This entry takes care to engage the attention of horror fans right from the jump with a short prologue in which a fanged Franquenhausen attacks an elderly villager. After this alert, however, Tin Tan and Chucho Chucho take over the running. It's a Tin Tan vehicle, after all. He even has three songs. Not that I'm complaining. We all love Tin Tan's Tsekub (who is a hundred times more personable, charismatic and engaging than his dead-loss, pain-in-the-ear brother, Ramon).
I realize that rabid fans of Chanoc's comic strip adventures may be slightly put out to find Chanoc in a subsidiary role, but at least in this one he enters within the first ten minutes or so. Admittedly, he doesn't do anything but smile and stand in the background, drinking milk and admiring Tin Tan's dancing and singing, but at least he's there. We don't have to wait half-an-hour for him as we did in "Chanoc en las garras de las fieras."
However, we are forced to twiddle our fingers for some considerable time before the movie itself starts. Instead of getting down to tin tacks with the no-account count, we are taken on a little tour of a Veracruz museum, and then for an extended harbor cruise, complete with copious underwater encounters with assorted yet harmless creatures of the deep. These scenes seem designed solely to provide an excuse to showcase Raulito, who is certainly less incompetent here than in "Las Garras de las fieras." But having fritted away at least two reels of our time, Raulito then abruptly disappears, and his place as the juvenile is handed over to the much more animated Marisa.
Every comedian worth his salt has at least one tangle with ghosts during his career. Tin Tan had already starred in "La Casa del terror" and "El Fantasma del opereta" (both 1960), so it's a pleasure to now find him in a vampire-haunted castle, bouncing his jests off players like Aurora Clavell and Marisa (not to mention Chucho Chucho), and expertly combining thrills with laughs. His frantic scenes with the real tiger are a real stand-out!
Animal handler Miguel Gurza does well in his role as the fiendish count, even though he seems uncomfortable with his fangs. The lovely Lina Marin, however, wears hers with frightening effect. She is aided by excellent make-up and trick photography. As a matter of slightly disappointing fact, most of the special effects are somewhat primitive, except for those featuring Miss Marin.
Casal handles his chores as the hero ably, while Carlos Bravo contributes some very funny money business (and I do mean "money") with Chucho Chucho.
Despite his slack handling of needless digressions, the direction by veteran Solares seems solid enough in the sequences that count. Atmospheric photography by brother Raul Solares also certainly helps.
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