The second of the eight-picture series, "Chanoc in the grip of wild beasts" has much to commend it, despite rather jerky direction and scripting-on-the-run by veteran Gilberto Martinez Solares. The chief drawback, however, is the "acting" by the director's little grand-son in a major role. He may be cute, but he's a woeful actor. Fortunately, the other players are much more capable, though some like Humberto Gurza (later to play the title role himself) are hampered by the director's economy-minded, who-cares-about-continuity style.
Comedian Tin Tan has a grand time in the lead role, though while he goes through his routines (including a side-splitting dice game with Don Arturo's two murderous heavies and a self-congratulatory flirtation with the Don's teenage wife), some fans may well wonder what's happened to Chanoc.
The title character doesn't even make his entrance until the story is well advanced when, true to the Gene Autry code, he enters the local cantina and orders a glass of milkmuch to the disgust of bartender Carlos Bravo, who has little trouble stealing the scene. This turns out to the first of many such maneuvers throughout the movie. When he is not being upstaged by the clownish (and fairly amusing) antics of Tin Tan and the omni-present Raulito, Casal takes a distinct back seat to the sinister Cardona, the vampish Robles and brave Angeli. It's not until the movie is almost over that he finally gets into the clutches of one wild beastand even here is helped out by Humberto Gurza who not only saves the day in the script but to those of in the know, in actual fact, for it is Gurza who doubles Casal in the whole encounter.
Production values are fine. The sets are mirrored with color, and real locations are often poetically utilizedas in the final sequence when the triumphant trio (plus Chucho Chucho) rejoice on top of a Mayan temple!
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