Monday, April 25, 2005

Santo vs. Frankenstein's Daughter

--Reviewed by Patrick

Plotline: The daughter of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein is alive and well, living in rural Mexico. There, she has invented a serum, which restores the youth of whomever is injected with it. The only problem is that its effects on her are diminishing. In order to make the serum more potent, she needs to the superhuman blood of famed Mexican wrestler Santo! So, she sends her henchmen out to kidnap his girlfriend and lure Santo into her clutches. Much fighting and wrestling ensues!

Scariness factor: Umm..I'll stars Santo, a Mexican wrestler, so unless that fact scares you, there are no actual scares in this film.

Originality: Santo has been the main character in over 50 films and, except for this one; I've seen none of them. I'm willing to bet that most follow the same formula: someone gets kidnapped; Santo must come to their aid and wrestle a lot of folks. Though the kitschy Batman like costumes and props were fun, I'm sure even those were borrowed from other flicks.

Other High Points: As I mentioned, the movie is high in 60's kitsch value. Watching a guy walk around always wearing a wrestler mask is funny, as well, for about 15 minutes.

Other Complaints: Personally, I found this movie boring as hell. I know Santo has a big following, especially among the B-movie crowd. Maybe I just don't "get it." But, I found the fight scenes, numerous as they were, stilted and boring and the plotline just seems like a mishmash of various ideas. You can almost imagine the brainstorming session:

Writer 1: We need Santo to fight someone!
Writer 2: How about Frankenstein's daughter!
Writer 3: Brilliant! And how about she also creates a Frankenstein monster he must fight?
Writer 1: Brilliant! What if he fights a half-man/half-beast creature, as well? We can even get the same actor to play both monsters!
All: Brilliant!

Overall: It's amazing how far a silly mask and a few headlocks can carry a franchise (I'm even told that this movie has less wrestling scenes than a normal Santo film). After hearing about the Santo phenomenon for so long, I was really looking forward to finally seeing one of his films for myself. But, the whole movie seems like nothing but filler and plot devices that serve nothing more than to lead to more fighting. Not recommended.

Grade: F



At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that wrestling, esp. luchadores (sp?), have always been really really really big in Mexico. I wonder if that is part of the draw to this...


Post a Comment

<< Home