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It is seldom that B-movie lovers get a treat like this. K. Gordon Murray,
the man who delivers Mexican wrestling flicks for our consumption, brings
"Rock & Roll Wrestling Women vs. The Aztec Ape." I can honestly say that
this is truly a guilty pleasure.
This movie involves your typical Mad Scientist (MS), who is working on transplanting brains for reasons not explained. He has already transplanted an ape's brain into a man, giving us a man slowly turning into an ape. The purpose of this is not entirely clear either, but thankfully said MS has a hypnotic trance over him. Heaven knows we can't afford to have half man/half apes walking around willy-nilly.
Anyhow, since the young, less educated women don't seem to be surviving these transplants (gee, I wonder why?), MS decides to abduct and operated on a pretty young lady who is a scientist. Sadly, she dies on the table. Next, MS decides he needs more athletic women -- so he decides to find a wrestler. Unfortunately, the woman he goes after is Venus, the sister of the pretty scientist MS just killed.
This flick is enjoyable in every area except for the soundtrack, which should have been stopped at the border, strip searched, and held on trumped-up charges. The wrestling scenes are well done, and the acting is much above the norm. Plus, I love Venus! She is absolutely fabulous as both an actress & as a wrestler. She puts Peaches Page to shame.
This movie also doesn't take itself too seriously, and tells a good story without cutting corners or relying on an overuse of stock footage. Plus, it doesn't insult my Suspension of Disbelief or cause it to slap me for my poor choice in movies.
Sterno says flick your Bics for "Rock & Roll Wrestling Women".
(aka: DOCTOR OF DOOM)
Hey, I like this gordida stuff. They don't make 'em like they used to.
Mad doctor kidnaps woman for his brain transplant experiments. He even keeps a creature down in his basement named Gomar who is a man with a gorilla's brain, the result of an earlier experiment.
So far, his transplants of human brains into other humans have failed, so then the doctor then kidnaps the pretty sister of a famous female wrestler Golden Venus (Lorena Velazquez) and winds up killing her on the operating table. Venus finds out about what happened and vows revenge, and herself and fellow wrestler Golden Rubi (Elizabeth Campbell) go after the mad doctor.
They wind up getting captured by the mad doctor and two cops who are assigned to help them, save them. Then later when the two incompetent cops are themselves captured by the doctor, then they are saved by our two brave kick-ass babes. Back & forth, back & forth
The mad doctor then creates a new masculine-looking female monster named Vendetta who disguised as a wrestler, fights Venus and Ruby in the ring. All kinds of babe flesh fly. Not bad. Not bad at all.
The whole thing ends on a water tower where the mad doctor and Vendetta are trapped. They almost kill a cop and are then in turn, shot down. The bodies fall...(thump...)
The Something Weird video is doubled up with WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY and has tons of extras including many trailers for other Mexican horror films they have in their library. Although the b/w print shows it's age, it's far better than the old grainy VHS tape. And the print I saw had an AIP logo in the titles instead of K. Gordon Murray's.
Excellent badly-dubbed cheddar cheese. It's funny.
6 out of 10
I recently (and reluctantly) posted a somewhat negative review of the Mexican classic BRAINIAC. Last night I watched DOCTOR OF DOOM and my faith has been restored! This is the kind of goofy fun I expect from old south of the border exploitation films. A mad scientist kidnaps women for brain transplant experiments! His henchman is a hulking guy with a gorilla brain in his skull! The detectives are trapped in one of those rooms with spiked walls that close in on you! Wrestling women who look like Laura Petrie on steroids save the day! Oh man, it doesn't get better than this. I especially liked the detective captain's sidekick, a little guy one of the women refers to as a "five foot lightning bolt." He's actually funny and engaging. At one point he faces nearly certain doom and radios his girl friend for help. If she doesn't hurry, he says, they'll never walk down the aisle together. "Don't talk like that, small hero!" she responds, "I'll be there like white lightning!" I felt like I'd been drinking white lightning while I watched this. Check it out!
Mexican horror movie about a mad doctor who's trying to transplant one
womens brain into another womens head but with no success. The doctor
did succeeded with having a gorilla's brain transplanted into his
servants, Gomar, head turning him into a semi-human primate. But
somehow when it came to women to women brain transplants in the four
times that he tried it all the women died on the operating table.
