Ok ladies and gents, when we last meet, I spoke of the importance of one Rene Cardona, a founding father in the arena of Mexican exploitation cinema. Cardona’s films were either real stupid, or real tasteless, but regardless of this, they usually equaled out to pure entertainment, and as I stated in part one of this article, this was what the Mexican working class wanted. Cardona’s best film, as far as I’m concerned, was his collaboration with silver masked wrestling hero Santo. The film was called SANTO CONTRA ESPECTRO DEL ESTRANGULADOR (1964 - Now with English subtitles).
This film is perhaps the best example of wrestlers vs. monster film. Santo, who is not just a wrestler, but actually works in cahoots with the Mexican police (who, as we all know, are pure as driven snow), and offers his services to vanquish super criminals (you know, those super smart bad guys who are way too swift for those super sharp Mexican police), or monsters, who seem to like Mexico. In this case, Santo battles a Phantom of the Opera type who loves to play an organ in his underground lair, and send out his nimrod assistant to wipe out enemies. This film is treated like an epic, it actually seems to have a budget, further enhanced by elaborate musical numbers (that’s right, we actually break into song during two points in the movie), and some wild James Bond type sticky situations that Santo is subjected to by this merciless madman. At one point Santo is actually buried alive by this bad guy, but shows how strong he is by literally lifting the lid of his encasement, 6 feet of dirt and all, and crawling out of his premature grave. Stupid as all hell, but brilliantly realized by Cardona, who shoots the sequence science lab style, with a side view of Santo in the casket, surrounded by feet of earth on either side. Very claustrophobic, and ambitious, especially for Cardona. The simple fact remains that the Mexicans have achieved something most American filmmakers would love to do but can’t, and that’s bringing a comic book successfully to life on the big screen. That’s right, let me go on record to say Mexicans do cinematic comic books better than those who consciously try to...
Hot on the heels of this exciting classic came EL SOMBRA DEL MURCIELAGO (1966). Directed by the reliable Federico Curiel. In this flick, another wrestler, known as Blue Demon, is called in to help stop a similar disfigured madman to the one featured in the Santo film. This creep also has an underground lair, complete with spooky organ and dungeon. The atmosphere in these films is the most intriguing aspect, with extensive use of cob webs, dust, and extremely expressionistic set design, harkening back to early German cinema, an obvious influence to the Mexicans. But what’s really perplexing is the use of these wrestlers as heroes. For one, they are not attractive, and in fact remain masked through out the films. Furthermore, the bulk of them look out of shape, which is actually somewhat alarming in that they are supposed to be protecting the populace. And to add insult to injury, they all seem to lack personality, this may seem more so because I have the bulk of these films in Spanish and I don’t understand Spanish, but the fact that they wear expressionless facial masks doesn't’t help the situation either. Yet, these guys are heroes in Mexico, held in high regard by the working class and poor, and as I stated in part one, the children actually do aspire to be wrestlers. According to the Mexicans, the fate of the world rests in the hands of Santo and his cohorts. Just check out SANTO VS. LA INVASION DE LOS MARCIANO (1966) directed by Alfredo B. Crevenna, a frequent contributor to the genre. In this film, not only does Santo thwart an invasion by aliens, but the aliens themselves were a group of big busted females who’s tits stick out of their space costumes like "two luscious scoops of vanilla ice cream", to quote film projectionist Tobin Fields. But the true masterpiece of stupidity in a Mexi horror / wrestler film has to be Las Vampiras (1968), also directed by Curiel. In one of the most audacious depictions of stupidity ever captured on film, wrestler Mil Mascaras and his idiot friend are imprisoned in a car (?) By two vampire woman who turn into bats and seem to guide the car telepathically. In order to send the car spiraling out of control of the bats, both Mil and his buddy start rocking back and forth, using their weight to shift the path of the car. Needless top say, the first time I saw this, I laughed so hard I had cramps in my stomach. Second time I saw it, I laughed even harder. The fact that anyone would even bother to think up something this ludicrous is beyond me, but most comedies don’t make me laugh this hard, and a good laugh is something we could all use. And not only is that scene funny, but John Carradine playing a retarded Count Dracula is even more stunning. I’m not quite certain his Dracula is supposed to be retarded, but with the idiotic expressions, plus the fact that he’s locked in a cage for the bulk of the film, well, you’d be hard pressed to say he’s not retarded. Sometimes, I actually believe the makers of these films were in on the fact that they are so comical, and went out of their way to heighten the stupidity. Just listen to the music used to underscore a supposedly suspenseful scene in SANTO Y BLUE DEMON CONTRA EL DOCTOR FRANKENSTEIN (1972 - Now complete with ENGLISH subtitles), an idiotic "Boinggg" noise is heard, kind of like some one stepping on a spring and then pulling their foot away... I was crying watching that scene, please don’t tell me that the guy doing the sound editing wasn’t laughing himself sick to that so called "music". But for every wrestling / monster movie made, laughs are almost always guaranteed. Think I’m fucking