Santo y Blue Demon Contra El Doctor Frankenstein (1974)

Santo y Blue Demon Contra El Doctor Frankenstein (1974)‘Blue Demon bares the caresses, if you can call them that, of this huge mole of more than 200 pounds.’

Masked wrestlers El Santo and his tag team partner The Blue Demon investigate when a series of beautiful young women go missing, turning up later as mindless zombies. It all proves to be the work of a descendant of the original Dr Frankenstein who is experimenting with brain swapping.

Rather pale and formulaic entry in the ‘Santo’ series with our grappling hero barely involved until the daughter of an old friend becomes one of Frankie’s victims. Before that, he only appears when villain Jorge Russek turns on the TV to catch some tag team action. This bout is staged in front of a blue wall and is totally mismatched with footage of the watching crowd. After that, Santo and his bestie Blue Demon go double dating to a restaurant with their masks still on. No-one bats an eye of course, especially not their girlfriends! But domestic bliss is thwarted when Santo’s squeeze is kidnapped by Frankie, who is chewing up the scenery at the same rate as he chews cigars. He’s planning to conquer the world with a zombie army and resurrect his dead wife with brain fluid at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking!

The police are baffled by the whole business, especially when some of their men are killed by Frankie’s ‘successful’ experiment, Golem. Obviously, the good doctor has unusual criteria when he defines ‘success’ as that sort of activity is about all Golem can manage, apart from sitting in a chair and staring off blankly into space. But it does prove useful when Frankie disguises him as wrestling sensation Mortis and programs him to kill Santo in the ring!

Santo y Blue Demon Contra El Doctor Frankenstein (1974)

This catalogue modelling lark’s a doodle, ain’t it?

If all this sounds familiar, well, then it should. The plot is lifted lock, stock and barrel from ‘Doctor of Doom’ (1963), the debut movie of those wonderful ‘Wrestling Women’ Gloria Venus and the Golden Rubi and executed with far less energy and style. This is pale and listless stuff, enlivened only by Russek as the villain.

Santo and his friend are saddled with two lady cops when they start working for the police, whose sole function seems to be to require rescuing on a semi-regular basis. It’s a long way from Lorena Velazquez and her mean right hook.

By far the most enjoyable aspect of the whole production is the poorly translated subtitles on the print that I saw. Some of the better examples: ‘She stayed here late last night working on some viles.’ ‘Are you by any chance that famous scientist – creator of the no less famous monster?’ ‘The audience roars uncomfortably in their seats.’ ‘Blue Demon ducks and Ray Mendoza falls ostentatiously.’

And then there’s the newspaper headline: ‘Four policemen torn to pieces by a strange individual. One of them lived long enough to explain what happened.’

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