El Santo, the masked Mexican wrestler, investigates a series of kidnappings. He discovers that the mysterious Doctor Caroll is using the victims as part of his experiments to develop an ... See full summary »
Alfonso Corona Blake,
Manuel San Fernando
Several years after turning down his first film offer, El Santo reconsidered. His first work consisted of two features shot back-to-back in Cuba -- CEREBRO DEL MAL and SANTO CONTRA HOMBRES INFERNALES.
The genre was still creeping tentatively along. The flashy features starring MIL MASCARAS, BLUE DEMON and a fully unleashed SANTO were still years away. In these first efforts, Santo appeared as a gimmick -- a police agent who wore a mask to protect his identity.
What's intriguing about this film is that Fernando Oses plays El Incognito, a second, masked agent who works with the unspecified Santo (he's simply called Enmascarado in the film). Forced by an injury to sideline a career in wrestling, Oses was a formative influence in the lucha film genre which stretched from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. Oses appeared in countless wrestler hero films (generally as a crook or a henchman) and wrote the stories and/or scripts for many more.
Gangsters capture police agent Enmascarado and carry him to a mad scientist's lair. Here, he's placed under hypnotic control and assists in a kidnapping. The researcher is also brainwashing others in the city, including a bank officer who robs his own bank while under hypnotic control.
El Incognito discovers where the evil scientist is conducting his business. He restores Enmascarado to his proper mind, but the silver-masked agent pretends to still be under control. At the right time, he attacks the thugs, as does El Incognito, who's already tipped the police off on the lab's location.
During the fight, El Incognito is shot, but he survives. The police kill the renegade scientist.
Their work done (evidently they assist various police agencies around the world), Enmascarado and El Incognito fly away for parts unknown.
A little better than its companion feature, HOMBRES INFERNALES, this features the first of numerous bouts between Oses and Santo, and some interesting tricks. It's still not up to the quality of the later films that Santo made -- particularly after the advent of color photography in the series. Still, it's an enjoyable if somewhat lightweight watch.
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