with ya... well check out some of these titles and see what I mean... MOMIES OF GUANAJUATO (1970 - Now with English subtitles), in which the mummies have rotted faces but beautifully tanned bodies. Or how about INVASION OF THE DEAD (1972- Now complete with English subtitles), in which a twizler firework is used to show a meteorite hitting earth. Better than that, how about SANTO & BLUE DEMON VS. DRACULA & THE WOLFMAN (1972 - Now complete with ENGLISH subtitles), and try and keep from laughing as an army of wolfman force Santo and Blue Demon to walk the plank!!! And if you get tired of watching men in tights duke it out with monsters, how about focusing your eyes on chicks in tights? That’s right, Mr. Cardona is no sexist, he give the gals equal screen time to kill monster butt... think I’m fooling, check out his take on BATMAN, called, simply enough, BATWOMAN (1969- Now complete with English subtitles), a fantastic copyright infringement that never made it to this country, gee, I wonder why? In this flick, which comes off a fine Italian language master, Batwoman is forced to kick the ass of a crazy scientist who likes to conduct aquatic experiments that involve the creation of gillmen, who are actually quite effective in appearance. One very spooky scene has our heroine being stalked at a beach house by one of the said gillmen, and once again Cardona proves he’s a capable director when he takes his time to develop a scene as opposed to rushing it through. This title comes highly recommended, especially to fans of super heroes. While your at it, check out Cardonas other contribution to the "Wrestling Women Vs." series, called LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL ROBOT ASESINO (1969).Word of warning, this is an Italian language print that is rough quality, to say the least, but, it is also extremely rare, and has the violence and nudity removed from all other prints. You actually get to see the doctors goofy apeman creature rape a nurse, as well as watch this ultra cool robot assassin strangle some chick with her bra... all this until the wrestling women save the day, complete with karate chops and thunder thighs... By and by, for those of you who are Santo fans, may I suggest some of my favorite titles of his... First and foremost, SANTO VS. DOCTOR DEATH (1970 - Now complete with English subtitles), which comes off a beautiful Spanish language master, is in many ways, as good as any James Bond flick you might see. While some might be hard pressed to consider Santo to be any bit as suave as Sean Connery, the production on this film is lavish, the villains mean, the gals gorgeous, and the action non stop. Every once and a bit, a particular production company might feel enthused and embellish Santo with a budget and talented group of folk to pull the whole thing together. This is a shining example. MISSION SUICIDA (1971), is one of those so bad it’s good Santo flicks, but it does feature Santo battling a group of bikini clad mercenaries. How about this, SANTO VS. LOS LOBAS (1973 - Now complete with English subtitles) in which he fights a bunch of hairy chicks being passed off as werewolves. What, you want something more intriguing? Well, how about SANTO CONTRA LOS SECUESTRADORES (1974), in which Santo investigates a kidnaping for Interpole. I can’t think of a anything better to do on a rainy day but sit back and watch Santo and his pals kick ass....
What, more on Rene Cardona, you ask? Well, let me tell ya all about him. I first became aware of his work when I saw SANTA CLAUS (1959) Mexico’s version of the life and times of everyone’s favorite jolly fat man in red. The twist is that Cardonas version is extremely twisted, and actually quite frightening to children. In his initial version, the Devil himself comes to Mexico in an effort to raise hell for all the poor bambinos desperately craving gifts. Santa, a cantankerous old fart, is forced to undo all the damage old scratch has caused. The scenes of Satan tempting a peasant child to steal a doll are quite disturbing, and are in no way cute... one becomes aware that Cardona knows nothing of the art of subtlety, this film is heavy handed, as is just about every other project Cardona handles... furthermore, Cardona has a claim to fame for having directed one of the first "Women in Prison" pictures, called, appropriately enough, PRISON OF WOMEN (1960) . More soap opera than gag fest, this film still has a very gruesome and dank atmosphere, and it’s presentation of a women’s prison is quite unpleasant, to say the least. In part one, I spoke of how Cardona would beef up his films with extra sex and violence for the over seas market, NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES (1969) being the best example of this practice. He also did this with SANTO AND THE TREASURE OF DRACULA (1969), (which I have a Spanish language, color version of that is real nice quality, but, unfortunately, it is the soft version. However, it does have English subtitles, and I also offer EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO, which is the most saught after version of Santo and the Treasure of Dracula. This is the "Adults Only" version that was shot simultaniously with the "straight" version. This version offers all the naked skin you could possibly want, including softcore sex scenes between Dracula and his lady victims. This version offers up some of the hugest torpedo tits that side of Mexico, you'd swear these girls were raised near Love Canal or Three Mile Island. The boobs in this film will take your breath away, and I'm not kidding. You'll want to perch this baby right next to your Russ Meyer collection. In Spanish with English subtitles. Ultra rare!), which, according to the pictures, looked like it offered ample bosom and blood. Regardless, with both