SANTO EL ENMASCARADO DE PLATA VS. "LA INVASION DE LOS MARCIANOS"

[Santo the Silver-Masked Man vs. The Martian Invasion] (Producciones Cinematográficas, 1966)

Prod: Alfonso Rosas Priego; Director: Alfredo B. Crevenna; Scr: Rafael García Travesí ; Photo: Jorge Stahl Jr.; Music: Antonio Díaz Conde; Prod Mgr: Mario García Camberos; Prod Chief: José Alcalde Gámiz; Sub-Dir: Felipe Palomino; Film Ed: Alfredo Rosas Priego; Asst Ed: Ramón Aupart; Art Dir: Fco. Marco. Ch.; Decor: Alberto López; Makeup: Margarita Ortega; Dialog Rec: Jesús González Ganci; Sound Ed: Abraham Cruz; Re-rec: Roberto Camacho; Union: STPC

CAST: Santo (himself), Wolf Ruvinskis (Argos), El Nazi (Martian), Ham Lee (Morfeo), Beni Galán (Martian), Eduardo Bonada (Martian), Antonio Montoro, Maura Monti (Afrodita), Belinda Corell (Diana), Eva Norvind (Selene), Gilda Mirós (Artemisa), Manuel Zozaya (Prof. Odorica), Consuelo Frank (kidnaped mother 1), Alicia Montoya (kidnaped mother 2), Roy Fletcher (kidnaped father 2), Mario Sevilla (kidnaped father 1), Nicolás Rodríguez (Padre Lorenzo Fuentes), N. León "Frankestein" (wrestler), Rosa Furman (wife at party), Sergio Ramos (Odorica's colleague), Aaron Hernán (Fernández), Ramón Menéndez (nightclub mgr.), Demetrio González (singer on TV), José Loza (science fiction writer); CHILDREN: Pepito Velázquez, Juan Antonio Edward, Yolanda Guzmán

Mexico City release: July 1967; 3 week run; Authorization: A

Spanish release data: Authorization date: 20 June 1967; Total spectators: 191,143.

NOTES: Entertaining Santo film that some might see as "camp" (well, there are some goofy scenes, such as the lame musical number performed by the Martian women wearing showgirl outfits). Martians, led by Argos, arrive on Earth determined to enforce nuclear disarmament (they must have been following up on Klaatu's aborted mission from the 1950s). Their first appearance on TV is not taken seriously (no!), so they decide to scare the earthlings into compliance. This takes the form of landing in Mexico, disintegrating a fair number of innocent bystanders (including numerous women and children; this is done by simply having them fade away, which is much less violent than it could have been, and thus probably was not as upsetting for juvenile audiences). They also kidnap a handful of people to take back to Mars. The only flaws in their plan are the resistance of Santo and his friend, scientist Ordorica. At the end, Santo steals a transporter belt from a Martian and follows them back to their ship. He opens the hatch, allowing "poisonous" Earth air into the vessel (must have been one of Mexico City's bad pollution days), frees the hostages, and blows up the Martians.

There are a number of entertaining aspects to this picture, starting with the Martians themselves. Although at times they transform into normal-appearing Earthlings (remarking about how ugly this seems to Martian tastes), as Martians they apparently have big heads (they wear sort of oversized football helmets with a third "eye" in the forehead that disintegrates people; I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a real eye or just a weapon), and long blonde hair (perhaps screenwriter Rafael García Travesí had been reading some George Adamski). Since all of the male Martians are played by muscular wrestlers, and all of the female Martians are well-endowed women wearing skin-tight outfits, Mars is apparently some sort of giant health club planet.

When the Martians "transport" themselves to various locations on Earth, their arrival is heralded by flashing lights, a train whistle, and a sort of "ka-boing!" So much for sneaking up on anybody. They have to take pills in order to protect themselves against Earth air (although their hostages breathe Martian air in the spaceship without any difficulty), and naturally the pills lose their effectiveness at the MOST inopportune moments.

Trivia note: Santo loses his mask TWICE in this film. Once it is removed during a fight (however, he was definitely prepared for this eventuality, and is wearing another mask underneath!), and the other time it is taken off so Maura Monti and the other Martian babes can kiss him (this is only a hypnotically-induced fantasy, however). As in other films where similar things occur, Santo's face is never seen (he's shown from behind, and it probably isn't even Santo then).

Quite entertaining in its own way.


Posted by D.Wilt (dw45@umail.umd.edu) on 4 Apr 97, updated 19 January 2000.