Cazadores de Espías (Review)

Cazadores de Espías

aka Spy Hunter
Cazadores de Espías
Story by Adolfo Torres Portillo
Screenplay by Rafael Baledón
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Still more exciting than whenever Mantaur wrestled!

In 1969, Mexico had noticed the whole secret agents thing has gotten a little ridiculous and thus ripe for parody. Enter Cazadores de Espías, a comedic film filled with secret agents, double crosses, identical twins, a carnivorous plant, a masked villain, a seductive villainess, a luchador, a mad scientist, and even a robot. There is plenty of goofy action across the board, lending Cazadores de Espías the power to potentially be something bigger than it is. Unfortunately, there is no subtitled version at all, and the first half of the film leans heavily on verbal jokes, leaving people like me to be forced to lean on their rusty Spanish. At TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles, but they probably would have come in handy here! Despite the lack of clear understanding of a few plot points, the general gist was easy to get, and no one needs subtitles when a robot is running around! Cazadores de Espías is fun, but thanks to the language veil it isn’t as fun as it should have been.
Cazadores de Espías
Cazadores de Espías was filmed around the same time as Muñecas Peligrosas and Con Licencia Para Matar, which is pretty obvious. It features familiar sets and cast members, and all are directed by Rafael Baledón (though this time the original story is by Adolfo Torres Portillo). The sets usually used at the villain’s lair is now a hotel, a control room is now a villain lair, and the familiar nightclub returns, though there is now a big wrestling ring in part of it. The goons of the mysterious Mr. X were big X’s on their uniforms (instead of G’s or K’s!) Mexican villains are all sponsored by the same letters that sponsor Sesame Street!

As the film is rather obscure, please enjoy the longer film synopsis review. But as the film is hard to follow at parts, please forgive any errors that creep in due to confusion or language barriers. As usual, I blame those nefarious Spider Gnomes of Jupiter, who cause me no end of troubles. I will defeat you one day, Spider Gnomes of Jupiter! Fans of random Mexican song interludes will enjoy the performances by Los Rockyn Devil’s, The Shadow of the Beast, Manolo Muñoz, Rubin “Penjamo” Mendez, and Jose Antonio Zevala. Non-fans will find a convenient time to go to the bathroom. Now on with the show!
Cazadores de Espías

Ricardo (Carlos East) – Ricardo’s twin brother Ramiro is murdered right in front of him, and Ricardo goes on a quest for revenge, which puts him in the middle of two rival criminal espionage groups and some innocent people. Part of his cover is disguising as the luchador Rayo De Oro, because that’s how you go undercover in Mexico, dress as a flamboyant wrestler.
Chelelo Ochoa (Eleazar García “Chelelo”) – A relative of the dead Mr. X who inherits part of the property that becomes the center of espionage conflicts. Wants to promote wrestling matches for money. At one point has to disguise himself as Rayo De Oro when Ricardo goes missing. Is either Leonor’s husband or distant cousin with the same last name (I was unable to figure this out). Eleazar García has a nickname, so we know from experience to prepare for comedic pain. Though, really, Chelelo isn’t that unfunny. He might be the most entertaining nicknamed Mexican comedian I’ve seen in a film. And I’ve seen quite a few! So many nicknamed Mexican comedians…
Leonorilda “Leonor” Ochoa (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Leonor is one of the not really deceased Mr. X’s long lost relatives who gain ownership of a property he controls, thus everyone tries to kill her and Chelelo. They keep failing at it. She wants to turn the property into a gogo dancing hall. Leonorilda Ochoa also appears in Muñecas Peligrosas and Con Licencia Para Matar.
Sylvana (Maura Monti) – Leader of a villainous faction that is trying to gain possession of the property everyone wants. Owns a Carnivorous Plant and a bunch of goons. Maura Monti also appears in Muñecas Peligrosas, Con Licencia Para Matar, La Mujer Murciélago, S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, and Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos.
Mr. X (Héctor Andremar) – The mysterious Mr. X is very mysterious. Most mysterious of all is his plan, which makes no real sense. Hides out under the property in question all day and gives his men branded uniforms. He also has a twin brother, but he kills him to fake his own death. I’m pretty sure this is Héctor Andremar.
Carnivorous Plant (itself) – A very hungry plant that is eager to eat anything and anyone it can get its vines on! Used by Sylvana to threaten her enemies.
Robot (???) – A remote controlled robot that looks like a modified diving suit with a stove grill in the front of it. Controlled by the Mad Scientist Guy using a remote in his cane. Uses it to kill the enemies of his group, and also as a wrestling opponent in a bid to kill off Ricardo.
Mad Scientist Guy (???) – One of Sylvana’s goons who controls the Robot that kills people and wrestles. Takes great joy in seeing his creating destroy the living both inside and outside the ring. Forgot to use circuit breakers, proving he really is mad. Meets a shocking end. I am not sure who played him.

