Posts tagged "Roberto Cañedo"

S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini (Review)

S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini

aka S.O.S. Bikini Conspiracy
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico
1967
Written and directed by René Cardona Jr.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo
The best conspiracies don’t involve the government teaming up with aliens to stick things in your butt, but instead involve lots of women in bikinis. Mexico was hip to this fact long before the rest of the world, thus the 1967 cinematic entry S.O.S. Conspiración Bikini. Not only is there a dastardly conspiracy that requires lots of women to wander around in bikinis, but this film is the first appearance of a Mexican answer to James Bond, Alex Dinamo. The Alex Dinamo character would find footing in a comic book series and a sequel film released soon after (with an eye for international release), Peligro!…Mujeres en Acción (Danger! Women in Action). From what I can gather, that was the last appearance of Alex Dinamo onscreen, and he disappeared into the ether after the cancellation of his comic series at date unknown (aka I couldn’t find it), though there was a lucha wrestler named Abismo Negro who used the name Alex Dinamo for a time.

Most Alex Dinamo information online concerns the two film productions. Both S.O.S. Conspiración Bikini and Peligro!…Mujeres en Acción are Ecuadorian coproductions, directed by Mexican genre director extraordinaire, René Cardona Jr. The S.O.S. in the title is not a call for help because of bikini conspiracy complications, but is the name of the villainous organization, S.O.S. (Secret Organizational Service). Perhaps that was a threatening name in 1967, now it just sounds like a college club that needs an excuse to get drunk.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo
As you may have guessed, the main attraction of S.O.S. Conspiración Bikini is the bikini clad babes (featuring Peter Pan swimwear designed by Oleg Cassini), who are usually carrying weapons of deadly force. The S.O.S. is a global organization, but has a large number of women in prominent roles. This is juxtaposed by the raw masculinity of Alex Dinamo and his heroic organization, where both Alex and his boss Inspector spend much of their down time (and up time!) chasing after tail. One of the only heroic women spends much of the film annoyed that Alex Dinamo isn’t spending 100% of his attention on her tail, but not so annoyed that she drops the creep. The other becomes someone for Alex Dinamo to rescue, except for the point where he doesn’t and she dies.

As one of them newfangled spy movies, there is lots of gadgets and things going on. Guns are built into cameras, makeup containers, even high healed shoes. People speak in code and use matchbooks for symbols. At other times, characters openly state they are working for organizations and are about as covert as a bull in a china shop. The opening sequence with a fisherman taking photos leads to a ridiculously complicated method of sending intelligence information around the globe coded in microfilm disguised as a period at the end of typewritten sentence that was a coded message for arms dealers trade routes. This first encounter with S.O.S. takes place 12 years before the film proper, and there is no evidence the heroes even know they are dealing with a super secret conspiracy organization.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo

Alex Dinamo (Julio Alemán) – The most secret secret agents who was ever not a secret, Alex Dinamo must be good, because his name is ridiculous! Works for International Service and fights evil. Julio Alemán was also Rocambole in the two 1967 Rocambole films – Rocambole Contra las Mujeres Arpías and Rocambole Contra la Secta del Escorpion. He appeared in over 150 films and was chairman of the Mexican actors’ union, the Asociación Nacional de Actores (National Actors’ Association). He died in 2012 of lung cancer.
Adriana (Sonia Furió) – The girl Alex Dinamo came to see on vacation (at least that’s what he says!) Of course, that doesn’t keep Alex from hitting on other bikini women, much to Adriana’s anger. Adriana spends much of the film in bikinis herself, and she’s accomplished enough as a martial artist to flip Alex if needed. She’s still captured by SOS, because that’s what they do. Sonia Furió is a Spanish-born actress who gained some critical acclaim in Mexican cinema.
Inspector (Roberto Cañedo) – Alex Dinamo’s boss at International Service. He tells Alex to not be so reckless with the job, and also with the skirts. Will occasionally wander into the story, but besides giving vague guidelines that Dinamo disregards he doesn’t really add anything of value.
Murdered Agent (???) – Member of International Service that Dinamo recognizes and aides a few times, but she’s eventually murdered. Was undercover as a bikini model in the SOS empire. If she had a name, it was never said out loud, despite her being a somewhat major character. I am not sure who plays her.
Bristol (Sonia Infante) – SOS leader who seems to be THE leader, with Luigi right below her. Bristol is ruthless and sharp, but her plans for international expansion hit a speedbump by the name of Dinamo. A busy and acclaimed actress from the 1960s (the Infante clan is a minor acting dynasty), Sonia Infante took an 18 year break from acting after her 1967 marriage, but returned in the 80s after her divorce.
Luigi (Carlos Agostí) – A leading member of SOS, Luigi is well-known enough he has to be smuggled into Ecuador. As he’s the only SOS leader who is well-known, he realizes it’s dumb to bring him in and dumb to have everyone together. He doesn’t have enough influence for anyone to actually listen to him.
Lucrecia (Maura Monti) – An SOS goon who has a higher ranking position in the organization. She also has a musical number and is responsible for smuggling in Luigi.
Madame Rapiee (Lorraine Chanel?) – Lady who organizes all the bikini models for SOS. She’s also a high-ranking member of SOS. I think she’s played by Lorraine Chanel, who gained fame in the US primarily for having an affair with Gary Cooper. It’s hard to find good images of her to make this ID 100% certain.
Uli (Noe Murayama) – High-ranking SOS goon who really really hates Alex Dinamo, especially since he keeps foiling his attempt to murder other agents. Noe Murayama is a familiar face in Mexican genre cinema.

