Monday, May 26, 2008

Santo vs. las mujeres vampiro

Movie • SAMSON vs. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN (aka: Santo vs. las mujeres vampiro) • 1961
Samson, or Santo as the fans cheer his name (the movie is dubbed in English, but the crowd still cheers in Spanish) is a masked wrestler in Mexico. I never heard of him before, but I learned he did a Frankenstein movie too. I’m going to have to look that one up. I found this one on the local college television station for CUNY (The City University of New York). Searching the internet, I found out Samson vs The Vampire Women is available on a DVD with a few other movies as a bargain DVD. That was a relief because when I heard the sound quality and saw the reel changes were so evident and choppy I was afraid they might have broadcast it from film. You never know how old college equipment is. At least the movie has been digitized if not restored. It’s an antique worth seeing.
The opening has us in a mausoleum for a group of vampire women and their wrestler bodyguards. They awaken after 200 years of slumber, and crikey, do they look like they still need rest. They went with pancake batter makeup for the dried mummy look. It was so creepy I should have watched it for breakfast. Unlike the old Universal films, they didn’t try to sex up the monsters… that is until they were able to get some blood and face cream. Suddenly, with poor transition, these hideous women with 200 year bed-head looked like Greek goddesses with fangs.
The vampire women need to collect their queen’s successor, a descendant from a past queen. They intend to let her rule the vampire women, but daddy won’t have it. If you ask me, she missed out on a great opportunity. The queen of the darned, my good friend LilyBat would have jumped at the chance.
If you are a fan of modern entertainment wrestling, there are several treats. I had no idea how much wrestling has not changed in the past 50 years! It’s basically the same. Tag team cheaters, fake punches, loud drops to the mat, and so on. I suppose the question of who Santo was must have been as mysterious as the Lone Ranger or Batman, so they had a scene where he was about to be unmasked. Oooooh, the drama! For whatever reason, though Santo fights for justice in public, he still fights in the ring for cheers and belts. Also, for whatever reason, one of the vampire bodyguards takes the place of Santo’s opponent, and fights him in the ring. Santo ends up turning the tables, and unmasking his foe who, again, for whatever reason looks like a werewolf when the mask comes off. I guess it was for dramatic effect but bullocks, they should have just made him look like a bat or something… oh, wait. Was that supposed to be a bat face?
All said, this was a fun picture to watch — right down to the vampire goons running with their arms spread and holding their capes like kiddies pretending to fly. I was a little miffed at the end with the way he did away with the vampires. All they wanted was their queen, and they were treated like vermin. I almost lost my eel pie. Well, butter sticks, it was still too much fun to miss!

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