Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción (Review)

Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción

aka Danger! Women in Action
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
Written and directed by René Cardona Jr.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
If you heartily missed the action of Alex Dinamo, agent of Servicio International, after his last adventure discovering the Bikini Conspiracy, then you are not alone. Alex Dinamo returns because of that ever-present danger, women doing things! Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción(Danger! Women in Action) was made a year after SOS Conspiración Bikini, and has the return of Julio Alemán as Alex Dinamo and René Cardona Jr. as writer/director. By now the Alex Dinamo franchise has grown to the point where there were comic books, and spy films in the mold of James Bond were hot hot hot. So it’s not a big surprise when Peligro… was eyed as an international production, even going so far as probably producing an English language dub. If that version was released is a mystery, but as the opening credits sport overlapping credits in Spanish and English, it was at least partially completed.

Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción sees the return of the mysterious international force known as S.O.S.(Secret Organizational Service), who plan to poison the water supplies of Ecuador and other Latin American countries in a bid to openly take over. S.O.S. is presented as a large conglomerate movement that actively controls the governments of many third world nations, but whatever their larger goal other than world takeover just for the thrill of taking over is never explained. Nor is any overlying S.O.S. ideology, so it is a mystery why it attracts so many people, especially a high proportion of women. Like S.O.S., the sequel is largely female-centric, despite being stuck in a male super hero spy world. The leadership of S.O.S. is almost exclusively women, Dinamo’s partner and contact are both women, and other women are instrumental in helping Dinamo take down S.O.S. It’s almost a consolation prize, Cardona knowingly packing the cast with women to try to counter Dinamo’s sexist ride through life, as well as taking advantage of all the eye candy to pack in male audiences.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
This being an Alex Dinamo film, the following things return, thus making them official Alex Dinamo tropes: Weird ways of passing notes by secret agencies, this time via cigarettes. Random gadgets such as a cigarette voice recorder and a hairpin gun. A female contact who dies halfway through the film, and a female main partner for Alex. Lots of random S.O.S. agents who all die in a hail of gunfire during a long long action climax.

Peligro… falls short in that it is too long (ha!), and not because it’s packed with lots of action. We see every second of things that happen. From people walking and walking to their planes/boats, to starting the planes/boats, to the planes taking off and boats unmooring, not a frame goes to waste on the cutting room floor. Hey, I understand, editing is expensive. But that makes the film clock in to close to two hours, while only having 90 minutes of film.

The major difference is the action sequences are very long and much more brutal, which is better than the prior and I like the change. The violence isn’t innocent, Alex Dinamo and his companions are not immune to bullets and get injured in almost every fight. There is a cool knife fight that is the best scene in either Dinamo film combines. It’s not enough to propel this sequel to awesomeness, but it was enough to keep me interested. You don’t need to see the original to follow along, so if you see one Alex Dinamo film, this is the one you should get.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
Sonia Furió is replaced by Elizabeth Campbell as the new head of S.O.S. Bárbara Angely plays an agent named Bárbara, who spends a large amount of time in a bikini like all government agents do. Amedee Chabot (Agente 00 Sexy ) pops up as a bikini-wearing girl with a gun. Other women who have bit parts as S.O.S. Agents include Nadia Milton, Elsa Cárdenas, Ellen Cole, and Arturo Correa.

Although the film appears to be filmed at least partially in Ecuador, information has made it out that it was largely Florida and Mexico City that were where the film was actually shot. Production and union problems plagued the film, necessitating the cutting of shooting location. It sounds like they just flat ran out of money and had to make due with what they could scrape together. Not a wholly unusual story, and it’s good to know these things when judging the final product to see how they compensated.
Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo

