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Famous Mexican wrestling hero Santo takes part in an expedition
which leads him and his friends to the tomb of Opache prince
Nonoc, who has been buried alive because he wanted to escape
with a maiden who was destined to be sacrificed to a god
Xucul. It doesn't take long time until the expedition members
start dying one by one... Has the mummy come back to life?
This was my first time to experience a movie starring legendary Mexican superhero, Santo El Enmascarado De Plata. Having heard so much about him, I wondered what to expect. It's an entertaining film with surprisingly decent production values and make-up - however, as a big fan of supernatural horror movies, I was a bit disappointed in the ending. Still, it was fun to watch and I'm looking forward to see more of Santo. He himself was very cool in this one.
'Santo In The Vengeance Of The Mummy' is bookended by sequences of Santo, the silver masked wrestler turned crime fighter, wrestling opponents in front of a large and enthusiastic audience. However the movie is mainly concerned with an expedition led by Santo's friend Professor Romero. Romero wishes to explore the tomb of long dead Indian warrior Nonoc which is hidden deep in the jungle. Despite warnings that there is a curse on anyone who disturbs Nonoc's remains Romero doesn't hesitate in his quest for knowledge. Romero's crew includes his secretary, an eccentric fellow scientist Professor Jiminez (responsible for lots of lousy "comedy"), Sergio an engineer, a female photographer (love interest for Santo) and a local Indian guide and his young grandson Jorgito, who becomes Santo's protege (and is in fact played by Santo's real life son who subsequently took over the long running franchise after his father's death). Romero and Santo become baffled when their colleagues are picked off one by one, seemingly the victims of a resurrected Nonoc. I can't say I enjoyed this as much as 'Santo And Dracula's Treasure' but it was still reasonably entertaining, despite an unconvincing surprise ending. Santo is very cool and macho, and the movie has quite decent production values. Not great, but fun.
Bouyed by interesting pink and green advertising art which shows a close-up
f the mummy's distorted face and a color insert of Santo fending off the
monster with a blazing torch, this promises to be an exciting lucha title.
While mummies had been heavily used in Mexican cinema (and, in fact, Santo
faced them in another outing), the ad art on this film suggested a decent
budget and an ambitious presentation. The mummy mask/make-up was also worlds
above the job done on the Aztec mummy, being both unsettling and
actually a bit alarming.
While the film is good, it's inexplicably one of the few Santo features which pulls its punch. Considering the wild excesses of the lucha film genre, the twist ending, which does anything but satisfy, makes little or no sense.
Santo is enlisted for Professor Romero's (Caesar del Campo) expedition to the lost tomb of Nonoc, an Aztec warrior. As usual, this is a cursed tomb and the dead warrior had been entombed and cursed for loving a maiden designated for the gods' use. This aspect is scarcely new, having already been covered in the Aztec Mummy series and other genre films.
The expedition also includes an old native guide (Amada Zumaya)and his grandson, two girls, and hunter Sergio (Eric del Castillo).
Arriving at the tomb, they find a scroll which explains that, by entering, they are now officially cursed. Nobody attaches much importance to this announcement, which is a mistake. Shortly thereafter, the party is being stalked and killed off by the avenging mummy -- or so it seems.
A decent adventure flick. Worth the watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An ancient tomb is discovered deep in the Mexican jungle and a expedition team is assembled. Professors, overseers, chef, porters, camera girl, secretary, and a masked wrestler. You never know when you might need those luche libra skills, and need them bad. Warning outside the crypt: Do not enter lest the curse --- Of course they enter. Then on the Olmec mummy: Do not touch the sacred necklace or --- They remove the necklace. Deaths follow soon and often, as the mummy proves adept with bow and arrow. Plot races by, and the mummy back story has stock footage of an uncredited Aztec movie. Lengthy wrestling matches in Mexico City Arena bookend the film.
A masked wrestler is brought along by friends on a journey to recover a
mummy's petrified remains, but the party's presence awakens the
creature and forces him to protect them from the creatures plans.