this film and Bloody Apes, we become aware of the presence of another family member, Rene Cardona Jr., as having a hand in the writing. Well, by the time the 1970's were in full swing, Cardona Jr. finally started taking helm of the productions. His first film on his own, LA NOCHE DE LOS MIL GATOS (1971 - Uncut, in English with Dutch subtitles), gave us the incredible Mexican actor Hugo Stiglitz as a rich pervert who keeps a collection of women’s heads in his trophy room. He also has a dungeon full of starving cats that he uses to dispose of the rest of the female carcases. This film has one chick in it with a pair of the hugest hooters this side of Russ Meyer... that said, Stiglitz gets his just desserts when his cats decide the table scraps he feeds them just isn’t enough. This films villain is presented in an interesting matter... for now we are starting to see social criticism creeping into mainstream Mexican cinema (although Bunuel had been at it since the early thirties, it had yet to show it’s face in Mexi monster movies), and this villains main asset to attracting his victims is his wealth. At last, we finally see the class conflict in action, the poor or in need victimized by the rich, in essence, the story of Mexico itself. The Stiglitz character seduces his victims with his opulence, he uses his wealth to attract the very same women he reduces to trophies on his mantle place. Cardona Jr. also showed that he was fascinated by real life tragedy. SURVIVE (1974), based on the book by Clay Blair, tells the story of a plane crash in the Andes mountains in South America, and how a soccer team who survived the crash stayed alive even longer by eating the flesh of those who died. No sooner had the incident happened when the book followed right on it’s heels, and Cardona Jr. pulling a fast third. This film features some fantastic miniature work of the plane crashing, and is overall more realistic and engaging than the Disney backed ALIVE, made almost 20 years later. The scenes of the survivors cutting into the backs of their dead compadres was quite outrageous for the time, and many felt the film was utterly tasteless for this reason. Cardona would follow this hideous piece of history up with TINTORIA (1976), his answer to Spielberg’s JAWS. This is without a doubt the weirdest rip-off of Jaws I have ever seen, because Cardona, instead of making it a scene for scene knock-off, instead opts to focus on a strange sexual love triangle between Susan George and two hispanic buffoons, one played by Hugo Stiglitz. Back when I was in Jr. High, I remember one of my best buddies telling me about how he saw this film, and how it was teeming with male and female nudity... "my God", I though, "Jaws didn’t show an once of tit, who made this flick?". Well, it turned out the master of tastelessness had struck again, but I wouldn’t end up catching this flick till it came out on video in the early eighties. When I first saw it, I hated it, but upon more recent viewing’s, it’s grown on me... the shark attacks are extremely brutal, unlike Jaws, you see this shark biting through people, turning the water scarlet with their blood. And as if Cardona Jr, hadn’t assaulted us enough, check out CYCLONE (1977), his take on the disaster movies that were filling the screens up back in the mid seventies. In this flick (which is dubbed in English), a group of folks on a cruise in the Island’s run into a Cyclone, which knocks their boat of course, and leaves them stranded in the middle of the ocean, their boat surrounded by man eating sharks, and worse, starving shipmates who decide eating the dead might not be so bad after all. Add to this a stranded plane, and the nighmarish idea of being stuck with priest Arthur Kennedy in the middle of no where, and you have a relentless film that leaves you exhausted after viewing... Now your most likely asking does "Cardona Jr. have a soft side", and my answer is "sure he does". Check out LOS PLACERES OCULTOS (1980), who’s publicity reads "He is perverse, sadistic, cruel, hypocritical, and likes revenge.... she is even worse...when these two get together, they discover Placeres Ocultos". You see, a love story...
Ok, so you want the more artistic side of Mexico. Then by all means allow me to introduce you to Juan Lopez Moctezuma, son of actor Carlos Lopez Moctezuma. With out a doubt, Juan’s work is most usually visually stunning, both in terms of art design and photographic images. His first film that brought him international success was DR. TARRS TORTURE DUNGEON (1972) ,presented here in it’s English dubbed version. A cinematic version of Edgar Allan Poe’s Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather, this film is delirious in it’s depiction of 19th century insane asylums, and with it’s sepia tone cinematography, comes off more like a hellish nightmare, a bad dream one has trouble awakening from... However, if you like your horror more bloody and sexy than arty, well, Juan can serve that up from you as well. Check out MARY, MARY, BLOODY MARY (1974) , also dubbed in English, and tell me if Juan can’t keep up with the other goremiesters of the day. In fact, this film is so crude, one would be hard pressed to say it’s even one of Juan’s films, but his signature is on it... furthermore, it features John Carradine as the arthritic and vampiric father of sexual psycho Cristina Ferrare, who seems to have this strange habit of slicing up her lovers and drinking their blood. But it wasn’t until 1975 that Juan decided to mix the sex, violence and art that he’s so well regarded for, when he gave us ALUCARDA, also known as SISTERS OF SATAN, which takes a page from Ken Russell’s THE DEVILS, plus a page from DeSades Justine, and the visceral energy of the EXORCIST, and gives us a blood bath set in the middle ages.
