EL MUNDO DEL LOS MUERTOS (1970)
aka The World of the Dead
Article 4481 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Gilberto Martinez Solares
Featuring Santo, Pilar Pellicer, Carlos Leon
What it is: Santo vs a witch
A woman becomes possessed by the spirit of a witch that means to kill off the descendants of those who burnt her at the stake… and one of those descendants is Santo, the Silver Mask.
Like yesterday’s movie, I watched this one in Spanish with no English subtitles. However, that really isn’t much of a problem with this one; Santo movies aren’t known for their reliance on the subtlety of dialogue in the first place, and besides, the “witch seeking vengeance from beyond the grave” is hardly a new and novel storyline. So this one is actually pretty easy to parse out; the first third of the movie covers the backstory, while the rest of the movie takes place in the present. This one actually conjures up quite a bit of horror atmosphere, and for a while it looks like one of Santo’s best movies. However, it stumbles a bit as it proceeds. Several of the fight scenes are shot in fast motion, giving them an unwanted comic effect when one is not needed. It also features graphic open-heart surgery footage that really seems out of place in a Santo movie. After a while, the movie starts spinning its wheels by having Santo fight the same three guys again and again and again. The ending is pretty bizarre, though; Santo ends up in a dream world that borrows footage from HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD. Despite the flaws, this is a fairly entertaining Santo movie, though I do have to point out that Santo is a much better wrestler than a swordsman, as can be seen in one of the fight scenes here.