Monday, May 9, 2011

The Best Lucha Movies

This is my personal list of favorite lucha movies. I plan on updating it as my collection grows, and I'm able to find the more obscure lucha films within the legit and gray-market.
This list has no particular order, they are just the several of the "best" of the genre, in my opinion. Remember, best is a subjective term, especially when talking about this type of film. It's full of cheese, camp, classic comic book style fun, so don't be expecting an American Film Institute classic here:

Atacan Las Brujas (1964)
I love this early black and white Santo movie. It's very dark and moody, and even has an unusual dream sequence to open the film. The story is very well done for a lucha movie, you can really tell everyone is putting a lot of effort into this film. We have the beautiful Lorena Velázquez as the head witch, who wishes to torment and sacrifice poor Ofelia and her boyfriend Arturo. But Santo is not a fan of all this Satanic witchery and foils her diabolical plot!

Las Momias de Guanajuato (1972)
The best lucha movies are team ups, and this contains Santo, Blue Demon, and Mil Máscaras. Honestly though, Santo appears only in the end, but that's okay, I'm a bigger Blue Demon fan. I also like the midget in this film, how many midgets do you know that are called Penguin? Just don't interrupt him while he gives you a tour of the Guanajuato mummies! For my full review of Las Momias de Guanajuato, click here!

Santo y Mantequilla Nápoles Contra La Llorona (1974)
I love this film for two reasons. First, we have Mantequilla Nápoles, famous Cuban boxer. No other Santo film has done inserted a non-lucha athlete into the mix, making it quite unique. The second reason why I enjoy this is that we get to see a legendary monster from Latin American culture. La Llorona, aka The Crying Woman, is a tale about a woman who drowns her own children in a blind rage after learning that her lover wants to throw her away like expired tuna. Because of her horrible deeds against her children, she is forced to wander the earth as a specter. By night, you can hear her wails on the winds near rivers and lakes, "Ay, mis hijos!" This movie builds on the legend, giving a deeper back story, and making for a perfect villain for a Santo film.

Tesoro de Drácula (1969)
Santo is a jack of all trades. Monster slayer, luchador, and scientist. Santo, much like Batman, has a laboratory in his older films. Maybe we can call it La Cueva del Santo? He has been working on a sweet time machine in his downtime, that for some reason works better with women. But the time machine is also quite unique in that you don't merely time travel like Back to the Future, but you return to a past life. I found this really unique for any kind of film. The one down fall to this film is that we have a comic-relief character.. I loathe these characters. Perico is a real dweeb, but he also wears a gold chain necklace of a dollar symbol. This is like a precursor to 90s rap I guess. It's incredibly odd.

Santo y Blue Demon Contra Drácula y Hombre Lobo (1973)
The title itself evokes such strong emotions to me. This was the first lucha film I had purchased, and it was due to the title. We get the two most famous luchadores, plus we get the vampire king and a werewolf. This film has the general construction of a typical lucha film. Star with a match, get some story, insert a match in the middle, then end the film with one more lucha match. Sometimes the matches are slightly boring, but this one is enjoyable because the rudo is Renato the Hippie! Who doesn't want to see a hippie get his butt handed to him by Santo? I also have to say, the chess sequence between Blue Demon and Santo is also a nice touch. These aren't merely fighting brutes, they are intellectuals with a concern about the paranormal forces of darkness.

Santo y Blue Demon Contra Los Monstruos (1970)
A vampire? Check. Frankenstein's Monster with a goatee? Check. An prune like mummy? Check. A hobo werewolf? Check. A clumsy '50s scifi cyclops monster? Check. A fiendish scientist? Check. A midget assistant? Check. Lastly, we need one final ingredient to make this a perfect picture: Luchadores (Santo and Blue Demon to be precise) and lots of brawling in and out of the ring. 'Nuff said about this film, if you aren't hooked by all that, then this genre isn't your cup of tea.

Santo Contra Las Lobas (1976)
This is the first really creepy lucha film I've ever seen. A weird werewolf cult, sacrifices, creepy cinematography, it's has such a different feel than any other of Santo's films. While previous films have had a touch of camp, and tongue in cheek at times, this really felt like the director was going for a solid action horror film.


  1. Buena lista... Tambien considero que "El Senor Tormenta" (1962)con Julio Aldama y Eric del Castillo. En esta pelicula se presenta una muy bonita trama en que un sacerdote catolico lucha enmascarado en el anonimato para mantener ninos huerfanos. Tambien la Serie de "Neutron El Enmascarado Negro" en especial "Neutron contra el Dr. Caronte" Wolf Ruvinskins es muy buena!

  2. No he visto esas películas, pero me interesan! Necesito encontrarlas!

  3. I sent you my dvd list to your email.