In addition, Isela Vega appears as one of the SOS women who is somewhat sympathetic to Dinamo. Liza Castro is also credited, but I’m not sure who she plays. She appears in the sequel in an expanded role.
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico Alex Dinamo
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 28, 2014 at 7:14 am

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La Mujer Murciélago

La Mujer Murciélago

aka The Batwoman

1968
Written by Alfredo Salazar
Directed by René Cardona

Even the corpse is checking her out!

Someone took a luchador film and a Eurospy film, blended them together, dressed it in a Batman costume, and flicked the gender bender switch. Thus was born La Mujer Murciélago (The Batwoman)! Gloria/Batwoman is a heroine who is heroic just because she wants to be, like most of the lucha movie family. Thankfully, there is a healthy love of monster movie magic and a case for her to solve and a monster to punch. But we suffer from some feminism that isn’t really feminism, Batwoman’s girl power is lacking. Although Batwoman is better than everyone at everything, she still faints and needs to be rescued by men from time to time. Girls, am I right?

Pisces got sick of taking crap from those Fry Guys and next thing you know he was on the run and the McDonaldLand Coroner was getting woken at 3am!

Like so many of the cool wrestling flicks, there is a mad scientist doing diabolical things, namely he’s trying to create fish people! He’s doing so by killing wrestlers and using their gland juices to power fish into becoming a gillman. So, yes, we do get a bargain basement Creature from the Black Lagoon, who is named Pisces and sort of takes orders from the evil doctor. This is the second Mexican flick I’ve seen with a fish man creature, the prior one is The Swamp of the Lost Monster (though there is a twist on that one…)

I give up! I won’t compete with you any more, Walter White!

As is obvious, La Mujer Murciélago lifts imagery from the Adam West Batman tv series, namely the costume. Batwoman wears a batmask for most of the film, and when she’s wrestling, she does it in a copy of the Batman costume. Otherwise, she’s running around in a blue bikini and a cape. How much the news of Batgirl’s introduction to the tv series during the third season influenced this film I do not know, but her costume does not indicate any of the stylings of Barbara Gordon’s. Batwoman even drives around in a black convertable that is similar in look to the Batmobile.

Hey, keep those hands at 10 and 2, Batwoman! And where is your seat belt???

Don’t be expecting this to be some sort of girl power flick. The entire thing an excuse to get women in skimpy clothes. Batwoman parades around most of the film in her bikini action outfit, including scenes of her diving and swimming around, and sneaking around in enemy hideouts. There are plenty of other women in bikinis for a few scenes on the beach. When Gloria isn’t Batwoman, she still wears stylish outfits including négligée that shows off her body. Oddly enough, the wrestling matches are least female exploiting of any of the sequences. Batwoman is in control, except for the several key scenes (and mean final joke) where she is not. Her biography given is one of a woman of great wealth trying to help against injustice, but her actual on screen showing is of a woman who runs around wearing little, attracting attention to herself. It’s an odd translation of the Eurospy stuff, her character is one of those secret agents, except a female version, but the transformation isn’t complete. They make her just tough enough to get the job done. And even then, fishman lust is the true hero.

Maura Monti specialized in these roles that were revealing but not entirely revealing. The Italian born actress spent much of her life growing up overseas and eventually settled in Mexico. Her better known genre roles before The Batwoman include La muerte en bikini (1967) and Santo contra la invasión de los marcianos (1967), and later she also appeared in genre pics El tesoro de Moctezuma (1968), Blue Demon, destructor de espías (1968), Las vampiras (1969), and Cazadores de espías (1969). She retired around 1971 for a decade or so, then returned first in theater and then to television.

I would be a millionaire if I sold women handles to movie monsters!

Gloria (Maura Monti) – Millionaire socialite who used her money to train herself to become the ultimate crime fighter and also the ultimate wrestler. Thus, she became…
La Mujer Murciélago / Batwoman (Maura Monti) – Internationally famous crime fighting lady who also headlines local wrestling matches all while wearing almost nothing at all, except a bit of trademark infringement.
Mario Robles (Héctor Godoy) – A special agent sent from the FBI to help out the mass murder case, and immediately calls in Batwoman.
Dr. Eric Williams (Roberto Cañedo) – A retired surgeon who collects fish. Oh, and he’s murdering wrestlers in order to create man fish hybrid creatures because he’s mas loco. His face is burned by Batwoman halfway through the film.
Pisces (???) – the Gillman created by Dr. Williams who will soon be kidnapping women at an ocean near you!
No. 1 / José (David Silva) – Henchman of Dr. Williams who pretends to be blind. He finds new victims for the doctor.
Do I…or don’t I??? I don’t even know anymore!

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1 comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,