Monday, August 26, 2013

El Santo Contra la Invasión de los Marcianos (1967, Alfredo B. Crevenna)

Luchador movies are awesome. If you did not watch them you would not know that wrestling is the universal medium of combat. Not only do Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster wrestle as their primary form of combat; so do the people of Mars.

El Santo Contra la Invasión de los Marcianos, or , Santo versus the Martian Invasion, brings the world's greatest wrestler against a horde of Martians who have the temerity to interrupt western movies on television, wrestling practice, and a fútbol match. They are able to teleport to and from their ship, and have helmets which make a noise that causes people to disappear. After interrupting a television program, one of the Martians comes to, what appears to be the Mexican Olympics. There are bicycle races, a fútbol match, and wrestling instruction for los niños. Much to the Martian's eventual dismay, said wrestling instruction is provided by none other than El Santo. After making some spectators and overly posed children disappear, the Martian goes for Santo. He is a mighty foe, but eventually knows that El Enmascarado de Plata is more than he can handle, and teleports back to his ship.

Do you like our blonde wigs? We only wear them on special occasions.
Either El Santo is advising not to play so rough, or praising for playing rough.

The kid second from the left has a future in musical theater. I can feel it.

I've got your nose!

Later, El Santo is working with a man, who I assume is a leading scientist, because of his white lab coat and the variety of "science" noises going on in his lab. The Martian leader comes in to fight Santo again. He tries to use his disappearing ray on him, but somehow, Santo is not effected. Maybe it's the mask? Santo is, however, frozen briefly. The Martian leader takes the opportunity to menace the scientist, and then we find his flaw. The Martians need some medication to survive in our atmosphere. When it runs out of their system, it hits them hard. The leader starts gasping for air, and struggling to get his pill. Santo snaps out of it in time to prevent this, but the leader again teleports away.

Those Martians better not interfere with Rebeldé!
Oh, mighty gyroscope! Show us how to defeat El Santo!
Why I outta...
After this defeat, the Martians change tack and begin kidnapping; specifically one family. I don't know who they are... Using their teleportation power, two Martians take the family back to their ship for reasons I won't begin to assume, other than maybe it will piss off Santo? At this point, the Martians take on the aspect of Greek deities; four women and four men.

Papa! There is a Stargate cosplayer in our room!
I'll teach you to mess with my kids!

Goddess transformation complete, indeed!

The scientist begins developing a device that looks like a transistor radio with a compass. Once Santo leaves, two Martians come to take him away, but he has science on his side. He smashes a beaker, which creates a fire. This scares the Martians away. One might think, due to the strong reaction to fire, that a few well positioned flame-thrower operators might be able to take care of business. That, however, is not how El Santo rolls. Also, the fire might have something to do with their atmospheric adaptation, but who knows?

The guys at Radio Shack said I was mad... I'll show them!
How about a little fire, Scare... oh, never mind.
Next, the Martians use their video spy technology (Did I mention they have that? They do.) to watch El Santo at the Club de Luchadores. He is training some other wrestlers, because even though the world is being threatened by an alien force one must keep in shape. Also, Santo wants the world to be a better place, and a better place includes better wrestlers. Santo takes a bit of a beating from one luchador, then some from another. The Martians appear to think that these two combined could beat Santo; I mean, they are doing well individually, right?

Members Only
We have cameras everywhere...
Two of the female Martians teleport to the Club de Luchadores, and while Santo is getting his cape from the locker room, the ladies use some mind control power to make Santos training partners turn against him. When Santo emerges, they begin laying into him hard. The Martians are intrigued, and amused. Finally, Santo will fall before them. Think again ladies. The previous training session was just that. Now, with his life threatened, Santo starts to deliver a master class I like to call "Don't Fuck with El Santo". After it is clear that this strategy did not work, the Martians teleport away, which releases the luchadores from their hypnosis. El Santo, who is as wise as he is deadly, understands that something was wrong and bears no grudge against his friends.

Remember to eat your vegetables, or something.
Why are we hiding in here again?
Guys! Guys!
He can't handle our love slaves.
Guys, seriously. I'm gonna hurt you.

Darn... Let's bolt.

Oh, Santo. Let's not fight again. Well, not in anger.

Next, things get a little unfathomable, sort of... The Martian women start rounding up a lot of men. The men all seem to know each other, but I have not figured out if they were characters who already appeared. I assume they are influential people, as the prison does not have all the disappeared people from before. These folks are special enough to get special pills, which I assume adapt humans to the Martian atmosphere in the spaceship. This is a very talky bit...

Crashin' your party, bitches.

Great... At least our horndog husbands will leave us alone for a while.


Too easy.

Back on the ship.

Now we get to what the crowd came for, I assume: the big wrestling match. El Santo is set to wrestle against another masked luchador, but before the match one of the Martians (the leader, maybe) teleports into the locker room, beats up Santo's opponent, and takes his mask... and his costume. El Santo is not fooled, as in the ring the Martian is wearing his special belt. And here's the bell!

I don't like strangers in my locker room!

This mask smells like gin.

Nothing could spoil my disguise, except... dammit!

The match goes on for about eight minutes, so go get a sandwich if that is not your thing.