At this point, allow me to elaborate on the fact that many American and British actors took time out to appear in some of these little Mexi gems. As I mentioned, John Carradine appeared in several, of particular note AUTOPSY OF A GHOST (1967- Now complete with English subtitles) , a comedy in the zany vain of the current AIP teen/ beach films that would pair fun lovin "kids" like Frankie Avalon against such bad guys as Vincent Price. Only in this case, this film is much better made and much more entertaining. Joining Carradine in this film is Basil Rathbone, who plays a friendly ghost (just like Caspar), trying to thwart Satan (Carradine), from making life miserable for eccentric inventor Cameron Mitchell. This classic was never released here, hence I carry the Spanish language print. Also not released here was SENIORA MUERTE (1968 - Uncut, with Englisg subtitles), in which Carradine plays a screwball scientist who accidently scars up this vain chicks mug in an experiment to prolong life, and then tells her the only way she can restore her looks is steal blood from various unwilling donors... this film is so surreal, but do more so to the fact that it’s so inept rather than artistic. The lab set will have you begging for Ted V. Mikels ASTRO ZOMBIES in no time. Never before has cardboard looked so much like cardboard. And while this flick is in Spanish, it does have some nudity and grue to keep ya glued... While the Carradine entries may leave a lot to be desired, the Karloff mexi flicks bear some investigation. Boris Karloff ended up under contract to producer Luis Enrique Vergara (as did Carradine), and he did a total of four films, all of which under went a re-construction of sorts once they got to U.S. soil under the hands of director Jack Hill. The first, LA CAMARA DEL TERROR (1967), (which is also available from Cinefear dubbed in English under the title THE CHAMBER OF FEAR, please specify which version you want when you order) is the best of the lot, featuring nudity and torture in abundance, and telling a freaked out story of a kindly scientist who discovers a blob like life form living inside a volcano. He takes it to his lab, only to discover that the creature can only survive by drinking the blood of someone that has been frightened to death. Karloff wants the creature to die, but his nutty female lab assistant and her goon servant (the incredible Yerye Beirute, considered by many to be the Mexican Karloff because of his tall and gaunt appearance) want it to live, and rig a house of horrors designed to scare the shit out of a bunch of young gals whom they intend on feeding to this carnivorous rock... This flick was followed up with SNAKE PEOPLE (1968), which I carry dubbed in English. Karloff has the chance to flex his muscle in a dual role as both a scholarly plantation owner and the head of a voodoo group who practices black magic, raises the dead, and various other sundry activity. For some reason this film is the most recognized of Karloff’s South American works, most likely due to it having both theatrical and television exposer. The next film was the eerie but super talky SERENATA MACABRA (1968), which involved the reading of a will in a spooky old mansion, and the relatives being bumped off by a group of automatons, created by the so called deceased Karloff. While some gore abounds, this mouthy flick is best enjoyed if understand Spanish. Last, but not least, is my personal favorite, known as SINISTER INVASION (1968), in which two nerdy aliens arrive on the doorstep of scientist Karloff to tell him to cease his experiments with nuclear energy. In order to thwart Karloffs efforts, they take control of his big titted, scarred faced lab assistant, and a "Jack, The Ripper" type killer who’s been doing in prostitutes in the neighborhood. The cool and convoluted plot is what makes this one stand out, but the interesting thing to note is that Karloff’s appearances, much like Carradine’s, are limited to brief scenes, not an actual starring part.
Ok, since it’s obvious the Mexicans are super influenced by Universal Pictures out put of the 1930's & 40's, I suppose the next question you’d ask of me is "What about Mexican horror/comedies"... well my friends, take a swig of Tequila (cause your gonna need it), and let Uncle Keith tell ya all about it. CASTILLO DE LOS MONSTRUOS (1957) was the first to kick this "monsters meets mexi-comics" genre off. Unless you understand Spanish, these films can be an endurance test on the nerves. In CASTILLO, we due end up bringing several monsters into the arena at once, of particular note is German Robles reprising his Count Lavud from THE VAMPIRE (1957). In 1956, Rafael Baledon gave his take on Universal’s CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, called PANTANO DE LAS ANIMAS. Called SWAMP OF THE LOST MONSTER when it arrived here courtesy K. Gordon Murray in 1965, not only are we treated to Lagoon monster that is quite effective, but we are lullabied by Gaston Santos, a singing cowboy who is flanked by a Lou Costello like fat man who keeps getting into trouble... but it didn’t stop there, as comedians Chabelo & Pepito meet a whole army of monsters including the Creature himself in the appropriately titled CHABELO Y PEPITO CONTRA LOS MONSTRUOS (1972). The monsters look pretty cool, it’s the comedians that bring us the horror. The main problem being that the type of humor the Mexicans find funny are the type that made us laugh... in 1920. So to see baggy pansed comedians doing stick that was 30 years old at the time (be it ‘56. ‘65. Or ‘72), while interacting with already ridiculous looking monsters is not exactly the highlight of Mexican cinema. But, if you’re a masochist, you can pick up CAPULINA CONTRA LAS MOMIAS (1972), Capulina being one of Mexicos finest comedians (?), and even fought vampires in a similarly titled film from the same year. Maybe your suicidal, and if that’s the case, you might want feast your eyes on INDIA MARIA MEETS THE MONSTERS (196?), India Maria being Mexico’s answer to Ruth Buzzi. But if you really want to blow your mind with a delightful fantasy, complete with musical numbers, jokes, and some seriously freaky monsters, sexy space women and cheap special effects, you must see SHIP OF MONSTERS (1957- Now complete with English subtitles) which is uncut, superior quality plus English subtitles, featuring the incredible Lorena Velazquez as a vampire woman from space who gives a hard time to a singing cowboy and young ingenue. This is the "must see" Mexican film, the perfect example of comic book come to life on the silver screen. Directed with fantastic flair by Rogelio A. Gonzalez, fantasy has never been both so amusing and scary in the same breath, for as the singing cowboy and the kid put us at ease, the various monsters that Lorena sets loose to help take over the planet are quite intimidating to say the least. We have one super scary Cyclopes, one giant brained alien, one walking skeleton, plus a robot and a chick who turns into a giant bat whenever the situation arises for her to take flight and come swooping down on some poor unfortunate. It’s a child’s nightmare, to say the least. Even though this flick is in Spanish (but with Englisg subs), you’ll have no problem understanding this film, though one does long to wonder just what that goofy cowboy and his dancing horse are singing about. If you have but one title to buy in hopes of summing up all Mexican cinema, I recommend this film above all others. On this note, I’m going to bring this article in for a close. My parting thoughts are this... while Mexico itself could benefit from a revolution by and of the working class people, until that day comes, we’ll all have to find solace and strength in Santo, Blue Demon, Count Luvad, the Wrestling Women, and Rene Cardona, all of whom have brought a degree of comfort and relief to a very overworked and under appreciated race of people.
