Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SANTO VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN (1962) movie review

Santo vs. the Vampire Women (1962) d. Blake, Alfonso Corona (Mexico)

Yes, it’s a Mexican wrestling flick, one of the better known according to the wizards at Wikipedia, but seeing as how I’ve only seen one other Santo flick (Santo y Blue Demon Contra los Monstros), this seemed like a swell opportunity to stretch my cinematic knowledge and experience. Well, folks, I’m here to tell you these Santo films will reach right into your soul, pull that inner 10-year-old right out and sit him down on the couch next to you. This stuff is fun.

Sure, it’s plenty zany imagining a horror movie where there’s a silver-masked bare-chested wrestler tooling around town in his convertible, smashing crime and warding off supernatural menace when he’s not punching someone’s clock in the ring. But when everyone around him just accepts his presence as normal, before long so do we, which might be the zaniest thing of all. But it’s a good thing he is on hand, since this particular burg is about to be besieged by a coven of creepy crusty vampires who transform into either luscious lasses (such as high priestess Ofelia Montesco or bloodsucker queen Lorena Valezquez) or brawny bruisers who might just be wrestlers as well.

Yes, it’s bonkers, but Blake brings a lot of eerie atmosphere to the proceedings – the opening 10 minutes are kind of amazing – and the whole thing has a classic Unversal feel to it. Plus, there are several wrestling sequences to offer varying degrees of entertainment depending on your sensibilities – including one around the 60-minute mark that concludes with one of the best unmasking sequences, like, EVER. Sooooo much better than its MST3K roasting and 2.7 IMDb rating would have us believe. I might be back for more of this luchador.


  1. I assigned this as part of a Latin American pop culture class a few years back. On the day we were set to discuss the film, students came in with one of two expressions on their faces: sheer, unbridled delight or "What the F*CK did you just make me watch?!" We won over the unbelievers eventually. :) Santo y Blue Demon contra Drácula y el Hombre Lobo is a fun ride as well, though I just realized I'm not sure if you can get it with English subtitles.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Sara! And I'm not sure people really need subtitles to enjoy these flicks - obviously it helps, but there's enough mood, atmosphere and action to carry the day on their own.