Back in November, Stephe and I attended Wizard World Texas. One of my great finds at the convention was a DVD containing a lucha libre double feature.
I’ve been wanting to review it every since, but one thing or another kept blocking my ability to sit down and watch the movie and properly review it.
That is until now.
Hold on to your hats kids, we are about to step into the surreal world of lucha libre films. What’s that you may ask? Its a movie from Mexico that features its most famous luchadors (wrestlers) in the role of superhero/detective/savior. They face off against all kinds of world threatening menaces: zombies, aliens, vampires, and, in this one, a mad scientist.
Let’s start the show shall we?
The movie opens up with a shot of a bridge at night time. It was immediately clear the DVD was made from an old copy of the film because of the scratches. All the better for authenticity I say.
Over the jazzy “score” comes the sound of motorcycles in the night. After a few moments of jazz and rumbling we find out the bikes are being ridden by our heros…LOS CAMPEONES JUSTICIEROS (The Champions of Justice.)
The cool thing about this is that the credits, such as they are simply give us a close up of each of the Campeones and their name by way of introduction. That’s all you need to know.
These are your champions. These are the men who will keep you safe from evil and do it while wearing spiffy wrestling hoods.
They arrive at the arena for a trios match against Los Hermanos Muertos. Everything is going fine until we see a pair of costumed midgets skulking through the rafters. Costume midgets can’t be good…right?
One of the midgets produces a machine gun from beneath his tiny red cape and opens fire on the ring. One can only assume its because of the particularly subpar wrestling taking place so far.
The crowd scatters, the Death Brothers beat feet and Mil Mascaras gets winged. He is pulled to safety by Blue Demon and Medico Asesino. Good thing there is a doctor, albeit a murderous one, in the crew.
Cut to the locker room where Mil Mascaras is patched up and Blue Demon speculates that this is the work of La Mano Negra (Black Hand) who the Campeones put away five years earlier. Before this brilliant deduction can continue, Elsa, Sombra’s girlfriend shows up and reminds them that they are needed to judge the Ms. Mexico pagent that, coincidentally features each of their goddaughters.
As they are leaving the arena, Blue Demon stops to sign a few autographs. He instructs his assistant to start his motorcycle for him. The assistant does, only to be blown to smithereens with the motorcyle. I have a feeling being Blue Demon’s assistant is akin to being a red shirt in Star Trek.
We go to the secret lair of the evil Black Hand to find him scolding Full Auto Midget and his other minions for their failure to execute the luchadores. Full Auto Midget complains that as midgets they were out of their league. Having none of it, Black Hand imbues several of the midgets with “the strength of 10 athletes” by way of one of those gizmos mad scientists always have lying around.
To prove his device’s effectiveness, Black Hand has Black Shadow wrestle one of the juiced up midgets. Sure enough, the midget wins the fight on the conveniently padded floor of the lab. Despite the midget having the strength of 10, it takes all the midgets and a pair of goons to remove Black Shadow from the lab.
Cut to a swank D.F. apartment where Elsa, the beauty pagent contestants and the luchadores are all hanging out. Each luchadore whispers subtitled encouragement to his goddaughter.
Then its off to the Ms. Mexico contest where we arrive just in time to see the homely contestants in the swimsuit contest. The pagent sponsors must have gotten a deal because all of the girls wear the same suit.
Things seem to be going well until…
And this time he’s not alone. He’s brought several other costumed midgets, a pair of generic goons and rudo (evil luchador) Black Shadow with him. They wait for the luchadores to leave the building, which is odd since they are the contest judges, and sneak in. What follows next is David Lynchian. A group of beauty contestants are attacked and kidnapped by a crew of costumed midgets in a poorly lit dressing room.
No, I’m not making any of this up.
Back at the Black Hand’s headquarters, he announces his plans to freeze the beauty contestants using some kind of evil gadget. I’m assuming this is until he’s the last man on the planet so he can do evil scientisty things with them. He then presents the non-juiced midgets with some remarkably flimsy looking bracelets that will give them strength equal to their augmented brethren.
Upon learning of failure as patrons, Los Campeones begin to search for the whereabouts of Black Hand. Blue Demon goes to consult his database which consists of a pile of old scrapbooks. He sends Tineblas and Medico Asesino to guard the remaining beauty contestants.