Cazadores de Espías
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Con Licencia Para Matar (Review)

Con Licencia Para Matar

aka With License to Kill aka Las Tigresas
Con Licencia Para Matar
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Con Licencia Para Matar
When danger rears it’s head, and the police are helpless, they call in Las Tigresas! A trio of fighting femmes donning black catsuits with leopard print collars who bust in and kick serious butt, then collect fat paychecks to live exciting jet-setting lives.

There are two Las Tigresas films, Con Licencia Para Matar (With License to Kill) is the second, following Muñecas Peligrosas (Dangerous Dolls), though according to some material I read, this one may have been filmed first. That’s not surprising, as both films appear to be filmed one after the other (they even share sets and actors, and Cazadores de Espias also shares sets and actors and was filmed at almost the same time in 1967!)
Con Licencia Para Matar
Las Tigresas are a mercenary group that contracts out to the IUS to do special missions (at a price!) Their liaison/mission boss is “Jefe”, Jim Morrison (who is now dating Emily, the leaders of Las Tigresas) They have a comic relief maid named Leonor who occasionally joins them for adventures, and in this film also get a comic relief butler named Hector who is sort of dating Leonor.

Las Tigresas are independent warrior women who don’t wait around for men to save them. Despite calling Morrison their boss, he barely does anything except give them assignments and take Emily out on dates (In a clear HR violation!) The ladies are independent role models, not only does Leonor spend both films wanting to be one of them, in this film Hector even tries to join their ranks.
Con Licencia Para Matar
Unlike the other Las Tigresas film, there are no English subtitles for Con Licencia Para Matar, but a TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! Con Licencia Para Matar is the much more enjoyable Las Tigresas film, and the lack of accessibility means it still lingers in the realm of obscurity despite the best efforts of world cinema fanatics. As this film is rather rare, enjoy the far too detailed plot synopsis review below. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Code designation: T001. Leader of Las Tigresas. Emily is now dating Jim Morrison and gets a musical number in the club. Specializes in using the gun to kill enemies, though that’s not really a specialization because everyone uses guns. But she uses her gun and nothing else.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Code designation: T009. Diana returns with much more sensible hair, and also has a fiance and is planning to retire. But he disappears so no retirement just yet! Diana uses the bow and arrows.
Barbara (Barbara Angely) – Code designation: T002. Barbara spends much of her time not having much going on in this film, though she occasionally will show up to kill villains. Barbara uses her sword to dispatch her enemies.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s maid, who still wants to be a Tigress and is still actively involved in their missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – Nicknamed Jefe. The boss of the Tigresas in that he is their liaison with IUS and assigns them missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Dr. Klux (Noé Murayama) – Evil villain who build invincible robots to do his bidding and to do awful stuff in the name of showing how awesome Dr. Klux is. This guy’s name is a little too close for comfort to a certain awful hate organization, which may or may not have been intentional. Who knows at this point?
Dr. Klux’s Robots (various) – Invincible super robots controlled by remote control and made out of green plastic. They feature huge Ks on their chests because Dr. Klux is sort of an arrogant jerk. Their only weakness is heat and destroying their control panel.

Con Licencia Para Matar
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Muñecas Peligrosas (Review)

Muñecas Peligrosas

aka Danger Dolls aka Operación Contraespionaje aka Operation Counter
Muñecas Peligrosas
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Muñecas Peligrosas
Muñecas Peligrosas is the first of the two Las Tigresas films, featuring a trio of fighting femmes in black catsuits and leopard collars who fight evil (for a fee!) It fits right in with the established world of 1960s Mexican spy cinema, which borrows chunks from James Bond and Eurospy while keeping its own distinct flavor. There is a secret international spy agency, and all-powerful unknown villains who retain their mystery despite having advanced branding tactics. Muñecas Peligrosas is a more subtle affair then the sequel, which features the ladies battling green robots controlled by a mad scientist. Here, they battle an industrialist determined to steal a catalyst for solid fuel production by luring the maker to Mexico via sabotage. But the plot is just background distraction, the real draw of Muñecas Peligrosas is the female characters, the three fighting women and their comic relief maid.