Coming up with the bright idea that the women that he's using in his experiment's are of low intelligence the doctor has his hoods together with a bullet-proof clad Gomar kidnap laboratory aid Alice, after taking out four Mexican cops. Alice also dies during the doctors transplant operation which convinces the mad doctor that what he needs is a woman of very strong body as well as mind, a woman wrestler. And who better to experiment on then the Woman's Wrestling Champion of Mexico herself, who just happens to be the dead Alice's sister, Gloria Venus.
Lots of action with Gloria and her tag-team partner Golden Rubi taking on the mad doctor and his gang of thugs and having little trouble kicking their a**. In desperation the doctor, who after having his face burned with acid in a fight with the two girls, get the woman wrestler Vendatta and has Gomar's brain transplanted into her head! This hair brained idea on the doctors part gave Vendatta the strength of a bull-gorilla. Now the doctor will use her to get his revenge against both Gloria and Golden Rubi in the ring.
Not at first knowing who she's fighting with Gloria get's the hell beat out of her by the zombie-like Vendatta with the mad doctor disguised as her manager giving her instructions, via his power of mental telepathy, at ringside. Golden Rubi spots one of the mad doctors henchmen in the stands watching the wrestling match and realizes, after almost twisting his arm off, that it's the mad doctor who's behind Vendatta and want's his super-woman to end Gloria's career in the ring.
All hell breaks loose with both Golden Rubi and the ring referee joining in the fight with Vendatta as she and the disguised mad doctor make a run for it only to be trapped on a water tower where he and Vendatta have no where else to go but down and give themselves up to the awaiting police.
The wrestling scenes which make up almost half of the movie "Doctor of Doom" are about the only thing that makes the film watchable. The suspense of who the mad doctor really is is almost non-existent. Since even someone brain dead, like most of those in the movie, could figure that one out almost as soon as they saw the mad doctor, minus his KKK-like hood, make his both grand and uneventful appearance in the movie.
A mad doctor is running amok on the backlot of Azteca Studios.
He has successfully transplanted the brain of a gorilla into the
body a male human, who has developed an un-gorilla-like taste
for raw meat and is sporting thick hunks of glued-on fur on his
back and arms.
Now the Mad Doctor seeks---for reasons naturally unexplained--to
transplant a female human brain into the body of another female
human. Along the way, the Mad Doc--accompanied by his evil
henchmen and the ape-man--botches several transplant attempts,
and earns the wrath of babe-a-licious luchadora champeen Gloria
Venus (after he offs her chemist sister in a
brain-swap-gone-bad) and her police detective boyfriend.
So why's the Doc goin' to all this trouble? Perhaps he wants a companion for Gorilla Boy? Heck, we don't know, but it's the setup for the rest of the picture, which is one of the most humorous and high-spirited of the Mexican Wrestling genre. As with most K. Gordon Murray Mexi-horror fare, the dubbing is always awkward, and often hilarious, though the actors seem to be enjoying themselves (especially Mad Doc, who gets to chew major scenery for the last half hour), and the direction by Rene Cardona the Elder gets progressively tighter as the film progresses--this is one of the few Mexi-Horror flicks that actually gets better the longer you watch it. There are at least two "trick" endings, a wild plot twist in the last 15 minutes (an evil lady wrestler with a gorilla's brain? Nah), and a predictably ludicrous ending. The only caveat to offer is the tampering with the soundtrack, presumably by Johnny Legend. For a couple of fight scenes---maybe 10 minutes in all--the delightfully cheesy original score is dubbed out in favor of some tepid late-'80s Rockabilly Twang music. It's not too distracting, but you have to wonder the anyone even bothered in the first place. But if you're an aficionado of Mexi-Horror or Wrestling Pictures, you will want to check out this film. It was the first of the "Wrestling Women" series, and one of the most successful. Forty years later, it's easy to see why
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not sure about you, but I find there's something mildly fetishistic
about masked wrestlers. But women without masks throwing grown men
around the ring
Wrestling Women vs The Aztec Ape was the first in a
series of six Wrestling Women or "Las Luchadoras" films, an attempt to
feminize the almost entirely masculine world of masked wrestling
movies. The first three team Mexican genre icon Lorena Velasquez with
American cupcake Elizabeth Campbell, and two were successful enough to
get the K. Gordon Murray treatment. Thus Las Luchadoras Contra el
Medico Asesino becomes "Doctor Of Doom", and later in the 80s gets a
bogus surf soundtrack and is re-dubbed "Rock And Roll Wrestling Women
vs The Aztec Ape".
