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Santo contra la Magia Negra

Santo vs. Black Magic
Santo vs. Black Magic Woman

Haiti/Mexico 1972
produced by
Jorge García Besné, Roberto Lozoya, Joseph W. Saliba for Peliculas Latinoamericanas, Cinematográfica Flama
directed by Alfredo B.Crevenna
starring Santo, Elsa Cárdenas, Sasha Montenegro, Gerty Jones, César del Campo, Fernando Osés, Carlos Suárez, Ismael Ramirez, Guillermo Gálvez, Jean-Claude Cadet, Lue Courge
story by Fernando Osés, screenplay by Rafael García Travesi, music by Gustavo César Carrión

El Santo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Championship wrestler Santo comes to Haiti for a couple of wrestling bouts - which is of course only a cover-up for his Interpol mission to guard the safety of Professor Jordan (Guillermo Gálvez), who has just invented some sort of superbomb and might be kidnapped by foreign agents any day now. Then the professor dies though, and while everybody believes he has died from natural causes, Santo suspects foul play - and when the dead professor appears as a zombie to his daughter Lorna (Elsa Cárdenas) the next night, Santo sees his suspicions confirmed - even more so when the professor's tomb is found empty. He is also quick to suspect local voodoo priestess and dancer Michelle (Gerty Jones) of being the culprit, but she insists her voodoo is of the white magic variety. She knows who's the evildoer though, but cannot say ...

The villainess of the piece is actually Bellamira (Sasha Montenegro), a black voodoo magician posing as Lorna's best friend, who takes her in his care after her father's death. For no particular reason, she makes attempt after attempt to scare the living daylights out of Lorna using some voodoo, only bringing Santo onto her trail by and by.

But why did Bellamira kill the professor in the first place?

To get the secret of the superbomb out of his zombified self of course, which she then wants to sell to two agents (Fernando Osés, Carlos Suarez) from an unspecified enemy nation. The only man who stands in her way is Santo of course, whom she tries to kill using black magic and zombies as well as the fists and guns of her goons - to no avail. When Santo is eventually saved by Michelle, his prime suspect so far, his investigatins begin to point into one direction and one direction only: Bellamira. But by the time he has caught up with her, she has kidnapped Lorna and tries to make her a sacrifice in her next voodoo ritual, something that's prevented by Santo and Michelle in the very last minute. Michelle challenges Bellamira to the test of (voodoo god) Damballah, where Bellamira and Santo are bitten by poisonous snakes, and depending on whether Michelle or Bellamira's magic is weaker, either Santo or Bellamira is goint to die.

Bellamira dies, the zombies fall to dust, and Santo is quick to clobber the two foreign agents to a pile of meat and have them arrested.


Not a good movie by any stretch of the word: The mixture of sci-fi and voodoo elements seems a bit on the heavy handed side, the zombies seem ridiculous once they start to boast wrestling moves, and the whole thing is just terribly written. That all said, the film is at least some fun of the so-bad-it's-good variety: Sure, it's silly, makes little sense, and despite subject matter and title is as unspooky as can be ... but somehow these shortcomings are also the film's best selling points - well, at least to bad movie afficionados like myself ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD