Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Santo contra Hombres Infernales (Santo versus Infernal Men, 1958)

Santo contra Hombres Infernales

(Santo versus Infernal Men, 1958) Same technical credits as Cerebro del mal

Mexico City release: December 1961; 1 week run; Authorization: A
NOTES: This film, made at the same time as Cerebro del mal in Cuba, is a much inferior film, with virtually no plot or action. Joaquín Cordero pretends to be a Mexican crook on the run in order to infiltrate a gang of Cuban (drug) smugglers. Santo (again never referred to by that name) is a secret agent of the police who shows up a few times to bail out Cordero. At the end, the gang is captured (off-screen) and Cordero is reunited with his girlfriend Irma (Gina Romand). The film ends with a repeat of the airport scene from Cerebro del mal, where Enrique Zambrano and Fernando Osés watch a plane take off for Mexico and talk about Santo's heroics, which is especially odd since Osés is a villain in this picture!
The primary reasons for watching this film are the views of pre-Castro Cuba (in fact, Castro arrived in Havana shortly after filming concluded). Otherwise, there isn't much of interest. Cordero is OK; Gina Romand is quite pretty (she's Cuban, but had actually made several Mexican films prior to this) but has no bearing on the plot and spends most of her time looking worried and tossing her head. Santo, as noted earlier, only shows up a couple of times. He does have some dialogue, and while it has been suggested that he does his own lines in this film (unlike his later, dubbed baritone, he speaks in a rather ordinary voice here), although much of the dialogue (for everyone) seems to have been post-dubbed, so it's hard to tell.
Joselito Rodríguez, used to working within the relatively luxurious confines of Mexico, doesn't do much here to make the film interesting. Only the climactic chase in an empty amusement park has some creative camera angles and cuts, but even this sequence isn't exciting (it's only exciting compared to the rest of the picture).

For completists only.

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