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Friday, July 24, 2015

Santo vs.The Killers from Other Worlds


Santo vs.The Killers from Other Worlds (aka Santo Contra Los Asesinos De Otros Mundos)
1973
Rubén Galindo

Several people important to the economic matters of Mexico are attacked by a greasy brown blob. Soon a ransom demand is made for ten million dollars in gold bars, or else more will die. The police balk, but the villains prove true to their word. The head of the plot is revealed, a madman named, Malkosh (Carlos Agostí), who has kidnapped a professor named, Bernstein (Carlos Suárez), Bernstein has discovered dangerous microorganisms in a moon rock, which Malkosh is using in his scheme.The police don’t know what to do, but Santo is on the scene and he has a plan...


In Soviet Mexico, sleeping bag unzip you.
In my review of Santo - The Witches Attack (1964), I talked about how giving Santo an opponent he can’t physically overpower makes for a more interesting film. Santo vs. The Killers from Other Worlds is perhaps a step too far. Santo’s main antagonist is a big shapeless blob that slowly crawls around and eats people. In tight quarters, it does provide for some action as Santo dodges around and try to escape it, but often the movie puts them both outside in wide open spaces. This reduces Santo to slowly jogging away, or having a companion suddenly twist their ankle in order to keep the blob a threat.

The blob monster is definitely a mixed bag (no pun intended), most of the time it is comically terrible. It’s obviously just three or four people crawling around under a gross brown sheet of stitched together Naugahyde. Occasionally, in combination with the grungy cheap photography, there is something unnerving about it. Seeing those figures encased in what looks like dirt encrusted skin, clammering over someone, turns what is at first, Santo vs. The Creeping Terror (1964) into Santo vs. Silent Hill. Then the movie switches back to the thing chasing El Enmascarado de Plata down a runway and it loses all credibility again.


Santo vs. the Mildly Interesting Lamp
Santo does get a chance to flex his muscles a bit. There is a wealth of evil goons, and even a strange arena battle with gladiators who teleport in with a pyrotechnic flourish. This movie contains no wrestling matches thankfully, but instead lathers on the long drawn out brawls. The gladiatorial area scene offers a few moments of fun, mostly by having the loser of each fight getting machine gunned by armed guards.His other enemies include not one, but two separate madmen trying to ransom the world. Neither one amounts to much, although Malkosh’s demise is closest the movie comes to actual horror.
 

The Killers from Other Worlds takes a plot that is weird, even by Santo standards, and never really succeeds as action, horror, or science-fiction. I admire the fact that even this late in the series, the creators weren’t above trying to create something approaching serious horror. I’m not sure anyone could make a good movie about a wrestler fighting a giant skinned couch, but Santo still tries, and puts a lot of heart into the effort.

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