Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos|
Actors: Santo, Wolf Ruvinskis, El Nazi, Beny Galán, Ham Lee
Director: Alfredo B. Crevenna
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Fine DVD showcases jaw-dropping high-camp masterpiece
Surfink | Racine, WI | 11/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up until recently my exposure to El Santo movies, and Mexican horror in general, had been limited to a few heavily edited TV airings many years ago, featuring unexceptional prints and lots of commercial interruptions. Thanks to this amazing DVD I have been sucked into the El Santo cult literally overnight. For jaded bad-movie fanatics starved for cheap thrills, Santo vs. the Martians really delivers the goods. The picture starts off not too promisingly with blah NASA space mission footage under the titles, but quickly cranks up the cheese factor with the appearance of some rather quaint spaceships, reminiscent of a Starman movie, that emit crazy electronic sound effects (some of which seem to have been lifted from Forbidden Planet). The spaceships are carrying both voluptuous female Martians and golden-tressed, barechested male Martians in mildly flaming attire consisting of shiny tights, capes, and kneeboots, topped off by goofy headgear with deadly "Astral Eye" in front. They head straight for Mexico, commandeering all television transmissions, broadcasting their message that the violent, warlike Earth people must unilaterally disarm, unify their language, and live in peace and brotherhood, or the peace-loving Martians "will be forced to annihilate" them. Of course nobody takes the silly-looking aliens seriously; everyone laughs off the warning as some sort of comedy stunt and returns to watching their musical variety shows. The Martians (who are all named after Greco-Roman deities) decide that they must abduct "the one who dresses strangely and covers his face with a silver mask" and/or his associate, Professor Ordorica. Their leader, Argos (Wolf Ruvinskis) sends henchman Kronos to a soccer stadium where Santo's conducting a wrestling camp for boys (whose skills must never be used for harm but only to defend the weak and helpless) and proceeds to vaporize the crowd with his Astral Eye before grappling unsuccessfully with Santo. Next, the Martians decide that they need to transform their appearance, since their "more perfectly evolved bodies" are frightening the humans (?!?). Unfortunately, the men come out looking even goofier than before, if that's possible. The aliens start abducting people and detaining them in their ship (they vaporize a couple of men at a cocktail party), and well-stacked Martian dames Artemisa and Diana show up at Santo's training gym (obligatory wrestling scenes here) and hypnotize a few of the regulars into attacking him. The Martians next try planting one of their own (Hercules) in the ring with Santo in another futile kidnap attempt. Assorted priceless moments include: Santo at home in bed reading (in full costume) visited by Martian babes Aphrodite and Selena (packing 'hypnotic mist') who attempt to unmask and seduce him; the Martians debating morality with Padre Fuentes, one of the detainees; the child's gyroscope toy displayed on the Martian ship's viewscreen; and the floor show staged by singing, dancing Martian hotties at the testimonial dinner for Professor Ordorica (as cover for yet another abduction attempt). Interspersed with all this insanity are several protracted wrestling sequences and a recurring subplot about how the government and media are hushing up the whole Martian invasion so as not to create hysteria among the public! As expected, the fate of the world is ultimately decided by Santo and Argos in the squared circle. If you're curious about Santo movies at all, this is a great introduction/point of entry to the genre. The plot generally moves along at a snappy pace (the wrestling scenes may drag a bit for non-fans) and every time you think this movie can't get any loonier it ups the ante. An indescribable trove of richly textured camp; immensely entertaining and highly recommended.
If you're a long-time Santo fanatic, this disc is sure to be a thrill. VCI's DVD package, presented in association with Kit Parker films, includes numerous informative goodies for veteran Santo fans and newbies as well. There is a recent, approximately half-hour interview with El Hijo del Santo (Son of Santo); Mex movie trailer package (though most of them are non-horror/SF); illustrated biographies of both Santo and Wolf Ruvinskis that showcase numerous posters and lobby cards; a comprehensive Santo filmography; and a six-minute "commentary" (really an illustrated history of Santo's career) by Santo expert Prof. Juan Carlos Vargas. There is no feature-length audio commentary; VCI's promo is a bit misleading here. The appropriately odd bilingual menus are in 5.1 surround, so turn your speakers on when booting the disc to hear some of the movie's wacky sound effects pinging around the room. Even with all the nice extras, what really makes this such a terrific disc is the absolutely pristine state of the source elements, sure to bring tears to the eyes of long-time fans of Mexican horror used to shoddy 16mm TV prints and dupey VHS copies. The print is letterboxed at 1.66:1 and the brightness, grayscale, sharpness, and detail are simply terrific. The black level could perhaps be a bit darker, a very minor quibble. It looks pretty gorgeous overall, virtually blemish- and speckle-free. Audio is clear and full, in Spanish mono only with optional English subtitles (that are very readable but a bit distracting at times). Apparently this is the beginning of a whole series of VCI releases of classic Mexican cinema. Hopefully Santo vs. the Vampire Women, Santo in the Wax Museum, Invasion of the Zombies, and the related 'Luchadoras' series are in the pipeline."
Classic Santo in Spanish with subtitles and DVD bonuses
purplo | Santa Cruz, California | 11/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In Mexico, Santo, El Enmascarado de Plata, was like a combination of Joe Namath and the Lone Ranger. He was a masked wrestling star, but also the star of comic books, and more than fifty movies. This is the earliest of three Santo movies I have seen, and in my opinion, the least entertaining. Though shot in 1966, this movie has the feel of a low-budget, black-and-white 50s Sci-Fi flick like Plan Nine From Outer Space. While there are definitely entertaining campy elements here, such as the Martian costumes and a dance number, the movie drags quite a bit, especially during the wrestling. There are quite a few bonuses on this DVD, in Spanish with English subtitles, though Amazon doesn't currently mention them. There is an extensive, though not particularly illuminating interview with El Hijo del Santo, the original Santo's son, also a wrestler and movie actor. And there is a "commentary" by a professor in Spanish, not a commentary track, but a separate short film, with poor subtitles, discussing the Santo phenomenon. And there are also animated biographies of Santo and Wolf Ruvinskis, the wrestler-turned-actor who plays Argos the leader of the Martians. This isn't the most captivating movie experience you'll ever have, but it is the best Santo DVD available and thus earns four stars."
Sonny Diablo | San Diego, CA USA | 11/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just what is it that makes those cheesy, low-budget, lucha libre flicks so apealing? The masks! The Classic lucha libre moves! The awesome rivals! The eternal struggle between good and evil! Santo's amazing outfit! That and much more you'll find in this electrifying movie!
When a bunch of shinny Martians decide to take over the Earth to save humanity from itself using less-than humane and just resources (evaporizing soccer-watching crowds to show off their might), Santo decides to take action and save the day. With the help of a genius doctor and inventor, El Plateado locates the Martians' flying saucer and destroys it together with all the shinny Martians inside it, after, of course, saving all the kidnapped humans beings who were kept aboard the spacecraft.
El Santo movies are true cult classics and this one is just Kitch fabulous. If you are into these kind of flicks then it's a must see!"
Santo kicks Martian butt...
William Moran | New York, NY | 02/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're already an El Santo fan and understand the appeal of a beefy masked Mexican wrestler saving the earth from similarly muscled Martian invaders, you should order now, right now, and add Santo vs. La Invasion De Los Marcianos to the collection. For the uninitiated, the meandering plot lines, low budget effects and bikinied Martian go-go girls might be a bit intimidating. Don't be afraid, even my wife enjoyed this one. The extras aren't bad either."