Dr. Frankenstein's female descendant is an excellent mad scientist in her own right. At a ripe old age, she discovered that the blood of the supernatural wrestling hero, Santo, is a youth elixir. For years she has been periodically injecting herself, and her henchmen, with a serum made from the blood she wiped from Santo's nose. But now, her body is so saturated with the serum that she needs frequent painful injections to maintain her youth. Before the serum stops working completely, she needs to experiment on more of Santo's blood. Instead of attending another wrestling match, and hoping for another nosebleed, she has her lackeys kidnap Santo's girlfriend. Santo, of course, comes looking for her. What he'll find is a spooky underground cave, filled with corpses, bats and flying daggers. A half-man-half-gorilla will cause him trouble. But his ultimate battle will be with Frankenstein's old monster, yet again brought back to life. Written by
[last lines, subtitled version]
The new World Medium Weight Champion, El Santo! A huge ovation. Screams from the audience. They want to jump into the ring and lift him up in arms. Here's the new World Medium Weight Champion! El Santo!
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In his 34th adventure on film, the legendary wrestler Santo will have to face Dr. Freda (Gina Romand), the daughter of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, after she discovers that Santo's blood has an unnatural amount of the main ingredient for her youth serum. In this early 70s adventure, the magic of Santo films and his cult icon status go to the max as the movie has a weird lounge soundtrack and the beautiful girls wear go-go boots. It's kitsch entertainment at the extreme.
In order to get Santo's blood, Dr. Frankenstein kidnaps his girlfriend Norma (Anel); so Santo, along with Norma's beautiful sister Elsa (Sonia Fuentes) go to the rescue. As they arrive to the old rural town that serves as Frankenstein's lair, they'll face her army of rejuvenated warriors and her two monsters: the ape-man and Ursus, the man-made monster.
The movie is highly entertaining despite its big flaws. It is obvious that they never meant this movie to be taken seriously, as Santo acts like a suave James Bond with muscles and every good-looking woman flirts with him. Pure 70s fantasy. Gina Romand is perfect in her over-the-top performance as the evil mastermind, and has a lot of chemistry with Roberto Cañedo, who plays her tormented lover and second in command.
Anel as Santo's girlfriend is average (she never was a good actress anyway) but Sonia Fuentes as the sexy Elsa is remarkably good. Santo is at his top, and his character is finally complete as the wrestler/special agent. Gone are his mysterious origins and is now a more human character (well, as human as a mythical cult icon can be).
The fight scenes are very good, the initial scenes in the arena look very realistic and are very well shot. Also, the fights against the monsters are very violent for Santo's standards, and very bloody too. While the whole SFX are mediocre at best, there are a few scenes with an "aging" effect that are very well done for the budget.
With sub-par acting, a silly story and cheap SFX one would expect a very bad movie; but strangely (or maybe because of Santo's magic), everything just adds campy fun to the kitsch style the movie already has.
"Santo Contra la Hija de Frankenstein" may not be one of Santo's best films, but it is definitely one of the most entertaining, in it's own campy way. This kitsch jewel is worth a look if you are into campy fun. 6/10
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