The following is a list of various Mexi-horror films that will not only broaden your appreciation of the genre, but will also put money in my pocket as you order. So please take a minute to read over this fabulous selection of titles. Most are in Spanish, others in English will be denoted. None will disappoint... More titles added June 2011.
AHORA MIS PISTOLAS HABLAN (1980) Another insane Mexican western, this one involving a pleasant fellow who loves to sing lovely songs having his tongue cut out by bad guys and then later having to track them all down and kill then one by one. I'm unclear if this is supposed to be a period piece because everything looks modern like 1980 Mexico but not once is anything modern referenced. You have to see it to believe it! With Felipe Arriaga, Emilio (The Wild Bunch) Fernandez and Beatriz Adriana. ORDER
BRING ME THE VAMPIRE (1960) Crazy comedy about the reading of a will that allows for all sorts of ghostly apparitions as well as a vampire or two... well made, with cool visual effects, so take a chance and pick it up! In English |ORDER|
DEMONIOIS (1980's) Here is an interesting, and late entry,
into the Mexi-monster sweepstakes. When a medicine man is killed by a
grieving father, he returns as a demon and begins to make mincemeat of
a small town. Still better than most early eighties slasher films.
LOS CACIQUES (1970) Witchcraft and corruption plaque a peaceful Mexican town, turning the serene into violence and chaos. Again, this is an example of Mexican horror that addresses political problems such as governmental corruption and abuse of power. |ORDER|
EL CABALLO DEL DIABLO (1973) Odd flick directed by Fredrico (Blood of Nostrodamas) Curiel about an evil spirit that goes from horse, to man, and back again. Violence, nudity, rape and other pleasantries abound. Now complete with English subtitles |ORDER|
LOS CAMPEONES JUSTICIEROS (1970) Unreal miss mash of wrestlers (Blue Bemon, Mil Mascaras, El Medico Assasin) fighting a crazy doctor and his army of killer dwarves. Think I’m kidding!? |ORDER|
LA CASA DE LAS SIETE TUMBAS (1982 Aka House of the 7 Graves) A young couple with car trouble find themselves in a scary house with a psychotic woman and seven strange graves in the backyard. Spooky stuff with the usual nudity and violence you'd expect from an Argentine production. ORDER
EL CASTLE DE LAS MOMIAS DE GUANAJUATO (1972) You get not just one wrestler in this film, but rather three biggies... Blue Demon, Superzan, Tinieblas and a couple of other jokers doing battle with a wacky mad scientist (who looks more like a woman than a man), and his army of mummies who abduct and torture people in his dungeon... very amusing from start to finish. ORDER
CEMETARIO DEL TERROR (1980's) Hugo Stiglitz (SURVIVE) fights against the walking dead in this piece of south of the border tedium. |ORDER|
CONQUISTADOR DE LA LUNA (1960) If you're a fan of Ship of Monsters, more than likely you are going to get a huge kick out of this. More mad space hyjinks from our friends in Mexico, in this one a love lorn idiot accidently shoots both himself and his girlfriend into space via the girlfriends fathers rocketship. Once on the moon, then run into an alien population controlled by a floating brain with a cyclopes eye. This evil brain has every intention on destoying earth, so you better believe that our hero and heroine have every intention on defeating the evil brain. Fun stuff, played more for laughs, very much like Ship of Monsters but featuring some very nifty special effects and ideas that would later be used in bigger budgeted American sci-fis. First time with English subtitles.ORDER|
DAYS OF VIOLENCE (1980's) Mexico’s answer to Last House on the Left, only this one doesn’t have Dave Hess. |ORDER|
DIAS DE COMBATE (1980) Here is a rather well made, talky, but interesting detective story involving an amature slueth who literally throws his life away while trying to track down a serial killer who likes to strangle young women. One very interesting acene invloves a woman being strangled in a movie theater that is showing The World of the Vampires, which is a funny in joke in that this is a Mexican production. ORDER
THE DRIFTER IN THE RAIN (1968) Here is actually a very tense psychological thriller that really doesn't use any exploitation elements to tell it's story. Directed by Carlos Enrique Taboada, who wrote the brilliant The Witch's Mirror (1962). In this film two society women and one wrong side of the tracks girl must deal with a psychotic drifter who literally has them trapped in their own house. This is a very interesting character study and is very much in the tradition of Hitchcock. In Spanish with English subtitles. |ORDER|
LA DRONES DE TUMBAS (1980's) Mexican made attempt to rip off Friday the 13th, and still better than most of Friday’s sequels. |ORDER|
DYNASTY OF DRACULA (1978) A guy named Fabian (not the beloved teen idol from the USA) stars as a vampire who looks like a Las Vegas era Elvis with huge fangs and sideburns. |ORDER|
EMPIRE OF DRACULA (1967) Excellent Hammer style Mexican horror. The Van Helsing looks more like Larry Koster than Peter Cushing. In color. |ORDER|
