17 December 2011

SANTO AND BLUE DEMON vs. DRACULA AND THE WOLFMAN/1973

 SANTO AND BLUE DEMON vs. DRACULA AND THE WOLFMAN(Santo y Blue Demon vs Drácula y el Hombre Lobo)

1973/ Director: Miguel M. Delgado/Writers: Alfredo Salazar

Cast: Santo, Blue Demon, Aldo Monti, Augustín Martínez Solares, Nubia Martí, María Eugenia San Martín, Wally Barron

A while back I got in a bunch of Santo and general Mexican horror films from Cinemageddon. I used up much of my precious ratio there to appropriate about a couple dozen films only to find out later more than half were not even dubbed or subtitled. I learned to read the little review section better after this. My ratio still has not recovered and I am sort of burned out with that place and how hard it is to maintain a good ratio. But they do have a great selection of Santos films and I even went back and got a few titles from the first batch over again and was careful to get them dubbed or subbed this time. One of the films I got in was the really great Santo and Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolfman. Blue Demon is Santo’s wrestling buddy and sometimes opponent in the ring, but always friend equal in crime fighting and saving the world outside the ring. Both actors (who go by their wrestling names) are in their fifties in this 1973 film directed by Miguel M. Delgado and written by luchadora and Mexican horror veteren Alfredo Salazar. The version I have looks nice. It is shot in color but for some reason the later color Santo adventures look cheesier than the atmospheric ones from the 60’s. The old sets were reminiscent of early Universal horror films. Well with this film the fascination with Universal monsters has returned as Santo and Blue Demon face off against none other than Count Dracula (Aldo Monti who battled Santo in Santo and the Treasure of Dracula ) himself and his nefarious sidekick the Wolfman (Augustín Martínez Solares who also played the beast in Night of the Bloody Apes). Delgado would go on to direct the Santo and Blue Demon vs Frankenstein but I have not seen that one yet and not even sure if I have it. If I don’t I will have to get it (damn my CG ratio) and hope that it is as fun as this one was.

One thing I liked about this Santo feature was that the story did not cut to a wrestling match every ten minutes. In some Santo it does not matter how dire the situation if there is a match to be held at the area Santo excuses himself and goes and whoops up on some poor bastard who doesn’t stand a chance and then is back in time to give a similar ass whooping to the bad guy and all his cronies. In SBDvsDatWM (that title is killing me) there are only three wrestling bouts but they go for three full rounds each. I usually prefer to watch all of a film unless I hate it but I confess I hit fast forward on the wrestling matches. The film opens up with a wrestling match and I had a hard time telling who was who for a while but finally figured out Santo was the guy in long pants. We are introduced to Santo’s friend Prof. Cristaldi and his family, his daughter Laura and her daughter Rosita and Laura’s sister Lina. Lina looks to be about 19 or 20 years old at best but this is fifty something Santo’s girlfriend. There is a kissing scene and it is a little weird to see a fifty year old wrestling guy in a silver mask locking lips with a teenager. A little weird is all. Well seems that Prof. Cristali’s ancestor got on Dracula and the Wolfman’s bad sides about 400 years ago when the ancestor got the better of the duo by means of a magic dagger and sealed them up in tombs in Transylvania. But they have been delivered all the way to Mexico in there tombs by the assistance of hunchback Eric (Wally Barron) who hopes that the Count will be gracious with hisa gold in rewarding him for all his troubles. We can figure Eric paid all shipping expenses himself and hunchbacks usually aren’t in the upper pay brackets of any society. Prof. Cristali tells Santo of his concerns since the end of some sort of ‘cabalist’ period is coming and the Professor believes this is the time Dracula will execute his plans of revenge. Santo brushes it all of a sick practical joke and assures the professor all is safe and that he will guard the old man and his family. Later that same night Eric attacks the Professor in his own bedroom and carries him back to the secret cave. There the greedy hunchback cuts the old man’s throat and revives both Dracula and the Wolfman with the dripping blood.


Santo decides that this case reeks of the supernatural now rather than bad jokes and figures it is best to call in his old luchadora apl the Blue Demon to help out. First we have to watch a three round match between Blue demon and the amazing Renato the Hippie. Of course the hippie gets his but whooped and soon the old chums are getting out their radio watches and getting ready to save the world from Dracula and the Wolfman. Yes the plan is now larger than simple revenge and soon the scheming pair are changing people into vampires, werewolves and zombies so that after they destroy the Cristaldi family line they go on and do the next logical thing and evil duo would do; rule the world. First the wolfman has a plan to get inside the Cristaldi family household. First he must change his name to something unassuming and casual like Ruffus Rex in order to blend in. Now he set off to woo laura cristaldia dn then sacrifice her on the next full moon. When a henchmen suggests they simply kidnap her he rebuffs him with “ that would be too easy”. Yea, why do anything the easy way. He manages to get into the Cristaldi inner circle and kill Luara with little trouble since Santo and Blue Demon are in the parlor too wrapped up in their chess games to notice what is going on in the house they are guarding. Soon the nanny Josefina is bitten by a vampire in her bedroom upstairs and sneaks little Rosita out with her to the secret cave. Later Lina is hypnotized by Dracula outside the window with Santo and Blue Demon right next to her playing chess or reading books and she wanders off to secret cave. Later Santo seems to be losing the chess game and tells Blue demon he is going to go read some old occult books instead of playing anymore damned chess. While he is in the study reading Blue demon runs outside and is trapped in net by a bunch of wolfmen. He is then drug away to the secret cave and poor Santo is left all alone in the big house looking for his friends.   

Santo manages to find the secret cave and soon he and Blue Demon are doing what they do best; kicking monster butt with their fancy boxing and wrestling moves. To their credit some of the werewolves have some good wrestling maneuvers themselves and land a couple punches but they are no match for these two old luchadora’s. The final showdown is Santo doing a double kick while hanging from a rope to the chest of Dracula and the Wolfman and sending them down into a pit fitted with spikes at the bottom. The two heroes here are well past their prime but they give it all they’ve got and do their own stunts in the film. Hell Santo even smooches on girls young enough to be his daughter. Aldo Monti is a pretty decent Mexican Dracula and is all suited up the traditional Bela Lugosi type attire. Augustín Martínez Solares is a suave woflman and wears some sort of disco shirt (trying to compete with Santo’s spiffy yellow button up sweater I imagine) and the wolfman makeup looks like Paul Naschy’s from the Werewolf vs the Vampire Women.


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