(Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos)
Director – Gilberto Martinez Solares, Screenplay – Rafael Garcia Travesi, Story – Jesus Sotomayor Martinez & Rafael Garcia Travesi, Photography/Special Effects – Raul Martinez Solares, Music – Gustavo Cesar Carreon, Makeup – Maria Del Castillo. Production Company – Cinematografica Sotomayor S.A..
Santo (Himself), Blue Demon (Himself), Jorge Rado (Otto Halder), Carlos Angira (Bruno Halder), Hedy Blue (Gloria Halder), Rafael Aldrette “Santanon” (Waldo), Manuel Leal (Franquestain/Frankenstein), David Alvizu (Vampire), Vicente Lara “Cacama” (Wolf Man), Gerardo Cepeda (Cyclops), Fernando Rosales (Mummy)
The mad scientist Bruno Halder is buried. Santo is relieved because this spares Halder’s daughter Gloria, who is his girlfriend, and brother Otto. However, Halder’s lab assistant, the dwarf Waldo, digs Halder’s body up and uses the lab equipment to restore him to life. Santo’s friend and fellow wrestler Blue Demon goes to Halder’s castle to investigate only to be captured and for Halder to make an evil double of him. Halder then revives the monsters he has been experimenting on – a vampire, the Frankenstein monster, a wolf man, a cyclops and a mummy. He sends these and the Blue Demon double out to bring Gloria back. It is up to Santo to fight off the monsters.
Mexico has a tradition of lucha libre wrestling where the wrestlers appear in the ring with their faces hidden behind masks. The most famous of these was El Santo (The Saint in English), more commonly just Santo – or to give him his birth name Rodolfo Guzman Huerta (1917-82). After great success in the ring beginning in the 1930s, Santo developed a cinematic career in the late 1950s and quickly became a screen superhero. He appeared in 52 films between 1958 and 1982 (see below for a listing of these), while both his son and grandson went on to make their own films. Throughout his entire career, Santo’s real face was never seen by the public.
Blue Demon (real name Alejandro Muñoz Moreno) (1922-2000) was a fellow wrestler and maintained a ring rivalry/friendship with Santo for many years. Not long after Santo’s screen career took off, so too did Blue Demon’s. Blue Demon was cast as a Santo copycat and appeared in 28 films, beginning with Blue Demon vs the Satanic Power (1966) and continuing through the likes of Blue Demon, Destroyer of Spies (1968), Blue Demon vs the Infernal Brains (1968), Infernal Spiders (1968), Passport to Death (1968), The Shadow of the Bat (1968), Blue Demon and the Invaders (1969), Blue Demon and Zovek in The Invasion of the Dead (1972), The Champions of Justice (1972), The Champions of Justice Return (1972), The Beasts of Terror (1973), Triumph of the Champions of Justice (1974), Night of Death (1975), The Yellow Mask (1975), The Son of Alma Grande (1976) and The Mansion of the Seven Mummies (1977).
Blue Demon teamed up with Santo on several occasions in Santo vs Blue Demon in Atlantis (1970), Santo and Blue Demon in the World of the Dead (1970), The Mummies of Guanjuato (1972), Santo and Blue Demon vs Dracula and the Wolfman (1972), Santo and Blue Demon vs Dr Frankenstein (1973) and The Bermuda Mystery (1977). This was the first of Santo and Blue Demon’s team-ups, although rather ignominiously Blue Demon is put out of action early on and his place taken by an evil clone (one that is instantly created replete even with the same uniform!) made by the mad scientist who proceeds to leads the monsters, before Santo rescues the original in time for two of them to take on the monsters in the climactic showdown.
Santo films were cheaply made but always have a level of dementia to them that make for entertaining viewing. The mad scientist’s resurrection sequence here, for instance, is conducted by a dwarf (Rafael Aldrette “Santanon”) with a massive hunch that looks like he is carrying a slab on his shoulder, who is accompanied by two green-skinned Frankenstein monster-like henchmen and a dwarf-sized creature with a massive exposed brain.
