Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos
The most popular hair salon in Transylvania…
When it’s night time and fright time, and things are going bump in the night, the monsters come out to play. A whole football team full of monsters! Luckily, the world has Santo and Blue Demon to do what they do best: Kicking monster butt!
Santo films started out like Cerebro Del Mal where they were more low key and just science fiction influenced capers. Santo played more of a supporting role at first. Many of the Santo films that followed would feature influences from horror flicks of the drive in, as Santo battled female vampires, zombies, a spooky wax museum, and stranglers. But by the time Santo fought the Martians, the Santo films were emulating the 1950s and 60s American B movie pictures that were lighting up the night skies at drive ins across North America. Santo would become more science fiction, engaging in spy episodes, running around with famous comedians, and even battling a famous movie monster or two. Influences would continue, and Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos is no exception, the large amount of classic movie monsters present shows a clear influence from the Universal Monster movies.
It’s hard for a super-intelligent brain alien like me to find a girl, what with being an abomination against nature and all…
Even though there are influences, there are differences and odd themes. Wolfman, Vampire, and Cyclops all have big ears for some odd reason. And the Cyclops acts like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, acting as a surrogate for that missing member. Mummy barely appears in the film, wandering around and acting lazy. He also needs to eat a sandwich. Frankenstein looks like he’s tripping on mushrooms, which I think might have been how the film’s concept was dreamed up. The mad scientist Dr. Halder also has some green thugs that are called zombies but some sources, though I just dubbed them Frankenthugs. The large amount of monsters adds energy and a fast pace to the film, as it rushes to try to give everyone enough screentime, and the pace is rather quick for a Santo film.
According to Jim….lives again?!?!?!
Unfortunately there is a lot of cost cutting in this flick, it’s obvious what little budget there was went towards setting up the monster lineup. Most of the sets are sparse, and there is only one real scene that feels like it takes place at an actual place. There is even an extended sequence at that location that is obviously a stage play filmed for some other reason, and added here for padding and flavor. Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters features lots of shots that are shot in the daytime but set at night. Normally movies get around that by applying a blue filter to the movie, but that must have cost too much because they didn’t bother to do it all all.
Director Gilberto Martínez Solares was one of the best directors of early Mexican cinema, working often with Tin Tán, but his star began to fade and he soon was directing schlock like this and even worse things after. Though I think the Santo films and Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos in particular are important features on the Mexican cinema landscape, they aren’t considered quality work, and Solares must have been phoning it in as his trajectory waned.
The Vampire is too cheap to turn the AC on during July!
Despite the budget woes and quality issues, Santo and Blue Demon vs the Monsters still ends up being a fun flick, and is among the Santo films you should see first just to get your toes wet. If you can handle Santo and Blue Demon punching their way through a castle filled with people in bad masks, you are ready to expand your journey. This is one of the easier titles to get, and is visual enough that even if your copy is minus subtitles, it won’t be a big loss.
No, keep your eye on the BALL, not the bat! Ball, BALL!!
Will Santo and Blue Demon defeat the monsters? I’m on the edge of my seat!!!