Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Aldo Monti, Santo y Blue Demon contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo (1973)

Your Daily Dracula – Aldo Monti, Santo y Blue Demon contra Dracula y el Hombre Lobo (1973)

This colourful, silly fantasy comes from a period in Mexican exploitation cinema when wrestlers and monsters were doubling up and plots or even entire scripts were being recycled.  Though it has moments of bright red gore, the film has the feel of a kiddie matinee serial from the 1940s shot with 1970s colour and probably plays best to younger viewers.  Its storyline is crowded, but also basic: a cackling hunchback (Wally Barron) murders a Professor and uses his blood to revive the villains, Count Dracula (Aldo Monti) and Rufus Rex (Augustin Martinez Solares), ‘el hombre lobo’; the monsters are out for revenge on the descendants of a magician called Cristaldi who once killed them with a magic dagger; Santo, ‘the multitude’s idol’, and tag-team buddy Blue Demon take time out from their wrestling careers to protect the last of the Cristaldis, two young women and a little girl.  The good guys (spoiler alert!) win.

It’s so lazily thrown together that the film stops twice for lengthy, dully-shot ring scenes (Santo vs El Angel Blanco and Blue Demon vs Renato el Hippie!) and then, after the supposed horror climax, throws in a tag-team bout featuring all four of these worthies that is just as tacked-on and hard-to-take as the country numbers in the last reel of Hillbillys in a Haunted House.  The most interesting character is Eric the Hunchback, a rare minion who is in the evil business for the money: he dreams of how much Dracula will pay him for the resurrection ritual and is later tempted to murder his bosses and steal their fortunes.  The main villains are standard readings of the roles, with Monti – reprising the role from Santo en el Tesoro de Dracula/El Vampiro y el Sexo (1969) – arrogant in full evening dress and Solares sometimes sporting a Paul Naschy-look furface; they swiftly accrue entourages, of red-shifted vampire women and hairy werewolves, though some regular gangsters are also mixed in to give the heroes someone to scuffle with en route to the big battle. The climax involves several characters forced to walk on a teetering plank over a pit of stakes, with a predictable fate for the main villains when Santo gets a hold on their shirtfronts.  For such a wild ride, it’s something of a plod – as if the promise of the title was enough to make up for the lack of real gutsy action or complex plotting.  Miguel M. Delgado directs without much interest, shooting everything with a TV-look brightness that lacks the atmospherics of the earlier, monochrome Santo adventures.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: