This fairly obscure Mexican feature enjoys a rare distinction, in that it was initially offered as a starring vehicle for El Santo, the Man In The Silver Mask. Given the tile, he was a natural for the role.
Santo had been wrestling in Mexico for years under names like The Bat II, Rudy Guzman and Red Man. Cast in the image of a fair-minded champion of the masses (a gimmick concocted by a savvy promoter), the wrestler finally found his niche when he adopted a pure silver mask.
In the early 1950s, enterprising producers were searching for some new gimmick to draw in jaded audiences to the theaters. As lucha libre ("free fighting") wrestling attracted a broad audience from across all social lines, with its lively, flashy style and sometimes wild morality plays, the idea of placing the popular wrestler in a feature film seemed like a good idea.
Santo, however, had his doubts, reportedly suspecting the film would fail. He turned down the role, and the first luchadore to appear in a luche title was Haracan Ramirez, who made his first feature appearance in 1952.
Not that Santo maintained his distance from film work. Beginning with two Cuban produced features made around 1958, he increasingly divided his time between ring work and movies -- making over 50 films before the lucha film boom died out in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?