Lorena Velasquez is Gloria Venus, a gorgeous almond-eyed wrestling dynamo who gets thrown around the ring then leaves it without a hair from her Elizabeth Taylor do out of place. She's teamed up with new partner The Golden Rubi, a red-haired firebrand from North of the Border, and from the moment they meet they become the best of friends. But not that good, if you know what I mean.
Wrestling Women opens with a series of murders attributed to a killer branded the Mad Doctor, who leaves his female victims completely brainless. The Doctor, who spends most of the film with his head in a pillowcase with eye-holes, is intent on perfecting brain transplants, and has even grafted a gorilla's brain into a man's body. The resulting monobrowed monster known as Gomar, a goofy-looking creature with arms covered in carpet fluff, is sent out to grab more women, and one happens to be wrestler Gloria Venus' sister Alice Fontaine (or Alicia Flores). As she dies on the table, the Mad Doctor decides he needs a more resilient female subject - physically strong, as well as intelligent, and with a profession. It's no stretch of the imagination who he picks Lorena Velasquez, I'm looking at you! Aided by the Golden Rubi, the inspector and his diminutive assistant as well Alice's kindly boss Professor Wright (who's dubbed to sound like James Mason), Gloria sets out to seek revenge. After a few false endings the Doctor manages to escape the gauntlet, and successfully transplants the Ape's killer brain into the body of a female wrestler (complete with cries of "She's alive! She's alive!"). Adding a mask, she becomes "Vendetta", and the Mad Doctor, also in a ghoulish mask posing as her masked manager, challenges Gloria to a death match. The plan is to legally murder her in the ring, and so Gloria now needs to fight for her life! Aztec Ape is directed by masked wrestling specialist Rene Cardona Sr, who masterminded all six Wrestling Women films, and also directed Lorena Velasquez in Santo vs The Zombies and Santo vs The Vampire Women. Lorena was one of the few wrestling movie icons to NOT be a professional wrestler, and subsequently needed a body double for many of her ring sequences. And you can tell she's not a real wrestler - she's certainly more "leggy" than the other girls at the Wrestling Academy.
Prepare yourself to be thrown kicking and screaming into the ring with Las Luchadoras in Wrestling Women vs The Aztec Ape.
While not a film of any real significance or importance in the overall
history of horror film, this is still an enjoyable treat, presenting
the cinematic debut of the two lovely amazon wrestling women, Gloria
Venus and Golden Rubi, who would then be re-united in the 1964 film,
Wrestling Women vs Aztec Mummy.
These two girls are good examples of the kind of girlfriend a guy ought to have - buxom, beautiful, tough yet feminine, and they have jobs too.
The best thing about these Mexican horror films is not that they are frightening, for they aren't, but that they are fast-paced and adventurous fantasy, if silly at times, with good character humor. Always enjoyable and never too gruesome for the kids.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Another K. Gordon Murray masterpiece, this is one of those
wrestlin'-movies-mixed-in-with-a-bit-of-a-sci-fi-plot, and plenty of
action both in and out of the ring to get those Mexicans whooping in
the aisles. DOCTOR OF DOOM is a cheap, brainless, poorly-made movie
with an inadequate budget and a plot that defies description. How can
it be anything other than a Z-grade classic? Forget the sweaty muscles
of Santo and Neutron, this is a film that introduced a whole new
prolific sub-genre: the Wrestling Woman; namely Lorena Velazquez, who
would carve a niche for herself as a badly-dressed female freedom
fighter and purveyor of all things right and honourable. Other than the
novelty of the heroine's gender, it follows the straightforward formula
set by all other Mexican wrestling classics: a top wrestler becomes
involved in the schemes of a mad scientist and has to fight him, with
the aid of the police, at every turn.
