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Cerebro del Mal

The Evil Brain
Santo contra Cerebro del Mal

Cuba 1958
produced by
Enrique Zambrano for Aticca
directed by Joselito Rodríguez
starring Santo, Fernando Osés, Joaquín Cordero, Norma Suárez, Enríque Zambrano, Alberto Inzúa, Juanito Tremble, Enrique Almirante, René Socarrás, Mario Texas, J.Gonzalez Gaspar, Rafael De Aragón, Armando Quezada, Trio Servando Diaz
written by Fernando Osés, Enrique Zambrano, music by Salvador Espinosa

El Santo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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There is a gang of villains roaming the city that kidnaps scientists involved with some disintegrator ray, and a few bankers on the side, too, who are then made to rob their own banks. Masked investigator El Enmascarado (Santo) is on the gang's trail, but he is overpowered and put under some hypnotic spell, and from now on he works for the gang.

Lt Zambrano (Enrique Zambrano) figures the gang will go after Doctor Campos (Joaquín Cordero), another scientist involved with the disintegrator ray, next, and puts him under police protection - not knowing of course that Doctor Campos is the baddie of the piece, kidnapping all these scientists to sell the disintegrating ray to a foreign power. Doctor Campos has only one weakness, Eliza (Norma Suárez), girlfriend of his assistant Gerardo (Alberto Inzúa), who is your typical all-around good guy who actually doesn't do very much though to keep the story moving. Eventually, Doctor Campos has Eliza kidnapped, which somehow gets the police wondering ...

Enter El Incognito (Fernando Osés), another masked police investigator, who manages to break into the hideout of Doctor Campos' gang, defeat the still hypnotized El Enmascarado, and inject him a serum that gets him back to normal. However, the two decide it's best for El Enmascarado to continue to pretend to be under hypnosis to keep a close eye on the gang.

Eventually, El Incognito brings the police to raid the gang's hideout, and with the help of El Enmascarado, who pretty much attacks from behind, the gang is put out of commission. Only Doctor Campos manages to escape, with Eliza as his hostage. Ultimately, he manages to lock himself inside his house and keeps the police at bay by threatening to kill Eliza. But then El Incognito manages to distract the baddie long enough for El Enmascarado to break into the house and overpower Campos before he knows what's happening to him.

 

A remarkable film inasmuch as it is the first movie to star Mexican wrestling superstar El Santo - even if his role seems to be somewhat secondary at closer inspection. Still, Santo would go on to make dozens more movies over the next 25 years.

Apart from that, Cerebro del Mal is pretty much your typical gangster-drama with an espionage and some light science fiction thrown in for good measure. It's competently made but sure enough shows its budgetary limitations, and if the two masked men make sense within the plot is at least debatable. The film does feature some beautiful shots of pre-Castro Cuba though ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD