Santo y Blue Demon Contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo
Santo y Blue Demon Contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo 1973
A few weeks ago when I was at the library, I noticed that they had four of the classic Santo movies. And while there are 53 different Santo movies that came out between the 60’s and 80’s I’ve currently only watched the most famous one that was also featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. After I borrowed this title, I happened to notice that there’s a blogathon going on that coincides with this movie. It’s been a long time since I’ve joined in a blogathon so I thought this would be the perfect timing, especially as it’s Hispanic Heritage Month. If you’d like more information, head over to Once Upon a Screen to see more about the blogathon. I hope to cover at least one more of the films in the next two weeks, but we’ll see about that. As for the film itself, it was more or less what I expected based on my previous experience, though the production values were slightly higher as it came out ten years later. It wasn’t that deep, it was weird but not over the top campy, and I had fun with it for the most part.
Like most, if not all of the Santo movies, this has several straight up wrestling matches. There’s basically a match at the very beginning, one halfway through introducing Santo’s partner Blue Demon, and one at the very end to wrap things up. The matches in general are decent, though it seemed like Blue Demon was the more entertaining wrestler with more acrobatic moves while Santo relied more on holds and punches. And when the two actually fought some of the various supernatural villains that didn’t have anything to do with the wrestling matches, the fights were much more simple with just some random punches here and there and only a single luchador style fight at the very end. Not only that, but the three ring matches had absolutely zero connection to the plot of the movie whatsoever. Instead, they fought El Angel Blanco and Renato the Hippie who only exist in the movie for the three matches.
The supernatural side of things is a whole different story. There’s Dracula and the Wolfman who have been dead for a few hundred years after being killed by a member of the Cristaldi family. Although the name is basically a substitute for Van Helsing and some random worshiper named Eric wants to sacrifice the last Cristaldi to resurrect the two creatures in order to get their treasure. Even though it’s never really explained how he would get their treasure and why he couldn’t just find it while they were skeletons. There are just a couple bloody moments, one especially when Eric slices the throat of the old professor Cristaldi to use his blood to restore Dracula and the Wolfman from their skeletons. Which is a great moment as it’s not just their bodies that are restored, but also their clothes.
But before the sacrifice, we’re introduced to the Cristaldi family which consists of the Grandfather, his niece, his daughter, and her daughter. The daughter eventually gets wooed by the Wolfman in human form while the niece Lena is wooed by Santo himself. The romance is kind of fun and also makes for some odd moments. There are two different times when Santo and Blue Demon are hanging out at the house to protect the family, one time they are all playing cards, another the two are playing chess. It’s made even better by the fact that they are always wearing their full Luchador masks, but that’s the only part of their getup. The rest of their outfits are generally sensible sweaters, t-shirts, even a business suit at one point. There’s a great, absurd scene where the two of them are staking out Eric’s apartment sitting in a convertible as two of the most conspicuous people that could ever exist.
Overall, there are plenty of fun and absurd moments, especially between the Wolfman and Eric as they outsmart Santo and Blue Demon and lure them into a trap multiple times. And yet there’s also another bizarre moment where Eric takes this magical dagger from Santo that had killed Dracula and the Wolfman the first time around and decides to use it himself to get the treasure until the dagger turns on him and kills him. He then replies that he must have committed so many crimes that he’s no longer human. It’s also surprising that the mother is actually killed by the Wolfman and turned into a vampire about halfway through the movie. She’s also never brought back, she’s ultimately destroyed along with the rest of the undead army mixed with vampires and wolf-people. It’s rarely over the top campy to make it huge amounts of fun, but the bizarreness that comes here and there was enough to make it entertaining for the most part. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.