While Sombra Vengadora spends some quality time with Elsa poolside, Mil Mascaras goes on a motorcycle ride in the countryside.
Unfortunately for Mil, Generic thug #1 and a carload of juiced up midgets are on his trail. They run him off the road where we learn a valuable lesson. While gold lame’ boots may look good in the ring, they are damn near useless when it comes to climbing up the side of a mountain while you dangle from a tree.
Mil does make it back to the road only to find this waiting for him…
The midgets thrash Mil Mascaras in a roadside fight which is odd because I thought Mil Mascaras didn’t sell for anybody. When things look bleakest for Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon shows up to even the odds.
Even our leading man is no match for the evil amped up midgets and is heard to proclaim, and I’m not kidding…
I can’t believe it! These midgets have a supernatural strength.
Its like he’s never faced Black Hand before.
The rest of Los Campeonoes show up to save the day on a wild assortment of vehicles.
What follows is a all out brawl in the middle of a field which finds the technicos (good guy luchadors) winning and the bad guys fleeing like scalded dogs. During the brawl, Tineblas yanks off one of the power bracelets and squashes it like so much tinfoil.
Having averted evil, our heroes make a classic mistake. They split up. Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras begin the search for Black Hand’s HQ.
Medico Asesino and Tineblas continue their guard duty. They aren’t very good at it as the evil Midgets sneak into the hotel with bottles of chloroform the size of their heads and abscond with the rest of the contestants.
Sombra, after spending some quality time by the pool with Elsa, returns to his apartment where he sleeps with his mask on. His slumbers are interrupted by a phone call. He answers the phone only to take a face full of powder that renders him inert as the evil midgets break through the door and take him captive.
The remaining Campeones decide that it would be a good idea to hide Elsa just in case Black Hand hasn’t captured enough concubines
They hide her at Sombra’s secret lakeside cabin.
Meanwhile, Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras head out to an airstrip that Demon remembered or found in one of his scrapbooks…umm…his database.
Back at Black Hand-quarters, Black Hand taunts Sombra and orders him freed.
Sombra takes out a couple of the generic goons before the Black Hand sends in a guy who looks like he might have been Zeus’ dad. Sombra kills Zeus, Sr. by bashing his head on the corner of a table. He is then overcome by midgets and given an injection that turns him into a mindless zombie.
Back at the lake, Elsa suggests that she and her protectors go water skiing to take their mind off their troubles. Sure. Why not? After a couple of spins around the lake, the luchadores look on in surprise as Elsa drops her ski rope. Only THEN do they notice the bomb on the white seat of the power boat. Elsa looked good in her bikini, but not THAT good!
They leap from the boat just as it explodes. They are then attacked by Black Hand minions in the lake. This leads to an underwater fight in full masks that has to be seen to be believed.
Back at the airfield, Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras watch as a plane lands. They also see zombie Sombra. Finding the beauty contestants in the boxes in the plane, the luchadores hide in the plane and hijack it to the lake.
That’s where it is revealed that Elsa is an agent of Black Hand and Blue Demon thinks he knows where the villain is hiding.
Off we rush to a warehouse where another fight takes place. This one involves all the goons, midgets and luchadores as well as a fishing net.
Best of all?
Not once, but twice! It was my favorite part of all the fight sequences.
The bad guys run away, but the luchadores now know for sure where they are going.
The final fight sequence takes place in Black Hand’s disco ball lit lab. Midgets get tossed through control panels, things catch on fire and general madness ensues.
Sombra takes a blow to the head and becomes dezombfied. Tineblas ends up with a machine gun and things are decided the only way they can be…Blue Demon takes on Black Shadow in a firelit match to the end.
Blue Demon wins the match, Black Hand is brought to justice and the girls are thawed just in time for the crowning of a new Ms. Mexico.
None the worse for wear, our heroes swap out goddaughters and motor off into the night to do whatever it is that luchadores do after saving the world.
Your ability to like a movie like this depends entirely on your ability to handle complete camp. If you can, you’ll love it. If you can’t, don’t bother. The copy of the movie I bought had English subtitles which made it easier to follow what little dialogue and plot there was.
I enjoyd myself and can’t wait to watch/review the second half of our double feature Mystery in Bermuda starring Mil Mascaras and EL SANTO!