Santo in the Wax Museum (aka Santo en el museo de cera)
Alfonso Corona Blake, Manuel San Fernando
Santo is asked to investigate a series of kidnappings around a mysterious wax museum. The proprietor, Dr. Karol (Claudio Brook), is the main suspect, but even he is attacked. Santo begins to suspect that the monstrous displays in the museum might be more than they appear.
This is the eighth Santo movie in six years (there tended to be between 3-5 released a year), and it feels like the series has hit its stride. Right away, the film sets up its story with efficiency, but without sacrificing mood. Through gloom and sharp camera angles we are introduced to the titular wax museum and it’s unsettling owner, Dr.Karol. Santo himself does not make an appearance until twelve minutes in, during a brief scene that establishes him as a full-time wrestler and part-time crime fighter. Even then, he doesn’t become a part of the story until a full thirty minutes into the film.
|John, Paul, George, Ringo|
Once again, the story is interrupted several times by wrestling bouts. Santo even leaves in the middle of an investigation, telling everyone he has to go wrestle. To be fair, most of the matches are shot well enough (including a match with a French wrestler whose signature move seems to be hopping on one leg) to not be a total drag, but they do slow down the momentum of the story.
Santo in the Wax Museum is a good, perhaps even great, Santo film. It never plays too campy, it just rolls along like a straightforward horror film that just happens to star a guy in a silver mask who never wears a shirt. Santo himself is a solid hero, but a fallible one, and that makes it much easier to bring some drama to the endless fights that litter the third act. Santo mixes best with horror, and Santo in the Wax Museum is an excellent example.