Alex Dinamo (Julio Alemán) – Agent of Servicio International has returned to do more battles against S.O.S. Because that’s what he does. Also women, that’s also what he does. Alex “recovers” from injuries by hiring babes to act as nurses, because that’s what all the cool people were doing in the 1960s. That’s why all the cool people died of easily prevented infections, because they didn’t hire actual nurses.
S.O.S. Leader Solva (Elizabeth Campbell) – S.O.S. is back and still lead by mostly women. This time, Solva is the leader who plans a ridiculous plot against the entire hemisphere. Luckily, it’s too crazy to not get stopped by Alex Dinamo. Elizabeth Campbell also appears in El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras and The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy.
Maura (Alma Delia Fuentes) – Alex Dinamo has a right-hand woman, and this time she’s Maura, played by veteran actress Alma Delia Fuentes. Maura gets shot several times, but they’re only flesh wounds.
S.O.S. Agent Jack (César del Campo) – It’s not a Bond ripoff without a villain with a gimmick, and this guy has a metal hand. A METAL HAND! Possibly gold, probably painted ceramic. His metal hand can karate chop cut things like chains. That doesn’t really help him against Alex Dinamo.
Professor Yura (Jaime Valladares) – The mad scientist making the virus that’s going to be distributed all across Latin America’s water supply. Also the cure has only been proven to work on the beginning stage, but they’re totally confident it will work in later stages… This moron is thankfully killed.
Bárbara (Barbara Angely) – Good agent who was working on the latest S.O.S. conspiracy when her cover is blown and she’s chased all the way to the beach. Alex Dinamo saves her, but that’s not enough to survive a battle on the beach, as this is the new, brutal, gritty Alex Dinamo.
S.O.S. Agent in Ecuador (Amadee Chabot) – And S.O.S. agent who gets mentioned both because she fires lots of guns while in a bikini, but also because she’s Amadee Chabot, who has a semi-well known career in Mexican genre cinema.
S.O.S. Agent 77 (Liza Castro) – S.O.S. Agent who betrays S.O.S. because her sister is killed earlier in the film. I’m not sure if her sister is Bárbara or one of the random S.O.S. agents who were killed. That’s how important her sister was to the film. Basically, everthing Alex Dinamo accomplishes is because Agent 77 turned against S.O.S. So she’s the real hero!

Peligro...! Mujeres en Acción Alex Dinamo
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El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras (Review)

El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras

aka Planet of the Female Invaders
El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras
Written by Emilio Gómez Muriel and Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Alfredo B. Crevenna

El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras

$47 in tickets and I finally won a $2 stuffed bear!

Space ladies have come to Earth, and they’ve come for our m- lungs. They’ve come for our lungs. Not just our lungs, but the lungs of tiny tots, because kid lungs are the best, having not been ruined by decades of smoking (Hey, this is the 1960s!) Once full of Earth Kid Lungs, the Space Ladies will then take over the planet, because what else are you going to do after you steal lungs from a bunch of kids, open an accounting office? Please, like you would get any business, and you’d have to deal with angry mom groups protesting all the time. At least until you blast them with your satellite-directed murder ray. But I digress, the important thing is we got us a cool film with Space Ladies and it’s funky and amazing and direct from Mexico.

El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras is a direct sequel to Gigantes Planetarios, including the same main cast, and even being slightly mirrored to its predecessor (as discussed in the review of Gigantes Planetarios!) But El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras is more fun, has cooler alien enemies, cooler costumes, cooler threats, and even is better written. The ladies do their deeds under the orders of an evil queen, but she has her own problems, a good identical twin who acts as a moral taunt. The Queen cannot bring herself to kill her sister, because of an old superstition that twins share the same soul, and if one is killed, the other will die. So Alburnia gets to be free, much to the annoyance of Queen Adastrea.

Lorena Velázquez El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras

The Olson Twins prepare to break out the knives

El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras is much more well known than its predecessor, largely due to the presence of Lorena Velázquez, Elizabeth Campbell, and Maura Monti as Space Ladies walking around in short shorts and wearing funktacular space helmets that make Daft Punk wish they were cool. The eye candy helped boost the film’s prominence both at home and outside Mexico as it became a cult title.

Part of the fun of El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras comes from the goal of the Space Ladies not being anything releated to finding husbands or needing men in order to repopulate their all-female society. They just want some body parts so they can take over the planet. The men are barely an afterthought. Daniel Wolf and the criminal vie for Queen Adastrea’s feelings (Daniel Wolf doing so while under cover), but her interest in them is partially business related (they will aide the invasion) and she only shows feelings towards Wolf’s character. It could be excised entirely with only a few changed lines.

Lorena Velázquez El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras

What do you mean you have less ridiculous head gear for us?

If you only have time to watch one of the pair, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras is the better choice, but you should make time for La Nave de los Monstruos/Ship of Monsters as it manages to out crazy both of these films, in the best possible way.

Alfredo B. Crevenna was a German director who left Germany in 1938, and at first attempted to get work in the US. After being unable to secure a visa, he immigrated to Mexico and worked on film there, though not without interference from the US. He went on to work on over 150 films, covering a wide variety of genres, from dramas to comedies to lucha libre to horror. Some of his more fantastic works include Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos, Neutron vs. the Maniac, and Adventure at the Center of the Earth. A cool biography about him can be found here.

El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras

Real Queens love Deep Space Nine!

Queen Adastrea (Lorena Velázquez) – Queen of Sibila who is preparing an expedition to Earth to take over and leave their dying world. To do so they need the lungs of healthy children. Has a twin sister Alburnia, who she doesn’t kill due to an ancient belief that twins share the same soul and if one dies, so does the other.
Alburnia (Lorena Velázquez) – The good twin in that she’s not doing evil things and acts as Adastrea’s conscience. Both parts are played by Lorena Velázquez, but she gives each one distinct slight mannerisms to where you can tell them apart even after they’ve switched clothes. Lorena Velázquez, a former Miss Mexico (second place in 1958, winning in 1960), who refused to represent Mexico in the Miss Universe pageant (I could not find out why!) She is a second generation film performer, the daughter of actor Víctor Velázquez (and older sister of actress Teresa Velázquez.) Lorena Velázquez was also one of Las Luchadoras (appearing inThe Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy), as well as Santo Contra los Zombies, Santo vs. las Mujeres Vampiro, and La Nave de los Monstruos.
Martesia (Elizabeth Campbell) – One of the first wave of Space Ladies sent to Earth, captures the initial batch of humans that includes Silvia and Marcos. Helps abduct a school full of children.
Elizabeth Campbell was an actress who gained fame in the Mexican film industry in the 1960s. There is a lack of information on her before she entered the Mexican film industry in 1961, and what happened after she departed in 1968. Elizabeth Campbell was one of Las Luchadoras, known in the US as the Wrestling Women, in films like The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy. She can also be seen in Operación 67, and Peligro…Mujeres en Acción.
Eritrea (Maura Monti) – One of the first wave of Space Ladies sent to Earth, captures the initial batch of humans that includes Silvia and Marcos. Helps abduct a school full of children.
Maura Monti was an Italian model/actress who gained fame in the Mexican cinema scene during the 1960s. She’s probably best known for her role as Batwoman in La Mujer Murciélago, as well as appearances in Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos, The Vampires, La Muerte en Bikini, Con Licencia Para Matar, and SOS Conspiracion Bikini
Professor Daniel Wolf (Guillermo Murray) – The famous professor is back, now more famous than ever. He’s once again tricking space women into trusting him with his fake bad boy persona, and defeating alien invasion threats.
Silvia (Adriana Roel) – Daniel Wolf’s secretary is still his secretary, but now she’s dating Marcos. But their first date results in them both being kidnapped by aliens! That’s like the fifth worst first date I’ve seen.
Marcos Godoy (Rogelio Guerra) – Marcos has restarted his boxing career, but now instead of throwing fights, he just takes money for throwing fights and scams the scammers. This is sort of dumb, as now they want him dead. But at least he gets a date with Silvia, before that whole being kidnapped by aliens thing happens.
Rey Taquito (José Ángel Espinosa “Ferrusquilla”) – The manager is slightly more respectful now, in that he’s still doing bad stuff but feels guilty about it. Alerts Professor Wolf to Marcos and Silvia’s kidnapping and joins the trip to go rescue them.
The terrible truth on where migraines come from!

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The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy (review)

The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy

aka Las Luchadoras contra la momia

Lorena Velázquez as Gloria Venus (Loretta)
Armando Silvestre as Armando Rios
Elizabeth Campbell as Golden Rubi (Ruby)
Ramón Bugarini as Prince Fujiyata
Víctor Velázquez as Dr. Luis Trelles (Prof. Tracy)
Nathanael “Frankenstein” León as Fujiyata’s bald henchman

Mexico has a proud tradition of Los Luchadoros movies, from Santo fighting Martians to Blue Demon fighting Infernal Brains. Even the women get into the act, this is the second film featuring Las Luchadoras Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi, as well as the forth featuring the title villain, the Aztec Mummy (Earlier film Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.) It’s the Mexican version of Aliens vs. Predator, except from the 1960’s and thousands of times better. Like most of the Mexican Wrestling movies, it’s got lots of campy fun. However, this film has a dark side that scars it’s appeal this day. There is a gang of villains in the movie who are an Asian gang. Being that Mexico has like 2 Asian people in the 1960’s, they are all played by Mexicans. So the villains are a yellow-face stereotype similar to anti-Japan films made during World War II. The Yellow-faceness can be argued that they didn’t give the actors false slanted eyes, such as horrible examples on Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice and John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror, but they just had actors who looked vaguely Asian. Very vaguely. If you were drunk. And blind. And high on ‘shrooms. Barring that, the film holds together pretty well. Just view it for what it is, an artifact of the times. Sit back, relax, and pull a half-Nelson on your opponent while your tag-team partner distracts the ref so you can hit them with a chair.

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