plans are.
A couple of things before I go on. I have no idea what Halder’s evil plans were. I just knew he was evil. The man has goons and a cloning machine. While I’m on the goons: look at the picture above. You can see the midget and the black shirts but do you see the little brain monster guy? I was half convinced I had imagined him. He does nothing, has no special powers but he still gets screen time. I have no idea what the fuck he is or why he is there. I may be sinking in a sea of ignorance without subtitles, I’m still fairly certain he is never explained. It’s pretty damn perfect. I wish there were more characters like this spread throughout cinema. Just weird little monsters hanging out and not doing a damn thing. Well, I’ll get back to it.
Phase II of Halder’s plan involves him collecting various monsters and may I say that these are some of the cheapest monsters I have ever seen. It’s Universal on a poverty row budget. I love them so damn much. Halder’s goons collect the vampire first. He wears a top hat and has bat ears! Evil Blue Demon manages to control him with a blinking ring. My heart is singing! Next up is a mummy who looks like an old man with a Three Stooges style tooth ache. He is freed from his “crypt” which resembles an unused room in a crazy person’s mansion. It’s full of cobwebs and mummified bodies. A cyclops is melted out of the ice. Uhm….yeah…I know that sentence makes no sense but what the hell? You won’t even care once you see the beast. It looks like a burnt gorilla with the head of a one eyed robot-ape. It just keeps getting better. Add to it a bearded werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster. He is named Franquestain and his make up consists of a goatee glued onto a Glenn Strange Frankenstein mask. The vampire will also claim two sexy ladies as his brides to add to the monster menagerie.
The monsters run rampant. Wolfman kills a family of three. Franquestain murders a couple of smooching teens. He crushes the poor young man’s head with his boot. I’m sure the others are also up to no good. Eventually El Santo and the vampire have a wrestling match. What did you think was going to happen? The vampire puts on a mask and becomes a stocky luchadore. There is no pinfall, sadly, because the monsters rush the ring and the stadium slips into chaos. El Santo takes his gal and her father to dinner and a show. Turns out the mad Dr. Halder is her uncle. I figured that little mystery out when her father used the word “hermano”. Thank you for the assist Arrested Development. The monsters attack them at dinner and kidnap the blonde and her pops. The mummy is thrown off a roof. El Santo, once again, proves that tossing him off of anything is useless. Blue Demon is rescued, evil is conquered and a castle is engulfed in flames. I push my liquified brain back into my ears and smile. Damn. I need a scotch.
Santo Y Blue Demon contra Los Monstruos does not need to be understood. It will probably lose a little magic when I finally find it with subtitles. Until then, this film will transcend the language barrier. Years ago I finally sat down with this long hunted gem. It brought a smile to my face and inspired me to seek out many more unsubtitled films I had put off watching due to my trepidation for misunderstanding a plot. Santo and Blue Demon taught me it is ok to get lost sometimes.