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Santo contra el Asesino de la TV

Santo vs. the TV Killer
Santo contra el Asesino de Television / Santo vs. the Murderer of TV / Santo vs. the TV Assassin

Mexico 1981
produced by
Rafael Pérez Grovas for Cinematográfica RA, Producciones Géminis
directed by Rafael Pérez Grovas
starring Santo, Gerardo Reyes, Rubi Re, Carlos Agostí, Rosalia Montero, Carlos Suárez, Jean Safont, Nelson Juarez, Coloso Colosetti, Fernando Yapur, Ismael Ramírez, Jesús Velázquez, Eleazar Garcia jr, Julio Santos Salazar, Roy de La Serna, Carmen Cabrales, Baltazar Ramos, José Navarrete, Francisco Cortés, Francisco Leal, Irina Areu, Johnny Baraona, Juan Fava, Heriberto Ruiz, El Mago Yeo
story by Sergio David, Carlos Suárez, screenplay by Rafael Pérez Grovas

El Santo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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There is a new masked villain in town, Magnus, who not only commits (or rather has his men commit) daring crimes, he also hijacks all TV frequencies to broadcast his achievements live. First he kidnaps popular actress Marina Laval, then he's audacious enough to even announce his next crime, the kidnapping of popular singer Brenda - but Brenda has hired a bodyguard, popular wrestler and crimefighter Santo ... who has also been asked to investigate the case by the chief of police.

In the meantime, a stubborn girl reporter, Diana (Rubi Re), has made her boss give her the assignment to investigate the Magnus-affair, but since her boss doesn't fully trust a woman on the job, he has asked his top reporter Gerardo (Gerardo Reyes), who also happens to be a popular ranchera singer (and will eventually turn out to be a federal agent), to have an eye on her. Diana and Magnus soon team up with Santo, his assistant Carlitos (Carlos Suárez) and Brenda, as does fellow journalist Pedro Grandet (Carlos Agosti). Magnus doesn't like the competition, so he plans to kill Santo in the ring - but since Santo is such a good wrestler and Gerardo is such a good marksman, he fails.

Eventually, Magnus strikes, kidnapping Brenda during a performance, but Gerardo, Diana and Santo have deviced a plan to replace her with Diana, so when Magnus boasts about the kidnapping of Brenda in his next show, they know it's not live. Gerardo and Santo then go look for (and find) the transmitter that hijacks the airwaves, and from there on it's easy going to find Magnus's hideout - an elaborate system of caves -, beat up his men, unmask him to be Pedro Grandet, free Marina and Diana, and make it out of there just in time before Magnus/Grandet blows up his caves.

And in the end, Gerardo gets the girl - Diana that is ...

 

A masked supervillain devicing silly plot after silly plot to prove his supremacy. A masked wrestler and a ranchera singer (this being Gerardo Reyes' main claim to fame in the real world) team up to fight him. And a gigantic system of caves serving as the villain's hideout. Now in my book at least these are all ingredients for a great pulp movie.

Unfortunately though, Santo contra el Asesino de la TV just isn't - basically, the film is just not well-written: The villain never has a proper motive for his actions, the twists and turns the plot takes seem to come out of thin air and are never really anchored in the narrative, and the whole thing is lacking in narrative buildup. Add to this the many songs that slow down the proceeedings considerably, and you've got ... well, one of the lesser Santo-films.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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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 ...
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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