The Merits of Sin: Santo in Vengeance of the Mummy (1971) (Mexico)

Oh my wowie zowie! The legendary El Santo may never submit in the ring but you’ll be begging for your mummy by the time the credits role!…I’m sorry. I’ve been reading back issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland and felt like I needed to get this out before my head exploded into a beautiful shower of glitter and confetti. Ahem. Ok then. Let’s do this…

I…uh…oh my

Barrel chested Mexican superstar, Santo, is asked to serve as security on a most exciting expedition. Professor Romero has finally deciphered some very old scrolls and believes he now knows where the tomb of the great and powerful Opache prince, Nonoc is. He has enlisted the aid of an absent minded anthropologist (the bumbling Professor Timenez), an expert photographer (the obvious Santo love interest, Miss Susana Saavedra), an engineer (the musky Sergio) and a secretary (the adorable Rosa). Together they shall brave the jungle and unlock the mysteries of the great Opache tribe. If not for science than for culture!!!

Don’t worry sweetheart, the men will deal with the science parts

When the expedition arrives at the last stop before their jungle adventure, the first thing they do is try to get their hands on a guide. The only man familiar with the area pointed to in the scroll is the kindly Don Agapito. At first he wants no part of their tomb opening hijinks but when they offer to take care of his grandson’s education and secure his future, he finds the deal too good to turn down. The promise of money gets them some additional assistance and their next stop is archeological fame and fortune.

Jeez! Take it easy

The tomb is easily found and the mummified corpse is conveniently discovered with a last testament. This leads right into a MUMMY MOVIE FLASHBACK™️ and we see that, like all future mummies before him, forbidden love really screwed over Nonoc and lead to him being buried alive. As he faced death, he promised that his immortality is no joke and those who desecrate his tomb will be dealt with in the homicidal monster fashion. Don Agapito warns them of this curse and to not remove the necklace from the neck of the deceased prince. They laugh at their guide and immediately remove the necklace from the neck of the deceased prince.


Faster than you can say “it’s just like Egypt.” A crusty old corpse is on the move with his trusty bow and arrows in tow. Death by arrow and broken necks soon follow and the hired help are mortified of a living mummy being on the prowl. The men of science slowly come around to believing the “foolish” superstitions. When the majority of the expedition flee and the storage tent is set ablaze, Santo and whoever has yet to taste mummy vengeance realize Nonoc is attempting to complicate their escape. The Lucha badass understands he’s going to have to bring the fight to the angry corpse if he wants his new girlfriend and most likely adopted (grandpa gets his neck broken almost immediately) new son to leave the jungle alive.

We could be heroes

Man do I love Santo flicks! Masked wrestlers in every day clothes may be the closest to heaven I’ll ever get. Sandwiched in between wrestling matches is a film packed with adventure, lovely ladies, barrel chested men, heart to heart talks with a man in a mask, scuffles, attempted comedy and monster masked mummy shooting arrows at people. It’s just so damn fun. Santo does not do much in the middle portion of the film but when it comes time to kick some ass (be it decrepit mummy booty or anxious worker derrière) he puts his flashlight down and his fists up.

Tastes may vary

I’ve already gone on about my love for Mexican horror films. The luchador aspect of the cinema is a major part. Not just of my passion for the films but of the culture itself. These are the superheroes that kids were cheering for. Mashed together with monsters and (sometimes) Scooby-Doo endings. So have some fun and fall in love with a legend. You won’t be sorry. 7/10

And they may just teach you something

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