It goes without saying that many Mexican movies from this period are hit-and-miss affairs. DOCTOR OF DOOM isn't always successful, but at least it hits the mark more often than not. The worst aspect of the film are the long, drawn-out wrestling matches thrown in to satisfy the rabid wrestling fans in the audience, but thankfully these don't linger too much. Instead the film is happy to focus on all the enjoyable old clichéd genre elements: the cackling mad scientist; the heroic policeman; the old acid-in-the-face gag; the hulking monster with a human body and gorilla's brain (!); the caped wrestling monster; the old who-is-the-bad-guy sub-plot with a very unsurprising unmasking; bad guys dressed like the Ku-Klux-Klan; even the (very) old serial staple, where the good guys get locked in a room and a spiked wall moves in to crush them to death.
The acting is pretty horrendous with the actors giving new meaning to the word "wooden". Apart from the mad scientist that is he overacts instead, helped by an insane dubbing job that just adds to the fun of the thing. Genre regular Armando Silvestre is at hand but has a boring role as a straight-arrow cop. Other characters include Gomad, a hairy brute of a man who is supposed to have a gorilla's brain, and who wears a hilarious suit of armour to protect him from bullets! It has to be seen to be believed. Keep your eyes out for short cop Tommy, the butt of many a joke, whose blossoming relationship with hulking wrestler Golden Rubi adds an extra level of sentimentality and meaning to the plot. Yeah right.
DOCTOR OF DOOM succeeds by offering up tons of action to be enjoyed. The scientist has loads of ugly Mexican guys to do his bidding and there are some tremendously fun abductions and battles to behold before the finale. The sets are cheap and tend to be burnt down and there are brain experiments galore for the horror fan. In some of the night-time stalking sequences the film actually manages to be pretty atmospheric and spooky too, which has to be a good thing. Check out the ending, which seems to have been ripped from HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM. Director Rene Cardona would return to his favourite subject gorilla brain experimentation with 1968's "video nasty", NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES.
"Doctor Of Doom" has something for everyone: whodunit (just WHO is the mysterious masked mad doctor? The answer surprises - and cheats!), comedy (an almost "Abbott & Costello"-like duo of cops), camp (through the dubbing, as well as the straightfaced handling of the most outrageous plot points), monster film (with a man-gorilla hybrid), and of course lots of female pro wrestling (which may appear a bit crude, but still remains far superior to most of women's wrestling even in today's WWE; this is a must-see for fans of the sport in a more pure form). Lorena Velázquez (who actually bears a resemblance to Elizabeth Taylor!) and Elizabeth Campbell are two beautiful, sweet, strong, and eye-poppingly curvy heroines who are more often doing the rescuing than being in need of it; in that respect, "Doctor Of Doom" was ahead of its time. Good schlocky fun. **1/2 out of 4.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A mad doctor who's referred to as -- what else? -- "the mad doctor" kidnaps women so he can use them as objects for his nefarious brain transplant experiments. The doctor, assisted by the brutish humanoid ape beast Gomar (an idiot mute strongman with the brain of a gorilla who when he's decked out in some chintzy bulletproof outfit can butcher four cops no problem) and a legion of expendable goons, unfortunately can't find a gal with the necessary stamina to survive his grueling operations. When one of the doc's many female victims is the sister of wrestling star Gloria Venus (the lovely, voluptuous Lenora Velazquez), who along with fellow wrestler Golden Rubi (the gorgeously statuesque Elizabeth Campbell) and a pair of blundering, ineffectual peabrain cops decide to take on the evil medico. After the girls burn down his lab and disfigure his face with acid, the mad doctor builds himself a ferocious lady wrestler called Vendetta and poses as her creepy manager (the doc covers his scarred mug with a mask ala Santo!), unleashing Vendetta on both Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi for a riotous climactic wrestling match. With its rusty tin-eared dialogue ("I must say that this particular criminal is disconcerting"), a snazzy beatnik jazz score, countless ineptly staged fight scenes, a self-consciously cutesy'n'campy sense of humor, bloodless violence, laughable costumes (the mad doctor's white hood disguise makes him look like a rogue Klu Klux Klan member!), scrappy, washed-out black and white cinematography, winningly bad acting, implausible plot twists (the particularly unbelievable man with an ape's brain brain idea really stands out here), cruddy make-up f/x, and breezy tongue-in-cheek tone, this absolute howler rates as an often sidesplitting serving of sensationally silly south-of-the-border schlock.
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