Most of the monsters look incredibly tatty – especially in comparison to the Universal counterparts they are clearly modelled on – the wolfman looks like a short elderly man with facial hair, while the most ridiculous of these is the film’s cyclops with what looks like a single immobile papier-mâché eye in the centre of its face. The vampire wears a top hat and cape. (We are inconsistently told it has to flee with the coming of dawn but then see it engaged in a fight scene on a restaurant rooftop in broad daylight – even if at the start of said scene, we see Santo and co going into the restaurant at night).
The film’s peak is a series of entertainingly ridiculous fights between Santo, Blue Demon, the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the wolfman and mummy where they end up punching and throwing each other around, destroying whole rooms. At another point, Santo, girlfriend Hedy Blue and mad scientist’s brother Jorge Rado go to the restaurant to watch a dance revue that comes with a mariachi band before it is invaded for a punch-up with the monsters.
As always there was a huge amount of fun watching Santo take on the monsters in the ring. In a match up against El Vampiro, Santo demonstrates some incredibly lithe moves (even if the camera looks like it has been slightly undercranked). The scene comes to a great ending where Santo is downed and El Vampiro is about to unmask him (the biggest humiliation for a lucha libre wrestler) only for Santo’s girlfriend Hedy Blue to intervene to stop this where the crucifix she wears drives off the vampire and cause him to turn into a bat and fly away.
The other Santo films (all being genre films unless stated) are:- The Evil Brain/Santo vs the Evil Brain (1958), The Infernal Men (1958), Santo vs the Zombies/Invasion of the Zombies (1961), Santo vs the King of Crime (non-genre, 1961), Santo in the Hotel of Death (1961), Santo vs the Diabolical Brain (1962), Santo vs the Vampire Women/Samson vs. the Vampire Women (1962), Santo in the Wax Museum (1963), Santo vs the Strangler (1963), Santo vs the Ghost of the Strangler (1963), a cameo appearance in Blue Demon vs Satanic Power (1964), Santo in the Attack of the Witches/The Witches Attack (1964), The Diabolical Axe (1964), Santo in Grave Robbers (1965), Baron Brakola (1965), Santo and the Villains of the Ring (non-genre, 1966), Operation 67 (1966), Santo in the Treasure of Moctezuma (1967), Santo vs the Martians (1967), Santo and the Treasure of Dracula (1968), Santo vs Capulia (1968), Santo vs the Headhunters (1969), Santo Faces Death/Santo vs the Mafia Killers (non-genre, 1969), The Mummies of Guanjuato (1970), Santo and Blue Demon in the World of the Dead (1970), Santo and the Vengeance of the Vampire Women (1970), Santo vs Blue Demon in Atlantis (1970), Santo vs the Terror Riders (1970), Santo vs the Mafia of Vice (1970), Santo in the Vengeance of the Mummy (1970), The Royal Eagle (1971), Santo in “Killers from Other Worlds” (1971), Santo in the Mystery of the Black Pearl (1971), Suicide Mission (non-genre, 1971), Santo and Blue Demon vs Dracula and the Wolfman (1972), Santo vs Frankenstein’s Daughter (1972), Santo vs the Kidnappers (1972), Santo vs Black Magic (1972), The Beasts of Terror (1972), Santo vs the She-Wolves (1972), Anonymous Death Threat (non-genre, 1972), Santo and Blue Demon vs Dr Frankenstein (1973), Santo vs Dr Death/Santo Strikes Again (1973), Santo in the Mystery of the Black Pearl (1974), Santo in the Revenge of the Crying Woman (1974), Santo in Black Gold (1975), The Bermuda Mystery (1977), Santo at the Border of Terror (1979), Santo vs the TV Killer (1981), a cameo appearance in Chanoc and Son of Santo vs the Vampire Killers (1981), The Fist of Death (1982) and Fury of the Karate Killers (1982). Son of Santo has also appeared in five films. (An excellent article detailing each of the films can be found here at (Re)search My Trash).
Trailer here (no English subs)
Full film available here (with English subs)