Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Santo: Infraterrestre (2001)

Once upon a time I was asked by a big organization (nowadays SweWrestling.com) in Sweden, who gathered fans of American wrestling together for joy and fun, to write a guest piece for their homepage. I did, and after that I realized that 99,9 percent of all wrestling fans is dim-witted and completely lacks a sense of humour. Some of them even threaten to kill me. If you know Swedish you can read it here at my old blog! I became more happy many years later when I finally sat down and watched my first Santo movie and saw how many fantastic and love-filled fans of Mexican movie wrestlers there was out on the big interweb and got hooked directly. I still refuse to watch actual wrestling, but the Santo (and Blue Demon) films are fantastic and passionate action/wrestling/horror/sci-fi flick with more passion than everyone on SweWrestling.com together. It's still kinda hard to find Santo movies with English subs, but here and there you can find them and today I have Santo:Infraterrestre a chance, starring Son of Santo (aka Hijo del Santo), where they tried to reboot the Santo franchise in the same old cheap way as possible. This could have been good...

In ancient times the local extra terrestrials had to flee underground when a big meteorite hit earth - and now they want their earth back! Lead by Blue Panther, a wrestler, they try to infiltrate society. The only one who can stop them is Santo! Our hero quickly discovers that his new wrestling-nemesis Blue Panther is an alien (he doesn't black and he has too quick movements) and together with some brave cops he tries to solve that mystery. But one surviving witness to an alien attack, a little annoying boy, is in danger and now it's up to Santo to protect him from the underground alien terrorists!

This could have been very good, but Santo: Infraterrestre only stops at charming and kinda lingers there the whole movie until it's over and too late to do something about it. It's not the cheap production or the lack of production values, that's something that you can find in most of the vintage Santo films, it's the lack of competent directing - mostly at the action front. Son of Santo is good in the ring, but he lacks his fathers competence to fight in a normal, non-soft, environment. The fights, especially the so-important final fights, are weak and uninspired and it just makes me angry to see Santo always looking where to fall or avoiding to not hurt himself on something dangerous.

When Santo Sr fought his enemies in secret labs, in caves, in kitschy living rooms, he more or less destroyed the sets with cool somersault into furniture... and other wrestling moves that I don't know shit about. Here it's just... blah... and then nothing. Santo Jr isn't in the movie that much either. Much space is taken by the boring cops running around shooting bad guys with the worst fake muzzle flash since... that movie I made for fun with some pals eighteen years ago. The bad CGI doesn't bother me at all, it's not that much anyway and it's has enough of cheap plywood sets for fans of the old and unconvincing.

Yeah, I sound very negative now - and yeah, I'm disappointed because with some more talent this could have been a fun little movie. Or at least a lot more fun and exciting than it is now. Maybe the director and producer didn't trust in the Santo trademark, afraid it would be too silly for a modern audience?

Well, let me tell you one thing: Santo never becomes out of date. Never. 


Anonymous said...

"Maybe the director and producer didn't trust in the Santo trademark, afraid it would be too silly for a modern audience?"

Perhaps this is a problem that many reboots/remakes etc face nowadays......stay faithful to the sourcematerial or stray too much and lose their audience completely?

Unfortunately I have never seen a Santo film, but I appreciate your reviews, this is the kind of stuff you can´t read on many other filmblogs.

Ninja, any Ray Bradbury adaptation reviews soon..?

In honor of his passing....


Ninja Dixon said...

I'm not sure actually, because Santo and that whole concept is close to holy in Mexico. It was probably just a bad director!

Well, I wrote about The Veldt last week, the same day Bradbury died, haven't planned anything else right now. Maybe if I get my hands on The Illustrated Man :)

capnjoe said...

Väntar nog med denna och ser några till gamla istället. Finns ju ett par att plöja igenom. Men när när tiden är mogen ska jag kasta mig in i 2001 och ta mig ann denna.

Ninja Dixon said...

Ja, de gamla är bäst i det här fallet! Min favorit är denna:


capnjoe said...

Okej, inte sett. Min favvis är "Santo Versus the Martian Invasion".