EMPIRE OF DRACULA (1967) This is a major find if you're a fan of this film. This is a B/W version that is actually 14 minutes longer than the version I offer off the out of print Eagle Video. While the Eagle Video was in color, this version has more footage, and in many ways it's an alternate cut to the color version. And here's the best part yet, it has English subtitles. That's right, this film is finally available with English subs. You can't beat that! As in for the plot, a son of a vampire killer must kill the very same vampire his father killed many years earlier. |ORDER|
ENIGMA DE MUERTE (1968) Classic, long lost Carradine Mexi flick in which he plays a nasty nazi who is bringing together another Reich in Mexico. Can Mil Mascaras stop him in time. Features a cool Laser Death Ray which incinerates folks, and a wild fight on a ferris go round. In Spanish, but excellent quality! Now complete with English subtitles ORDER
FUNERALES DE TERROR (1987) Amusing Mexican flick about a former bully/gangster who ends up in a catatonic state and thus forced to recount his crimes in his head. Ultra cheap production plays like a soap opera with the violence of 70's flick. Good for a laugh. ORDER
GUYANA, CULT OF THE DAMMED (1980) Here’s an uncut, English language version (with Japanese subtitles) of Cardona Jr.’s horrific adaption of the Jim Jones tragedy, complete with all star cast including Stuart Whitman, Joe Cotton, Yvonne DeCarlo, and many other AA members. |ORDER|
THE HEAD OF PANCHO VILLA (1957) Here's one of what was a three part serial directed by the master surrealist Chano Urueta. This one introduces us to The Headless Rider, a masked super hero who fights the supernatural and saves the day for the law abiding citizens of Mexico. In this episode six comrades of Panch Villa are being ambused and electrocuted by black robed bad guys trying to get a hold of a trunk that contains an ancient aztec secret that helped Pancho Villa win the revolution. You better believe the headless rider is not going to let this happen and gives our robe wearing thugs the lesson of a life time. Now, this is in Spanish BUT we finally have subtitles for this, so now is the time for you to grab it up. It's off a TV broadcast, so the quality is just fine! |ORDER|
THE HEADLESS RIDER (1957) Here's one of what was a three part serial directed by the master surrealist Chano Urueta. This one introduces us to The Headless Rider, a masked super hero who fights the supernatural and saves the day for the law abiding citizens of Mexico. In this episode the rider must fight an underground society of robe wearing bad guys sporting skeleton masks who murder ranchers who try to sell their property to anyone but the bad guys. There's a severed hand that walks around and points, a walking corpse that jumps coffins, and all sorts of horrors. Now, this is in Spanish BUT we finally have subtitles for this, so now is the time for you to grab it up. It's off a TV broadcast, so the quality is just fine! |ORDER|
HERENCIA DIABOLICA (1992) Insane rip off of Chucky (I'm assuming here) in which a nasty oild fart drops dead and her spirit inhabits the body of a toy clown doll that she always carried around with her. Anyhow, this hideous clown doll murders her sons wife and sets out to do the same to his second wife. Yes, it has gore and nudity but better than that it has an idiotic midget playing a clown doll who makes really stupid noises and faces, is completely unthreatening yet no one tries to stop it's path of destruction. Shot on video but still quite creepy in it's own way. Directed by Alfredo Salazar, brother of Abel salazar and writer of most of the films listed here! ORDER
EL HOMBRE Y LA BESTIA (1973 - Man and the Beast) Here's another take on the Robert Louis Stevenson tale Jekyll & Hyde, keeping the original period setting intact. Jekyll becomes Hyde, and seems to be sporting the same make-up used in La Loba. While sleazy in it's execution, this story is tame by the standards of other Mexican films at the time. Fun if your a Jekyll & Hyde completist.Directed by Julian Solar, who gave us Satan of All Horrors. ORDER
EL HOMBRE SIN ROSTRO (1950- Aka Man Without A Face) A killer with a concealed face is killing women off. A lone detective is tryinmg to capture the killer but is plagued by nightmarish dreams that involed obscured faces, coffins, funerals and death. This is a highly expressionistic horror film, very arty, beautifully shot and acted, essentially Mexican horror cinema at it's best. In fact this film won the Mexican equivalent of the Acadamy Awardsfor lead actor (Arturo de Córdova) cinematography (Jorge Stahl) and best score (Raul Lavista). Go for it! ORDER|
INTREPIDOS PUNKS (1980) Here's a very late in game biker film of sorts, done Mexican style. A group of punk bikers (no, I'm not making this up) terrorise the civilians by raping, robbing and even setting fire to their victims. And when they are bored they play Russian Roulette. Their leader is a huge titted blonde (!?) and together they cause so much death and destruction that both the cops and the mob join forces to take them down. This one has to be seen to be believed! In Spanish with English subtitles. |ORDER|
