Santo y Blue Demon contra Doctor Frankestein
Santo y Blue Demon contra Doctor Frankestein 1974
It’s time to finish out Hispanic Heritage Month with the last Santo movie from my local library. Now I only have like 49 more of these movies to go if I ever want to completely finish them. It’s been an interesting trek, none of them are really that great. I’ve fallen asleep (albeit watching late at night) twice out of the four movies. But each one is different enough from the other to keep things interesting. The fights were interesting to a point and I’m glad to be taking a long break from the movies but each one had something interesting about it to make it different from the rest of the movies while still having the same Santo charm.
This is the first movie covered here that could potentially have a connection to an earlier movie. Even though it’s never explicitly stated within the movie, the Doctor Frankenstein in this movie is quite possibly the son of la Hija de Frankenstein in an earlier movie. She was the daughter while he is the grandson. He is 113 years old while she doesn’t mention her age but was older than her minions who were over 100. And they are both knowledgeable in de-aging techniques. Where the daughter was more interested in bringing corpses back to life, the grandson’s interest is in swapping brains between two bodies as well as controlling them. He’s become a serial killer as his experiments are on unwilling hosts and are typically unsuccessful.
This movie also brings the most connection between the wrestling matches and the story itself. Similar to Frankenstein’s daughter the opening match is initially tuned into via the cold open as Doctor Frankenstein turns to the match on TV. But not only that, the match that ends the movie is actually Doctor Frankenstein’s monster Golem and the Doctor himself in disguise. The fight goes outside of the match and onto the roof where Santo and Blue Demon end up knocking the two villains over the edge of a catwalk to their deaths.
Similar to all of the rest of the Santo movies, there’s a mix of romance, horror, and wrestling. There’s an old family friend that’s Santo’s love interest even though they’re not technically dating. She becomes the woman of interest and the bait to lure Santo to Frankenstein’s clutches as he wants Santo’s brain to make his giant into not just a strong tank, but an athletic powerhouse. There’s also the comedic element like with Frankenstein’s daughter as the woman’s boss is an absentminded professor who doesn’t remember if she was dating Santo or Blue Demon or neither of them. Besides that, there’s also a slight bit of a feminist bent as there are two detectives on the Frankenstein case and they’re both women investigators. They don’t really do much besides ask a few obvious questions and hang around, but it’s the thought that counts. But at least they also don’t ever make them into damsels, they just keep them on the sidelines for the most part.
One of the oddest things about Santo in general is that overall he doesn’t really have a secret identity. He has the mask to conceal his identity, but throughout the movies he’s always just Santo the superhero wrestler. He goes on dates and does other somewhat mundane things throughout the movies, but it’s never as a regular person. It’s as the masked Santo, just in regular clothes rather than his wrestling outfit. And at least in the five movies reviewed on this site, it’s never really commented on, it just is what it is. It quite possibly has to do with the wrestler/actor Santo’s actual secret identity as he is always credited in these movies as Santo rather than as his real name. It would just be an odd parallel to see a more well known superhero like Batman wearing a business suit and the Batman mask seated at a restaurant with a Russian supermodel.
Aside from all that secret identity stuff, this was a decent entry into the Santo series. The mystery had a decent build to it and it actually tied into the wrestling matches quite well despite them being filmed on a colored backdrop without any visible audience during the actual match. There were at least some cut aways to a live audience and it was nice to see the match actually go outside the ring. The fights outside of the ring were also fairly decent and Doctor Frankenstein as a villain was quite entertaining as well. He had a standard mad scientist plan but he presented it well. The only downside is that nothing really stood out as being incredibly well done or entertainingly bad, it was Santo hitting its groove but after watching three of these movies previously it left a little something to be desired. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.