The lead Tigresa is Emily (code designation: T001), played by Emily Cranz. She was born Emma Cranz Cantillano in Arizona to a German mother and Mexican father. She had a string of film appearances in the 1960s, along with several albums (occasionally with a group called Los Black Jeans) and appearances on television variety shows. She eventually married and disappeared from public view in 1970.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Tigresa Diana (code designation: T009) is played by actress Maura Monti. She’s best known to genre fans as the star of the Mexican Batwoman movie, La Mujer Murciélago, as well as appearances in films such as S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, and Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos. Maura Monti has gigantic hair in this movie.

The final Tigresas is Barbara (code designation: T002), played by Bárbara Angely. Her character sort of gets the shaft in both of the films, often supporting one of the other two characters. Bárbara Angely was born Barbara Mueller in Austria, both her and her twin sister Angelika became models in Italy and eventually moved to Mexico. Now being billed as Bárbara Angely, she appeared in films through the last 1960s, only to retire by 1970 (it was said she tired of the lifestyle.) She earned a Ph.D. and eventually became a triathlon athlete along with her sister. It was while competing in one such event that she suffered the injuries that claimed her life in 2008.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Despite Barbara being a real Tigresa, Emily’s maid Leonor (played by comedic actress Leonorilda Ochoa) gets much more screen time and plot development. Unlike the three import actresses above, Leonorilda Ochoa did not marry and vanish from public view in 1970 as the Mexican film industry depressed. She moved to television, gaining fame in Los Beverly de Peralvillo, a satire on life of rich Mexican City residents (and named in reverence to the US program Beverly Hillbillies). She has been absent in the public eye in recent years due to Alzheimer’s.

Villain Garrick is one of those villains who needs people to know who he is, so he has his big G logo plastered all over his hideout and on his troops. The design of the big G kept making me thing of Gizmonic Institute from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe the Institute militarized and that’s why Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank moved to Deep 13. Makes you think…
Muñecas Peligrosas
There is also a very unfunny running gag involving a karate instructor (played by Alejandro Suárez in yellowface) who speaks gibberish back and forth with Leonor while she hits on him. These scenes go on for far too long and are just awful.

The copy I have came complete with some fan subtitles. Some of the names might not match right up with other names you’ve seen, and I’ve compromised by what names sound correct. And as this is relatively obscure, please enjoy the more detailed than usual review. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Codename: T001. Emily owns the headquarters and is the leader of Las Tigresas. She is dating Waldo, who turns out to be working for the enemy. So there is guilt and stuff going on.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Codename: T009. Diana is skilled in the bow and arrows. I don’t know if her number jumping from two to nine means there six inactive or deceased Las Tigresas out there. The film just doesn’t answer that pressing question. How dare you, film!
Barbara (Bárbara Angely) – Codename: T002. Barbara is mentioned as knowing Jim Morrison from her time in New York City, and returns there at one point for vacation, where she convinces the boss to less Jim pay their higher fee. She specializes in the swords. That’s also about all she does for both films.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s loyal maid. Her greatest wish is to be one of the Tigresas. She’s the comic relief, and there is a lot of relief. She’s almost the most seen character in the film!
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – The new boss, nicknamed “Jefe” by the Tigresses before he’s even officially their boss. Then he becomes their boss when IUS hires the ladies at the high fees. Is the only IUS agent in Mexico who doesn’t get killed easily by Garrick.
Garrick (Armando Silvestre) – Egotistical jerk who is trying to steal the K20 because of reasons not known, all you need to know is he is evil. That’s what the secretive international spy agency that assassinates hundreds off the books says, so it must be legitimate. Likes to put the letter “G” everywhere.

Muñecas Peligrosas
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S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini (Review)

S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini

aka S.O.S. Bikini Conspiracy
SOS Conspiracion Bikini Conspiracy Mexico
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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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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La Mujer Murciélago

La Mujer Murciélago

aka The Batwoman

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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