Then to everyone's horror, the Martian luchador unmasks El Santo! ¡Increíble! However, joy of joys, El Santos was wearing two masks! Phew! He rises from the canvas and goes after his Martian foe. Two more minutes of wrestling, and El Santo unmasks the Martian. For some reason, this causes all the Martians present to appear in their normal garb, which clears the house. They go at it a bit more, but the Martian has had enough, so he teleports away, as do his cohorts. El Santo finds himself alone in the coliseum with no fans to cheer him; his only comfort is that he fought the good fight.

Ding ding ding!

I have his... wait, these are underwear!

Pathos, thy name is Santo.

We get a very trippy scene next... Santo is in his room (I assume it is his room) reading a book. Suddenly, one of the female Martians appears. The room fills with smoke, and the Martian begins seducing Santo. So great are her powers that she begins to unmask him. This is not normal. El Santo does everything with his mask on. Everything. A second Martian female shows up and starts the Santo Sandwich, but the smoke clears... El Santo still has his mask, and the women are across the room.

Oh, Nancy Drew...

Over here, big boy.

Mind if I smoke?

Wait, you're not Ricardo Montalban!?!

Three is never a crowd.

Gin, again? What's with you luchadores?

Mind... hazy...

What the...

Now you see us... you don't!
 Hey, remember that transistor radio with the compass attached? Well, its working now. It seems to be a Martian locator. Santo gets in his car. Cut to the local church, which we have seen before, but never seemed important. Three Martians are with the priest. They are not threatening him, and I assume he is aiding them in some way. Santo arrives and has to fight two of the Martians. The priest seems horrified, and I hope a little sorry for his collusion, as the two Martians beat Santo up. The priest's difficultly appears to make him less useful, as the Martian teleports him to the ship and throws him in the cell with the rest. Back at the fight, the Martians' medicine seems to be wearing off, but El Santo is wise to this weakness and prevents them from taking the pills. Instead they teleport away... Again, Santo is alone.

Soon, all of this technology will be obsolete.

C'mon, padre... We, uh, something...

Say "no" to drugs, alien scum!

Back on the ship, the prisoners seem to note that the Martians are not having the best luck dealing with Santo, and plan an escape... Typical stuff; hide behind the door when the guard comes in, bonk him on the head, then try sabotaging the ship. It fails miserably, but you have to try, right?

This Santo dude is cramping our style, boys.

I have a cunning plan...

Hey, they'll never see this coming.

Oh, guard...

Get'im, boys!

They keep showing this lever... Hmm...

Now, the scientists gets some visitors. They invite him to a party... maybe an awards banquet? Whatever it is, the Martians are very interested... Maybe they are behind it? Regardless, the female Martians teleport into the dancers' dressing room, hypnotize them and steal their clothes... Cut to Santo's study we see his transistor/compass go off. Back at the party, the female Martians are dancing, and the club manager notices that these are not the dancers he hired. They are doing everything properly, so he lets them go. They do their dance, then grab the scientist and teleport away. The crowd freaks out and runs away. Santo arrives, once again to an empty room, save for the club manager and his assistant. Chances are they've seen it all and a disappearing dance troupe and an old man don't shake them a bit.

Have you ever considered investing in a timeshare?

Wait, is this our plan, or something we should take advantage of?

Ladies, how quickly can you come up with a dance routine?

This quickly!

Let's split, pops!

The news begins to report all the problems with the Martians, and for some reason the kidnapping of the scientist is the last straw. A bar full of drunks scram, and then we see the empty streets of what I assume to be a normally bustling metropolis.

Time for another wrestling match!

We see Santo in the ring with only his opponent, a referee, and the contestants' corner men. No crowd, no big show... but also, no teleportation belt on the challenger. Is he a Martian? Maybe, but in their costumes it is terribly hard to tell them apart. Then three Martians show up and everyone but Santo runs. Seems this was just a pre-scheduled private bout that the highly responsible El Santo would not cancel, or maybe he was luring the Martians? He takes on the three Martians, defeating one and stealing his belt... Now, El Santo can teleport too. Your move, Martians!

Teleporting to the ship, followed by the Martians he just fought, Santo finds that the Martians are all weak and dying. Maybe they are out of pills? He manhandles his way to the prison, releases everyone, and they all escape. The scientist seems to know that if the lever that is often featured in the spaceship is mishandled, it will cause the ship to explode. Santo returns, pulls the level and runs out, barely avoiding the explosion... El Santo then walks off into the night. The end.

Did everyone have the chicken?

Lever... important... Must... crap.
Wow, what a mess. Glad I had the fish.
Yeah, I'll risk my life to save you all. AGAIN.

I'm ouuuuuuta here.
I have made a lot of fun of this film, but aside from the over-lengthy wrestling scenes it is pretty good. Not speaking Spanish certainly limits my ability to comment on the story, but it seemed to fit together nicely. You can find this one on YouTube, along with many other Mexploitation films. Check them out some time.

¡Viva El Santo! ¡Viva Luchar!


Shon Richards said...

The fact Santos wears a mask under his mask might go a long way towards explaining his awesome powers.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Very likely, though having never seen his face, maybe he was a double-bagger?

He did unmask before he died, but for some reason I can't bring myself to look for an image. It might ruin some of the magic.

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