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Movie Review: ‘Santo y Blue Demon contra el Dr. Frankenstein’

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Santo y Blue Demon contra el Dr. Frankenstein

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Originally made in 1974, Mexico’s Santo y Blue Demon contra el Dr. Frankenstein is one of the many adventures by Santo, El Emascardo de Plata (Saint, the Man in the Silver Mask), on this outing paired with fellow luchador (wrestler) Blue Demon. The pair’s adversary is the grandson of Dr. Frankenstein, who uses chemistry to retain a younger, stronger physique (he is 113 years old but can take on both wrestlers with relative ease).

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While Santo and Blue Demon take on a pair of rudos at a wrestling match, Dr. Irving Frankenstein (Jorge Ryssek) and his assistant work diligently on a pair of kidnapped girls. The physicians intend to swap the brains of the women, but when this horrid experiment fails, they simply turn the girls into zombies and send them to their respective families, where the “zombies” go on a killing spree.

The good doctors turn their attention to El Santo, as Dr. Frankenstein wishes to transplant El Santo’s brain into one of his henchman zombie bodies. Frankenstein believes that this colossus will have both the strength of 20 men and the agility/wrestling prowess of the great Santo. To snag El Santo, Frankenstein sends his goons, as well as a zombie behemoth by the name of Golem, to kidnap El Santo’s lady friend Alicia (Sasha Montenegro). Frankenstein also takes the time to secure the talents of a couple of brain surgeons. The aging surgeons are given a special concoction that makes them young again. In exchange for Frankenstein’s mixture, the men agree to help him resurrect the doctor’s dead wife, which he keeps in suspended animation.

The goons successfully kidnap Alicia, but soon Santo and Blue Demon fight their way through the goon squad and into Frankenstein’s lair. Although the intrepid pair manages to rescue Alicia, Frankenstein and Golem manage to escape. A few days later, Golem and Frankenstein show up again, this time as masked wrestlers. Will El Santo be able to take on the powerful Golem in the ring or will he die?

Fans of the Mexican luchador genre know what to expect from a Santo film: some wrestling matches, some scuffles with goons, and a showcase monster, this time in the form of Golem, who is controlled by Dr. Frankenstein. Those who have never experienced this genre are in for a surprise, as the sheer amount of cheese, low-budget special effects, and heroes in masks will be strange indeed. Many horror fans will be turned off by all the goings-on, but those who like B-movies with wooden acting but from-the-heart performances will become addicted to the genre.

I grew up watching these films at the local drive-in with my parents, so to have these movies out on DVD is a real treat. Get Santo y Blue Demon contra el Dr. Frankenstein and see if the luchador genre is something you just might enjoy.

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