The Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964) poster

The Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964)


(Las Luchadoras Contra la Momia)

Mexico. 1964.


Director – Rene Cardona, Screenplay – Alfredo Salazar, Story – Guillermo Calderon & Alfredo Salazar, Producer – Guillermo Calderon Stell, Photography (b&w) – Ezequiel Carrasco, Music – Antonio Diaz Conde, Production Design – Jose Rodriguez Granada. Production Company – Cinematografica Calderon S.A..


Lorena Velazquez (Loreta), Elizabeth Campbell (Golden Rubi), Ramon Bugarini (Prince Fujiyata/Black Dragon), Ma Eugenia Sn Martin (Chela/Charlotte Van Dyne), Armando Silvestre (Armando Rios), Chucho Salinas (Chucho Gomez), Gerardo ‘El Romano’ (Tezomoc), Victor Velazquez (Dr Luis Trelles/ProfessorTracy)


Loreta and Rubi operate as a women’s wrestling tag team. A scientist bursts into their dressing room with part of a codex that leads the way to the treasure of an Aztec princess. This has been left by another scientist who split the codex into parts and has given it to colleagues for safekeeping. The codex is also sought by the Oriental villain known as Black Dragon. Moments after the scientist enters the room, he is killed by Black Dragon agents. Loreta and Rubi set out to find the other pieces of the codex. At the same time, Black Dragon takes control of the mind of their friend Charlotte. Uniting the codex leads the way to the tomb of the Aztec princess. The wrestling women and their friends take an amulet from around the princess’ neck. However, the mummy of her lover Tezomoc has been left to guard the tomb. Capable of transforming into a bat, it rises to retrieve the amulet.

Mexico has a strange fascination with wrestling superheroes as witness the success of Santo and his friend Blue Demon and others such as Mil Mascaras and Neutron on movie screens. The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy was part of a series of films devoted to the Wrestling Women, the duo of Lorena Velazquez and Elizabeth Campbell. The Wrestling Women films consisted of Doctor of Doom (1962), She-Wolves of the Ring (1965), The Panther Women (1967) and The Wrestling Women vs the Robot Assassin (1969).

Around the same time as this, Cinematografica Calderon also produced the Aztec Mummy films consisting of The Aztec Mummy (1957), The Curse of the Aztec Mummy (1957) and The Robot vs The Aztec Mummy (1958) before bringing the Aztec Mummy and Wrestling Women series together here. Although in this case, the Aztec Mummy seems to get a different name and back history than he did in the previous films. This film also lacks much of the padding with flashback material from the previous films that the other Aztec Mummy films had.

The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy comes with one of the great eye-catching exploitation titles of all time. It suggests something like a lost 70s exploitation that should have been directed by Fred Olen Ray – you get the mental image of mud wrestlers taking on a resurrected mummy in the ring. However, the film is a success of title expectation build-up versus crashingly disappointing delivery. Nothing on display comes anywhere near as interesting as the title makes it sound. We don’t even get any scenes where the wrestling women go toe to toe with the Aztec Mummy in the ring as you would get in a Santo film.

Golden Rubi (Elizabeth Campbell) and Loreta (Lorena Velazquez) in The Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964)
The Wrestling Women – (l to r) Golden Rubi (Elizabeth Campbell) and Loreta (Lorena Velazquez)

The film is dreary. It is shot in black-and-white and almost seems to cry out for being filmed in colour. Moreover, the film is structured all wrong. The Aztec Mummy is only resurrected in the last quarter of the film where it stumbles around attacking people, before being defeated far too easily. The majority of the film feels less like a Mummy Film than a mundane crime caper where the wrestling women are engaged in a race against the villain to find the pieces of the codex that leads to the tomb. The villain is clearly modelled on the Chinese Super-Villain Fu Manchu who would undergo a big screen revival shortly after this in The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) and sequels starring Christopher Lee.

Rene Cardona has zero idea of staging the action scenes. They seem like unchoreographed fights between wrestling women and henchmen for the most part. The more popular Santo films of this era did a far better – and better budgeted – job with their wrestling superheroics and actually made the exploits look heroic. The only time that that happens here is when the wrestling women get into the ring up against the two Japanese women where this plays out like an actual filmed wrestling match where the women certainly prove lithe and agile in their moves.

Rene Cardona [Sr] (1905-88) was one of the great names in Mexican cinema. Well the great is debatable but he was undeniably prolific – he directed some 145 films, most of which fall into exploitation categories. He made the first luchador wrestling hero film with The Silver Masked Man (1954) and then gained a certain amount of fame with a string of fairytale adaptations including Tom Thumb (1958) and the purportedly incredibly bad Santa Claus (1959). He had made dozens of comedies, Westerns and musicals. He was particularly prolific in the masked wrestling superhero genre, making Santo vs the Strangler (1963), Santo vs the Ghost of the Strangler (1966), Neutron Traps the Invisible Killers (1965), She-Wolves of the Ring (1965), Operation 67 (1966), The Panther Woman (1967), Santo in the Treasure of Moctezuma (1967), The Bat Woman (1968), Santo and the Treasure of Dracula (1968), Santo vs Capulina (1968), Santo vs the Headhunters (1969), Wrestling Woman vs the Robot Assassin (1969), Santo in the Vengeance of the Mummy (1970), Santo vs the Terror Riders (1970), The Invasion of the Dead (1973), Night of Death (1975) and The Yellow Mafia (1975). He broached the horror genre with The Living Idol (1957) and the well-received The Crying Woman (1960), as well as other genre efforts such as The Stone Age (1964), Night of the Bloody Apes (1969), Capulina vs the Vampires (1971), The Incredible Professor Zovek (1972) and Visit the Past (1981). His most successful film in English-speaking territories was Survive (1976) based on the true-life plane crash in the Andes where the survivors were reduced to eating the flesh of their dead.

Full film available in several parts beginning here

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