Concerned about mankind’s experiments with the a-bomb, a team of Martians come to Earth in a spaceship to put a stop to our aggressive ways. Their plans bring them into conflict with legendary silver-masked wrestler, Santo, who is determined to thwart them at all costs.
Good afternoon, grapple fans! We’re back south of the border in the company of El Santo, who is facing off against an extra-terrestrial threat, rather than the usual gangs of enemy agents, vampires, werewolves and mad scientists. Sadly, there’s no Blue Demon to help him out here, but he does have backup in the form of genius egghead Professor Ororica (Manuel Zozaya) whose various inventions of a transistor radio-compass and a Martian detecting cigar box prove to be quite the ticket. And everyone’s favourite luchador is going to need all the help he can get this time!
You see, these Martians haven’t just got lots of space technology stuff on their side, they’re also just so with it, baby! The guys dress in silver wigs, silver hats with a third eye, silver shorts, silver boots, and silver cloaks that fasten at the throat to show off their bare, muscly chests. The gals are real space babes too; what with their skimpy silver gear and mean go-go dance moves, which they use when they kidnap the old Professor from a dinner being held in his honour. Helpfully, their glorious leader Wolf Ruvinskis decrees they will all speak Spanish for the duration as it’s the language of the country they are travelling to. They picked Mexico as their destination due to its reputation for seeking world peace and disarmament.
So what exactly are they up to? Well, the first thing they do is take over all TV broadcasts to explain it. Basically, they don’t trust us! They think we are an aggressive species who need to be taken in hand. What they propose is to dissolve all national boundaries, create a world government under one language, impose global peace and foster a brotherhood of man. A dastardly plan, to be sure, and completely against the principals of a free market, capitalism, war for profit and manifest destiny that we all enjoy today. Luckily, everyone thinks they’re joking (and no wonder!) so they determine to use more convincing methods.
The Martian’s next move is to interrupt random stock footage of sporting events by sending one of their number to disintegrate a few random bystanders using his ‘Astral Eye’. This doesn’t go down well with our silver-masked hero who is busy nearby, teaching kids wrestling moves and imparting important life lessons. Of course, our Martian visitor is no match for Santo when it comes to grappling and is forced to use his belt to dematerialise when in the big man’s grasp. Which is interesting, because throughout the rest of the film the aliens abduct people in just that way, by being in physical contact and using their belts. But it never works on our main man. Maybe he’s just too muscular and heroic to be affected by science!
lt’s after tangling with the masked man that the alien’s mission statement goes awry. They seem to forget about all this pinko commie ‘world government and peace’ malarkey and start kidnapping random people instead, starting with a typical family who spend all their time watching TV. Why? So they can take them back to Mars. Why? Well, l’m sure they have their reasons. Ruvinskis also decides that his crew’s appearance is having a detrimental effect on the mission because it frightens the earthlings (rather than making us laugh!) so orders everyone into the ‘Transformation Chamber’. A little dry ice later and they emerge in left over costumes from a toga party. As a result they can’t become invisible anymore or use the disintegrating powers of their ‘Astral Eye’. Instead, Ruvinskis gives them all the names of famous characters from Greek Mythology! It’s an interesting tactical decision to be sure. Where are the authorities in all this? No idea.
Up until now, there’s been one other noticeable absentee from proceedings: wrestling. So it’s time to head over to the gym and catch Santo in training. The Martians observe on their scanner (there’s a lot of watching TV in this film!) and send over two sexy space babes to hypnotise his opponents. Their charms don’t impress Santo, of course, although one of them does unmask him later on, only his back is to the camera and it’s all a hallucination anyway.
The obligatory face off in the ring finds him pitched against alien ‘Hercules’ who is disguised as ‘The Black Eagle’ (for some reason). But the Martians’ main problem is that their spaceship has ‘the big lever that blows everything up’. lt’s a strangely common design flaw in extraterrestrial craft and secret laboratories throughout cinema history.
This was one of the last ‘Santo’ pictures to be presented in black and white and, ridiculous as the whole enterprise might be, at least a little more care and attention has been devoted to the project than on later entries in the series. Ruvinskis was one of Santo’s real-life rivals in the ring, already familiar to Mexican cinema audiences as heroic wrestling superhero ‘Neutron’ in a short series of rival films, including ‘Neutron Contra El Dr Caronte’ (1963).
Fed up with the current world situation? Wish we could have world peace and brotherhood? Well, just remember. We’d already have it if it wasn’t for El Santo!