LA ISLA DE LOS DINOSAURIOS (1967) A group of scientists in search of lost Atlantis are plane wrecked on an uncharted island full of stock footage monsters fresh from One Million BC. Occasionally we get an original papier mache monster peaking out from behind an alcove, but for the most part this is typical Mexican filmmaking for the period. With Armond Silvestre and Alma Delia Fuentes. ORDER
EL LATIGO VS. THE MUMMY ASSASINS (1970's) El Latigo is a "Zorro" type guy who uses his whip to beat mummies into an explosion (literally). Surreal, to say the least! Now complete with English subtitles ORDER
EL LATIGO CONTRA SATANAS (1979) In this installment of the El Latigo saga, Latigo turns his whip on a devil monster and his minions who are the hell spawn of a witch's curse. Really, I can't make this stuff up. As usual, when he whips a monster, that monster is going down! In Spanish with English subtitles. |ORDER|
LUNA DE SANGRE (1980's) Insane revenge flick from the Last House on the Left school, has a husband and wife's car breaking down on a side road and two monsterous mechanics knocking out the husband, locking him in the trunk while taking turns raping the wife. The leave the husband for dead and abduct the wife, but it turns out that the husband isn't quite dead.... Shot on film and actually quite good! ORDER
LA MAFIA DEL VICIO (1971) Yep, this one has Santo at the top of his game, playing a secret agent who infiltrates the mafia and has to lead a double life as a good guy all the while making the mafia believe he is working for them. This flick also has the benefit of seeing some super hot looking chicks in bikinis as well as some grusome, bloody Sam Peckinpah style shoot outs. Directed by the always delightful Fredrico Curiel. ORDER
MASION DE LAS 7 MOMIAS (1975) Blue Demon is forced to kick mummy butt in this final entry to the "Castle of Momias" series. Very entertaining from start to finish, and complete with a hunchback cemetery caretaker. In Spanish but with English subtitles. ORDER
MISTERIOS DE LA MAGIA NEGRA (1957) From director Miquel M. Delgado comes this atmospheric, B/W terror tale that details the exploits of a voodoo priestess and her hunchback assistant. A super cool zombie and old scratch himself make guest appearences. A classic, don't pass it up! ORDER
MISTERIO DE LOS BERMUDAS (1977) Basically, Santo meets the Bermuda Triangle. It would have been scarier if he had meet a Bermuda onion. One of the last, and weakest of the series. Tape somewhat glitchy, but do you really care? |ORDER|
EL MONJE LOCO (1984) Fucking crazed, shot on video remake of a flick from 1940. A monk, lusting after a woman, accidently kills her and is forever cursed, turned into an idiot who cackles like a moron, with a hard boiled egg sticking out of his left eye socket. The story then turns into a version of the Monkey's Paw, complete with a corpse bearing a melted face. You will be laughing so fucking hard when you see the scene with the priest and the girl singing Ave Maria, it's dubbed and the two actors can't lip synch to save their lives. Plus the scene of the priest having a nightmare that he is being tempted by a topless woman in a skull mask is worthy of the price of purchase. ORDER
EL MURO DE LA TORTILLA (1973) A tale of revenge inspired by films like Deathwish. A group of border crossing illigal aliens get trapped, tortured and murdered by the Klu Klux Klan. One angry imigrant decides to avange the deaths in his own brutal manor. A film that explores hardship and social injustice. Directed by Fredrico Curiel. ORDER
ORLAK, THE HELL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1960) Finally available with English subtitles! Directed by the prolific Rafael Baledon, this is a terrific twist on the Frankenstein story in which a man in prison for murder coerces the imprisoned Dr. Frankenstein to create a monster that looks just like him so he can be in two places at one time. This allows the monster to get revenge on people who crossed him. Great, moody B/W photography, this is truly from the golden age of Merxican horror cinema. Featuring the incredible Joaquin Cordero as both the bad guy and his monster double and Armando Calvo as the detective trying to pin him down for the murders. Andrés Soler plays Dr. Frankenstein. This is a must! ORDER
LA NUEVE CARAS DEL MIEDO (1992) An example of shot on video Mexican horror that became a stable in the days of video rental. Some of this stuff can be pretty amusing, so give it a shot! ORDER
PACTO DIABOLICO (1968) Crazy flick with John Carradine playing a doctor who takes a serium which intern turns him into a youngish looking neanderthal who likes to go on murder sprees. A period piece version of Jekyll and Hyde complete with scant nudity and violence. Complete with English subtitles. |ORDER|
UNA RATA EN LA OSCURIDAD (1979) Yeah, this is one of those Mexi horror films that need to be seen to be believed. Two women (Ana Louisa Peluffo and Anias de Melo) rent out a haunted house (you get to see them naked and all) and ultimately the house brings them down with all sorts of ghostly activity and a rat or two or three showing up from time to time. Did I tell you about the demented transvestite? Directed by Alfredo Salazar, Abels brother. In Spanish. |ORDER|
EL ROBO DE LAS MOMIAS DE GUANAJUATO (1972) Mil Mascaras is called on to open up a can of whip ass on a group of mummies being used by an evil doctor who likes to turn people into robots! Say what? With English subtitles. ORDER
EL RELOJ DE LA MUERTE (1993) More homegrown horrors, this time involving a gold watch and some nasty demons. Ultra rare and long out of print. With Rebeca Silva and Luis Aguilar. ORDER
EL REY DE LOS TAHURES (1975) A violent gangster picture inspired by the Godfather, only done Mexican style. A small child witnesses his fathers murder during a poker game. The child masters the game of poker and as an adult seeks revenge on the murderer of his father. With Mario Almada and Fernando Casanova. ORDER
REVANCHA SANGRIENTA (1987) Insane shot on video production has a peon avenging the death of his wife and friends who were killed by a Mexican hating psycho who rides around in an army tank blowing up and shooting wetbacks! Think I'm kidding? Check it out...With Roberto Guzman, Bruno Rey and Veronica Velasco. ORDER
SANTO AND BLUE DEMON VS. THE MONSTERS (1969) Great monster fest that has a bald dwarf, a Frankenstein monster (complete with Don Post mask and mustache), and other assorted nasties. Excellent quality and English subtitles ! very rare! |ORDER|
SANTO CONTRA LA HIJA DE FRANKENSTEIN (1971) Santo must kick the ass of Dr. Frankenteins daughter, who is conducting horrible experiments on unfortunet folks in an underground lair. Nice monster action, cool scenes in a dungeon, and Santo getting seduced by this naughty doctor... English subtitles ! ORDER
SANTO CONTRA LOS JINETES DEL TERROR (1970) A western featuring Santo doing battle with a group of disfigured lepers being used by bad guys to rob banks. Exploitation classic directed by Rene Cardona. In Spanish but with English subtitles, nice quality. ORDER
SANTO CONTRA EL TERROR DE LA FRONTERA (1978) Really cheap entry to the Santo series, and one of the last. Wetbacks get promised freedom by an evil doctor who used them for body organ sales. Less grusome than it sounds, and very, very cheap. ORDER
SANTO EN LA VENGANZA DE LA MOMIA (1970) At last, the film that endeared me to Santo when I was a kid! Santo and a group of Archeologists encounter the Aztec mummy while investigating ancient ruins. The mummy shoots people with a crossbow! See it to believe it! ENGLISH SUBTITLES ORDER
SANTO IN THE WAX MUSEUM (1963) In English. Santo is called Samson in this American import version which has Santo fighting a wacky wax museum curator who encases people in wax and creates likenesses of classic monsters (eg. The Wolfman, Frankenstein, etc...) |ORDER|
SATANAS DE TODOS LOS HORRORES (1972 - Satan of All Horrors) A version of Poes Fall of the House of Usher only director julian solar tosses in devil worship, cardboard sets that crack and crumble, and silly monster masks that make you laugh out loud. Lots of fun!!! ORDER
TERROR, SEX AND WITCHCRAFT (1989) Here is a hybrid Mexican flick that incorporates footage shot in '68 with spiced up sex and violence shot in '84 which adds up to a film released in '89!?! Anyhow, a woman casts a love spell, wins over the man, has to kill the man to please satan, and then the mans ghost comes back to get revenge, and yes, by now you should be confused. Utter nonsense but fun sex and violence non the less. In Spanish with English subtitles. Dig in. ORDER
TRAFFICANTES DE COCAINA (1988) One of those strange "shot on video" Mexican productions made for the home video market in the late 80's. Hugo Stoglitz is on hand playing a drug cartel leader who like to throw people out of Helicopters while they are in mid flight. Pretty Mexican girls with big tits, sleazy characters that make you happy you don't live in Mexico, and some bloody gun play make this flick worth owning...or does it? |ORDER|
THE ULTIMATE RAPE (1977) Insane Mexican rip off of Straw Dogs featuring Troy Donahue as a man recovering from a terrible accident who marries one of his former students and starts a new life out in the mountains. A couple of local blue collar workers decide to have some fun and rape the wife, beat Donahue and drown his kid. Donahue decides to grab an axe and teach these guys a lesson. Yes, it's ever bit as sleazy as it sounds. Violence, sex, nudity and really ugly bad guys. Doesn't get better than this. In Spanish with English subtitles. |ORDER|
LOS VAMPIRES DE COYOACAN (1973) More vampire fun from Fredrico Curiel involving a dapper gent wearing a pair of oversized dime store bought fangs!!! The little midget bat men have to be seen to be believed! |ORDER|
EL VIOLADOR INFERNAL (1988 - The Hellish Rapist) One of the most fucked up Mexican horror flicks I've ever seen. One of the last actually shot on film, this film features a serial killer being put to death in the electric chair. A demon woman appears and revives him, as long as he promises to go on a rampage of rape and mutilation, with each victim being taken in the name of satan. And this he does, raping chubby Mexican chicks with big tits, and even violating a gay man, killing him while butt slamming him. Really jaw dropping madness. In Spanish with English subtitles... ORDER
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