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Lounge Singer Leads A Colorful Double Life In The Ring
kikaidar from Wichita, KS USA
7 November 2000
One of the first of the lucha libre (Mexican wrestling hero) films,
RAMIREZ plays essentially as a straight drama with the added gimmick of
lead occasionally -- and I stress 'occasionally' -- appearing in a mask
tights. The character is seen sans mask for roughly 90% of his screen
and is ultimately unmasked in the ring at the film's conclusion.
This is contrary to the more developed lucha genre that thrived from the
late 1950s through the early 1980s, where the heroes never unmasked and
generally possessed little to no visible, structured personal life beyond
that required to keep the plotline rolling.
Fernando Jackson sings in a night club. His overweight father is a fairly
successful local wrestler who is vastly unimpressed with his son's choice
a career. Not that the older man's home life is much better -- for all his
rough and tough exterior and macho vocation, Pops is dominated by his
younger daughter, a frustratingly precocious 8 year-old.
Even worse, the older wrestler heartily dislikes the mysterious masked
luchadore Huracan Ramirez. Ramirez is successful but (for secret personal
reasons) refuses to consider a match with the portly wrestler. It develops
that Huracan Ramirez is actually Fernando, moonlighting, and he doesn't
to go up against his disapproving father.
The only one who knows the wrestler's dual identity is his annoyingly
Olsonish sidekick, who doubles as his trainer and his stand-in for any
situation in which Fernando and Huracan might have to be seen at the same
Things become somewhat confused when the assistant is mistaken for Huracan
Ramirez during a match, and he is pressed into competing in the
place. He wins by default, but is then mistakenly identified as the real
Huracan by the older wrestler's two daughters. After this plot thread
rambles on for several scenes, he turns around and deliberately tips the
older daughter off that her brother is Huracan Ramirez. It's a real mess,
After the father finally forces a match, he's impressed by Huracan's skill
and they're set up to wrestle as a tag-team against a paid of rudos (which
includes El Medico Asesino, who starred in the first lucha film,
Before the match can take place, criminals kidnap the elder wrestler.
Fernando comes to the rescue as Huracan Ramirez, but his leg is injured by
slash with a broken bottle. The wrestlers battle the thugs and
Not drawing the logical conclusion, the father scoffs at Fernando's injury
when he arrives home to find him under a doctor's care. He then proceeds
the ring, where a last minute replacement is found to take the place of
Huracan Ramirez rallies and arrives late for the match, literally throwing
his stand-in out of the ring. However, the rudos are tipped off to his
injury by a girl who works at the club and whose tainted affections
has scorned. The leg takes a beating, and Fernando is finally subdues
for Medico Asesino to unmask him in public. Realizing the truth, the elder
wrestler wades in and they win the match in a last minute
Very crude in comparison to the sets and costumes of the later lucha
which grew even wilder during the 1960s, when they were deliberately
to compete with the more expensive and polished action films being
from other countries.
Particularly distracting is that the initial bout is speeded up. Huracan
Ramirez pulls off a chain of good, "flying" moves, but they become a bit
dropping when they occur at double normal speed and in rapid succession.
action approaches the smooth chaos of a cartoon at this
Equally annoying is the teenaged sidekick, who is clearly girl crazy and
completely unable to keep the wrestler's most sacred secret. He's after
older sister and will clearly do anything required to attract her
Viewable as a curiosity, and the "personal" plotine grows on you with
repeated viewing, but it's distinctly minor fare.
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