Another in a great selection of masked wrestler movies from Mexico, this one falls just short of the best of the bunch but still has a lot of enjoyment on hand. There's some minor problems in the party taking way too long to get to the tomb, as the Adventure Film surroundings seem like time-padding and really only there to feature the titular hero wrestling with animals, but beyond that there's a lot to like here. The camp where all the stalking goes down is pretty decently used for setting up some suspenseful stalking, the grand burial tomb is Gothic splendor and the frequent battling between the two are highly enjoyable and entertaining. The twist ending is a little hard-to-follow in terms of adhering to storyline continuity but makes for a nice touch in the genre overall and it moves along at a nice enough pace to not really be boring. Overall, it's pretty solid.
Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Adult Language.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Santo and his tag-team partner win two out of three falls and then it's off to the jungle with a party of scientists in search of an ancient tomb. The local villagers, of course, think that Santo and Company are mucho loco en de cabasas, but that never stopped Santo nor any of his scientist friends before... En route to the aforementioned final resting place, Santo tussles with a (very young) black panther, tossing the child around like a bean bag. They finally find the mummified body of "Nonoc, the great Opache prince," and in a flashback that incorporates a couple of nice stock shots from another movie, we learn of his fate (which parallels that of another Mexican horror star, THE AZTEC MUMMY). Before long, the mummy is wreaking havoc on the group. "Fear is a bitch," the stalwart overseer tells Santo- just before he gets killed. The extended tussle between Santo and the mummy is good and there's a bit of a twist ending. Also notable is the fact that the boy is actually Santo's real-life son. Not bad.
As far as movies featuring Santo the masked Mexican wrestler/superhero are concerned, I thought this one was fair enough, and it's far from the worst in this very long-running series. Here, a professor enlists the aid of Santo in exploring the ancient tomb of an Indian warrior named Nanoc. What qualifies the world famous champion to join such an expedition makes no sense to me, but we're watching a Santo film, after all, so I guess it doesn't really matter. Santo travels to the jungle (man, doesn't he ever get hot sporting that ever-present mask?), with a small entourage, one of these rocket scientist's being a really irritating "funnyman" scientist who tries without much luck to add comic relief. Once entering the forsaken tomb, all sorts of killings start to occur every now and then by the mummified corpse of Nanoc who's apparently up and alive, shooting a bow and arrow through his victims. The production values for this type of thing aren't too bad, though the ending feels a bit of a letdown. ** out of ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To my mind, prolific but very competent director René Cardona made two
minor mistakes with this entry. I found his variation on the zip pan
(the camera buzzes into colored beads or baubles) distracting and I
thought he gave away the plot far too early (halfway through to be
reasonably exact). But it seems I was mistaken in this latter belief
for nobody else seems to have noticed the particular close-up concerned
(which is held for at least five or six seconds). I've just read a scad
of reviews in which all the writers expressed surprise at the way the
story is worked out. Presumably, all were too frightened or in such a
state of shock, they failed to notice the giveaway details Cardona
deliberately chose to reveal in the particular angle he selected for
this camera set-up. And I will certainly agree that Cardona does keep
the plot moving at such a fast clip that even in possession of the
director's giveaway information, you really don't have time to work out
the complete aspects of the resolution before it actually happens on
Another thing that didn't grab my wholehearted enthusiasm were the boring wrestling bouts with which the main story was enclosed. Scrupulously choreographed though they were, it's easy to see how punches were pulled by undercranking the camera to speed up the action and then adding a loud soundtrack from the effects library.
Once we delved into the story proper, however, my interest perked up considerably. Mind you, despite his silver mask, I found Santo himself to be an indifferent performer. Fortunately, in his capacity as co-producer, he does allow the other players a fair share of the running. The charismatic Eric del Castillo really impresses as the helpful engineer, the two girls are attractive, and (despite criticism from a number of fans) I really enjoyed the comic relief provided by Carlos Ancira as an absent-minded professor.
However, to my mind, the player who actually walks away with the picture's acting honors figures right down at the bottom of the official cast list: Amado Zumaya brings a great deal of dignity to the role of the reluctant guide and translator. The scene in which he reads from the scroll is one of the most telling in the whole picture.
As usual, production values are top drawer. Carrion's outstandingly atmospheric music score, however, deserves a special commendation.
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