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Santo vs Frankenstein’s Daughter (1971)

by on 2014/11/09

image“Don’t be so certain of your triumph, ma’am.”

* * *

This film is without a doubt the best Lucha Libre superstar wrestler versus a daughter of Dr. Frankenstein movie I have ever seen in my life.

Okay, it was the only one I’ve ever seen …but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t solid.

Santo vs Frankenstein’s Daughter was how Mr. Renders and I spent most of this past Halloween. I bought the movie in an Ottawa head shop last Christmas. I suppose it was more for the awesome cover than anything else. I mean look at it –>

Completely wonderful.

Happily, what we found inside was even more pleasing. We were expecting more of a B-movie eye roller like the Elvira Mistress of the Dark DVD collections we’d been motoring through in the weeks before. What we got was a nicely shot, expertly edited, visually interesting super hero versus a super villain with her many unusual henchmen.

The film is all about El Santo, the legendary Mexican wrestler whose career spanned five decades. There’s long sequences of “actual” wrestling which was surprisingly entertaining, particularly Santo’s suicidal strike, a nice move where El Santo launches himself off the top of the ropes.

There was also the Gina Romand playing mean-as-spit Dr. Freda Frankenstein. She was a very convincing villain, with hard-charging business lady ambitions and enormous business lady helmet hair, stabbing serum into her weathered arms to stave off withering into a crusty prune. Freda surrounds herself with strapping young, mustachioed soldiers, who are also youth serum junkies.

This wouldn’t be a Frankenstein joint if there weren’t abominations stitched up from corpses robbed from the graveyards – and there are. All are simply fodder for the great grappling, oily Santo however.

Because only Santo is Santo. As Norma, Santo’s good girl lady friend (Anel – Ana Elena Noreña Grass) says breathlessly to her sister, if any woman were to simply gaze upon Santo’s face without his mask, that woman would “fall in love instantly.”

Santo’s blood was also magic – that’s why Dr. Freda’s got her striving sights set on the burly wrestler. Santo! Santo!

All the drive-in horror tropes are on display – kidnapped damsel, showdown in a graveyard, self-destruct button in the hidden super villain’s lair. And it was all really well done.

There are worse ways to spend a dark and stormy Friday night than 97-minutes with El Santo. Plus he wore the hell out those turtlenecks.

* * *

97 minutes

Not Rated

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