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
In a busy film career than ran from 1958-1982, El Santo established himself as a leading icon in the Mexican film industry. Always on the side of right and forever masked in a mask of purest silver, Santo continually battled evil in just over 50 feature films.
Over the years, Santo's roles in these films altered somewhat. Initially cast largely as a plot gimmick (and never referred to as El Santo) in his first two, Cuban-made films, he eventually settled into the comfortable role of a wrestler/crimefighter -- eventually being identified in several films as an actual agent of Interpol.
Filmed in 1981, and one of the last few films Santo made, this is actually an enjoyable little action/drama, featuring an atmospheric, pulsing title theme, some nicely staged ring work, and a somewhat unique variation on the mad scientist who frequently served as the foil in these films. The characters are also largely enjoyable, and Carlos Suarez' Carlitos is less abrasive than some of his earlier Santo-film performances.
Returning cross-country from a wrestling match with his manager (played by Carlos Suarez -- Santo's real life manager, who appeared in many of his films from the late '60s onward), Santo is passing through an isolated area when his radio cuts out. Thinking nothing of this, he proceeds onto the city.
In the meantime, a mysterious masked figure, Magnus (played by long-time lucha player Carlos Suarez) interrupts all television broadcasts to announce the on-air kidnapping of an actress. As his men make off with their victim, Magnus warns of a jewelry store theft which he will broadcast the following week.
In his cave hideout, Magnus explains to the kidnapped starlet that he had been scorned by her mother, years before. Now rich from dealing arms on the black market, he's out for revenge.
Santo is brought into the case, as is reporter/singer Gerardo Reyes, who had been performing on TV at the time of Magnus' initial broadcast. Working loosely with Reyes (who we learn is also a police agent in his spare time), Santo moves to investigate Magnus and block a second, planned kidnapping.
Magnus decides to end this interference and pays Santo's next ring opponent, the ominously named Assassin of the Ring, a million pesos to dispose of Santo during their bout. Both the Assassin and a hidden, remotely controlled machine gun fail, and Santo uses a helicopter and radio equipment to locate Magnus secret lair (rather conspicuously hidden in a cavern beneath two large satellite dishes in a valley).
After a decent skirmish with Magnus' troops, Santo is captured and is set to be burned at the stake on TV. A swami who happens to be watching mentally assists Santo in escaping, and Magnus is unmasked is a reporter who had earlier tried to get Ryes to share information and "collaborate on the story."
Rather than face capture, Magnus destroys his base with a bomb.
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