Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I really enjoyed this Santo flick. There's just something about it that makes it one of the most fun Santo films I've seen to date. I remember seeing a couple of the old dubbed "Samson" cheesefests on TV back in the 60's, but other than those, I'm relatively new to the genre.
First off, according to all sources, this film was shot in color. This copy from Rise Above is in B&W, but it doesn't seem to detract from the enjoyment. In fact, most of my favorite Santo films are the older B&W ones, so in a way, I feel the non-color aspect serves to enhance SANTO AND THE TREASURE OF DRACULA. Also, the "sleaze" factor of a reported adult version of the film (with naked vampire babes!) is indeed missing from this edition. I for one am glad. I certainly have no objection to sleaze, but there's something about the steadfast Good vs. Evil innocence of a Santo film that should not be tainted by such things.

In this one, we learn that in addition to all his other accomplishments (pro wrestler extraordinaire, amateur crime fighter and sleuth, the idol of millions), Santo is also a scientist and inventor (The guy is like the South of the Border equivalent of Buckaroo Banzai). He's invented a time machine, of all things, and of course this invention is the catalyst for the entire adventure that follows. Santo also has several non-wrestling friends assisting him this time around, including a likeable buffoon who serves as comic relief, and a foil for Santo's one-liners(!)and physical abuse. At times, this played almost like a toned down 3 Stooges film!

The lone wrestling match included about midway through is actually worked into the plot of the movie (in a very contrived way). Usually the matches seen in a Santo flick, while entertaining, seem almost out of place and simply serve as filler.

The story is ridiculous, the acting is laughable, and the action is sparse. But it all somehow comes together in a gloriously goofy package that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone who enjoys these wonderfully campy movies from years past.

This black and white Rise Above full frame print is passable, with a fair bit of hiss and background noise. But if you're like me, and need to have the subtitles on to follow the plot (such as it is), then you can leave the sound turned down low. One thing I've found about these Rise Above DVD's, and that is that the subtitles are VERY easy to read. And this comes from someone whose eyesight is not the best, and sometimes has trouble with subtitled films.

In all, I highly recommend this fun, FUN movie. Buy it, if you at all like these old masked Mexican wrestler movies. You won't be sorry!

No comments: