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Santo: Infraterrestre

Mexico 2001
produced by
Héctor Molinar, Jesús Molinar, Manuel Medina Martínez (executive) for Cine Producciones Molinar
directed by Héctor Molinar
starring Hijo del Santo (as Santo (II)), Luis Felipe Tovar, Diana Golden, Blue Panther, Héctor Molinar, Arturo Molinar, Turry Linar, Armando Zamarripa, Wendy Cervantes, Marissa Herrera, Arturo Cortez, Fabiola Meling
written by Gustavo Rubio, music by Sergio Carmona, special effects by Carlos Olivares, Sinergy Studios

El Santo, El Hijo del Santo

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The only seemingly unlinked disappearance of several people leaves the police baffled, but now they have a witness, little Diego (Turry Linar), a boy who's parents were abducted before his very eyes. Thing is, Diego's in a state of shock, so the police calls a child psychologist, Doctor Marla (Diana Golden), to help out.

At the same time, masked wrestler Santo (Hijo del Santo) faces Blue Panther in the ring, a man of almost superhuman strength who almost kills Santo and seems to be immune to Santo's own almost superhuman blows. Santo's soon convinced that something out-of-this-world is involved, and  his computer agrees.

Then Santo is called in by police commander Sarmiento (Luis Felipe Tovar) to work on the missing persons case, and Santo soon proves that he's as good, maybe better, in breaking the ice with little Diego as Doctor Marla. She immediately falls in love with Santo of course. And then Diego is abducted by a gang led by ... none other than Blue Panther.

Santo, Doctor Marla, and two detectives (Héctor Molinar, Arturo Molinar) follow Blue Panther and company to the sewers and soon find themselves in another world beneath the sewers, a world that exists independently from ours.

The two cops are soon incarcerated, but Santo and Doc Marla make it to the headquarters of the underground world, where they meet the leader of the underground dwellers, none other than police commander Sarmiento. He tells them his underground civilisation is of alien origin, and he has abducted all those humans to experiment on them because he (not necessarily his people) wants to take over the upper world, but nothing doing unless the subterraneans can adapt to surface life. Sarmiento had little Diego kindpaped though because he wanted to lure Santo underground, because he's the only man who stands between him and conquering the upper world (don't ask why). After having revealed all his plans to him, Sarmiento leaves Santo at the mercy of Blue Panther, but this time Santo manages to defeat Blue Panther for good, then he and Doc Marla go after Sarmiento, only to be lured into another trap.

In the meantime the two captured cops have found out the underground dwellers are sensitive to light and the only reason they are immune to bullets is because the cops were given blanks at the station, courtesy of commander Samiento. So the two cops break free, and arrive just in time when Santo and Doc Marla are about to be killed. In the finale, Sarmiento's men are defeated, he is arrested, and Diego and all those abducted by the underground people are freed ...

 

An attempt to revive the Mexican lucha libre (~ masked wrestler) genre with a blend of CGI-heavy special effects, fashionable conspiracy theories and a plot reminiscent of serials like The Phantom Empire or Undersea Kingdom, all garnered with quite a bit of wrestling. Unfortunately, the mix doesn't work our nearly as well as it should: Basically the film tries way too hard to seem modern and cool for such out-of-time elements like a masked wrestler or an underground civilisation (pulp staple and especially popular in the 1930's) to fit in. Add to this a lazy directorial effort, rather shoddily composed action sequences, a lack of real highlights of any sort and an underwhelming finale, and you're left with not all that much.

Rather a pity, actually.

 

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

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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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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directed by
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written by
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starring
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