A sinister criminal organisation plan to use the lost treasure of the last Aztec Emperor Montezuma to fund their diabolical schemes. A map hidden in a statue held in a museum holds the secret to its location. Unfortunately, the drawing needs to be decoded and the key to the cipher is hidden in an emerald ring which is in the possession of an Interpol agent…
Direct sequel to ‘Operacion 67’ (1967) that finds legendary silver-masked wrestler El Santo and his compadre Jorge Rivero still running around like ‘Bonds On A Budget’ tackling guns, girls and (very few) gadgets. They’re up against supervillain Miguel Gomez Checa and his evil minions again, and this time the crooks are after nothing less than Montezuma’s treasure! Rather predictably, this involves collecting a couple of MaGuffins in the time-honoured tradition of Hollywood Serials of the 1930’s and 1940’s; on this occasion an ancient statue and an emerald ring.
Heisting the first item from a museum proves to be rather easy, their night-time operation aided immeasurably by the main job of all the museum’s guards: popping outside alone for a quick smoke. A few quick shots of ‘freeze gas’ later and the statue is in the bag! Unfortunately, Checa and his main lieutenant Suki (Noé Murayama) find their second object somewhat harder to obtain, mainly because ex-employee Elizabeth Campbell passed it to agent Rivero in the first film. So, inevitably, a lot of the running time involves various goons trying to knock off Rivero and his partner El Santo.
The villains try to run down the legendary luchador in an underground car park using multiple vehicles until they eventually remember they have guns too! However, after letting off a few rounds, they just get bored and give up. Rivero is targeted behind the scenes of a bullfight, but he’s never in any serious danger as he can still throw a mean left after being shot in the shoulder. A few moments later, he re-joins date Amadee Chabot with just some blood on his suit and no other apparent consequences!
Talking of Chabot, Rivero meets the statuesque ex-Miss California on the street and enthusiastically runs her off the road after she repels his initial advances. Obviously, this brilliant seduction technique is a complete success and they retreat to Rivero’s bachelor pad where they start getting up close and personal in his private swimming pool. All this time, El Santo is watching them on his private TV because all agents wear magic cameras that allow them to be filmed as if by a third person! Santo does turn off his TV before they have sex, though, so it’s all fine and not creepy at all. Anyway, the next scene finds Rivero making eyes at a dusky brunette in the crowd watching El Santo fight, because…it was the 1960s, I guess. Santo ends up with this new girl’s twin sister anyway, so it’s all fine and not creepy at all. Again.
In the last 20 minutes everyone remembers that the film is supposed to be about Montezuma’s treasure, and Santo is lured to a rendezvous at the local pyramids. In a badly missed opportunity, he does not encounter our old friend, the Aztec Mummy, but just more of Checa and Murayama’s goons, who fail to kill him again with their usual ruthless inefficiency. Supervillains just can’t get a decent standard of help. Having said that, Interpol’s backroom boffin Dr Androna does get himself strangled to death (in a few seconds) but, when our heroes arrive, he has managed to leave them a last-gasp explanatory message on his tape recorder nevertheless. He even includes information about the villains’ plans that he can’t possibly have known!
This project obviously had a slightly higher budget than most of El Santo’s cinematic adventures and the father and son directing team of Rene Cardona and Rene Cardona Jr deliver a competent, if rather uninspired, production. Proceedings are enlivened a little by the early appearance of the lovely Maura Monti as an enemy agent, but the emphasis on Rivero’s romantic escapades are likely to be a little tiresome to fans of our silver-masked hero.
It was a busy year for El Santo as he’d already flexed his ‘Indiana Jones’ muscles going after Dracula’s treasure in the cunningly titled ’Santo and Dracula’s Treasure’ (1968). Rivero was actually more of a bodybuilder then a wrestler and, although he’d played a luchador in his debut feature, he’s fairly obviously doubled in his scenes in the square ring.
Passable, if slightly anonymous, spy games for El Santo. Not the worst of his efforts by any means, but lacking the wackier elements that make some of his other adventures so memorable.