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Espectro del Estrangulador

Santo vs the Ghost of the Strangler
Santo vs el Espectro

Mexico 1963
produced by
Alberto López for Estudios América, Cinematográfica Norte
directed by René Cardona
starring Santo, Roberto Canedo, Gerardo Zepeda, Carlos López Moctezuma, María Duval, Begona Palacios, Alberto Vázquez, Milton Ray, Julián de Meriche, Mayte Carol, Gloria Chávez, Julio Ahuet, Manuel Dondé, José Cora, Guillermo Bravo Sosa, Salvador Terroba, Edith Barr, Manuel Garay
screenplay by René Cardona, adaptation and dialogue by Rafael García Travesi, music by Enrico C.Cabiati

El Santo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A direct sequel to Santo vs el Estrangulador:

Despite the Strangler's (Roberto Canedo) death at the end of the earlier film, he comes back to life just like that after his assistant Tor (Gerardo Zepeda) has stolen his corpse from the city morgue. And the Strangler of course picks up where he has left off, killing actresses, while Tor has made a habit out of stealing dead bodies and turning them into statues. Oh, and I should also mention that these days, the Strangler is using human skin for his ingenious facial masks.

Of course, both police inspector Villegas (Carlos López Moctezuma) and crimefighting wrestler Santo are hot on his trail, and the Strangler tries many a trick on Santo to lure him into one death trap after the next, but to no avail, seemingly Santo cannot be killed, he even survives being buried alive.

The Strangler is of course very sure of himself, so he even announces another killing, and during a live show even, a show in which Santo's ward Milton (Milton Ray) performs. Santo and the inspector beef up security in the theatre, but somehow they forget that the Strangler is a master in disguise, so he slips in posing as the stage director (Julián de Meriche) and tries to crash a chandelier onto the leading lady, and when that doesn't work, he disguises himself as the inspector and kidnaps Milton. But of course, Santo is hot on his trail, and in the end he manages to save Milton while the Strangler and Tor burst up in flames in their hideout.

 

While Santo vs el Estrangulador took its pointers mainly from Phantom of the Opera, El Espectro del Estrangulador mainly uses two Vincent Price-flick for inspiration, House of Wax and The Mad Magician. The result is a not-too-great film based on a very feeble narrative that is disjointed by many musical numbers and wrestling matches thrown into the mix for no narrative reason at all. Add to this an array of one-dimensional characters, potholes and pulp mainstays ... and you might find yourself liking this film for some weird reason and against better judgement.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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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