Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos (Review)

Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos

aka Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters

Story by Jesús Sotomayor Martínez and Rafael García Travesi
Screenplay by Rafael García Travesi
Directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares

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!!

Santo (Santo) – Santo the great hero braves all the evils that threaten the good people of Mexico. And also threaten relatives of his girlfriend, which happens far too often to be a coincidence. Santo must be seeking these girls out just so he can beat up monsters! What a freak…
Blue Demon (Blue Demon) – Santo’s best buddy in fiction if not reality, Blue Demon is captured early on in Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos and replaced by an evil double.
Otto Halder and Gloria Halder (Jorge Rado and Hedi Blue) – The brother of the evil Dr. Bruno Halder and his daughter, Gloria, who Santo is dating.
Dr. Bruno Halder (Carlos Ancira) – A mad scientist who has gone crazy with rage and unleashes monsters upon the world, because he’s a jerk or something. He doesn’t really have any motivation besides being evil. But isn’t that motivation enough?
Waldo (Santanón) – Loyal servant of Dr. Halder and also a hunchbacked little fellow, like every film needs. Famed actor Santanón is best known for being Stinky the Skunk in another Monstruos flick. Maybe not really best known, but I declare it so now.
The Mummy/La Momia (Fernando Rosales) – A very lazy mummy who is just there for most of the flick.
The Cyclops/El Ciclope (Gerardo Zepeda) – Cyclops acts like a Gillman, but with big ears! This suit is left over from La Nave de los Monstruos (Ship of Monsters). Gerardo Zepeda also played one of the three zombies/Frankenthugs. He played goons and thugs in dozens of movies, including Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy
Frankenstein/Franquestain (Manuel Leal) – Even Frankenstein (or Frankenstein’s Monster for you purists!) joins the fun of getting punched by Santo and Blue Demon! Manuel Leal played the lead evil zombie Satan in The Mummies of Guanajuato
The Wolfman/El Hombre Lobo (Vicente Lara) – The Wolfman took time off from begging for change at a highway offramp to menace Santo and Blue Demon.
El Vampiro (David Alvizu) – Even vampires are trying to get into the fun, especially vampires with big Spock ears like someone “borrowed” just that element from Nosferatu.
Sonia the Vampire Woman/La Mujer Vampiro (Elsa María Tako) – The Vampire spends his time making vampire babes like Sonia here, who always walks around in her bra and panties and also tries to seduce Santo. There is another briefly seen vampire lady named Fabiola (Yolanda Ponce) but she does nothing important.
Evil Blue Demon (Alejandro Cruz/Black Shadow) – Blue Demon is captured and replaced by an evil duplicate who does evil stuff that is evil. Until Santo kills him! Spoiler… Though the credits are a bit hazy, it is believed that Alejandro Cruz/Black Shadow played the Evil Blue Demon duplicate.
Ship of Monsters Saucer Man (???) – This Invasion of the Saucer Men-style brain alien is another refuge from from Ship of Monsters, though all he does in this film is stand around in Dr. Halder’s lab and look weird. An important job!
Will Santo and Blue Demon defeat the monsters? I’m on the edge of my seat!!!

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The Night of a 1000 Cats (Review)

The Night of a 1000 Cats

aka La Noche de los mil gatos

Hugo Stiglitz as Hugo
Gerardo Zepeda as Dorgo
Christa Linder as Christa
Teresa Velázquez as Woman who shoots doves
Barbara Angely as Barbara
Anjanette Comer as Cathy
Zulma Faiad as Dancer
Directed by René Cardona Jr.
Night of 1000 Cats
True Title: Night of 30 Cats repeated on loop! What’s scarier than one cat? One THOUSAND cats! That’s still not scary, since cats aren’t very scary. At most, you run across some cat who’s a jerk and hisses at you, but in general cats are too busy sleeping to become a 1000-cat army menace. Sure, Hugo feeds his caged cats human flesh, but many cats won’t even eat 9 Lives with Morris on the label! Humans taste terrible; the 1000 cats probably go on a rampage to find some nice fish or birds to eat. More likely, the many many minutes of helicopter footage drove them insane, and they left in search of some catnip to clear their mind. I know I feel like some after viewing Night of 1000 Cats. The DVD contains the cut down 63 minute version, of which only 61 minutes consist of Playboy Hugo flying around in his helicopter harassing women and single-handedly getting stalking laws passed throughout the country. The VHS version contains fond memories, having discovered it back in college, lured in by it’s bright yellow tape casing, still a unique color for films. The yellow VHS tape was the sole point of imagination used in the film. NO1KC (as those of us in the “biz” call it) does have a crazy, Asian manservant named Dorgo. Dorgo, no relation to Torgo, is played by the not very Asian Gerardo Zepeda, showing a second example of a Mexican film using Mexicans for Asians, after The Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Mummy (which, coincidentally, was directed by René Cardona Jr.’s father, René Cardona!) Night of 1000 Mexican Directors.
Night of 1000 Cats
A montage opening with a topless woman waking, a bikini girl, and other images of Acapulco run by, as the film opens in Confus-O-Vision, finishing with horse riders riding into the ocean to cool off. These montages are not important, as the only thing you need to remember is a couple waking up. The man is Hugo, crazed millionaire playboy, who is a helicopter pilot and rich because of his family’s artifacts. Hugo has a collection himself, of the local girls who he seduces using his dirty beard and lack of normal social skills, as he’s just soooo rich that the girls overlook it for the lump in his pocket (and I don’t mean his package, but that gets some using as well!) His latest trophy girl tells him “I would like to stay with you…” and he replies they agree, but he wants her to “Stay where no one could touch you, like a crystal cage!” Hugo is wearing a goofy pair of glasses and is decked out with a pipe and a scarf while he delivers this line. the fashions in this film are very 1970’s, there will never be any confusion for when it was made.
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