SANTO EN LA VENGANZA DE LA MOMIA [Santo in the Vengeance of the Mummy]

(Cinematográfica Calderón--Santo, 1970)

Prod: Guillermo Calderón Stell; Dir: René Cardona Sr.; Scr: Alfredo Salazar; Photo: Raúl Martínez Solares; Music Dir: Gustavo C. Carrión; Prod Mgr: Carlos Suárez; Prod Chief: Jorge Cardeña; Asst Dir: Américo Fernández; Film Ed: Jorge Bustos; Art Dir: Javier Torres Torija; Decor: Carlos Arjona; Makeup: Margarita Ortega; Sound Supv: James L. Fields; Recordist: Eduardo Arjona; Re-rec: Galdino Samperio; Union: STPC

Mexico City release: December 1971; 4 week run; Authorization:A

CAST: Santo, Eric del Castillo (Sergio Morales), Mary Montiel (Susana), César del Campo (Prof. Romero), Carlos Ancira (Prof. Jiménez), Tío Plácido (Plácido), Alma Rojo (Rosa Bermúdez), Carlos Suárez (chief guide), Amada Zumaya (old Indian), René Barrera (porter), Jorgito [aka Jorge Guzmán, later El Hijo del Santo] (Agapito); WRESTLERS: Rebelde Rojo, Gori Casanova, Goliat Ayala; Enrique Llanes (announcer)

NOTES: One of the few Mexican fantasy films with a "cheat" ending. As a point of interest, in Una Rata en la Oscuridad Alfredo Salazar again tried to explain away the supernatural, but in that film he was only partially successful. However, Santo en la Venganza de la Momia is a 100% "fake monster" film--which is too bad, since the mummy makeup is quite good, better than the various "Guanajato mummy" films that followed, and even more gruesome than the "Aztec Mummy" films of the late '50s.

After a tag-team match in Mexico City (Santo is teamed with Rebelde Rojo), Santo joins an expedition led by Professor Romero that intends to explore ancient ruins. Also along for the trip are engineer Sergio Morales, absent-minded Professor Jiménez (who looks like a fugitive from Fiddler on the Roof), Susana, and Rosa. The group picks up porters and an old Indian guide in a native village. The Indian brings along his grandson, Jorgito.

They open the tomb and find the mummified remains of Nonoc, an Indian warrior who was entombed alive for daring to love a young woman designated as a sacrificial virgin (this is explained in a rather long and fairly elaborate flashback sequence, narrated in voiceover by the old Indian). A scroll found in the tomb places a curse on those who defile the warrior's resting place, but Santo isn't impressed: "In all the history of humanity, no mummy has ever returned to life."

Well, it looks like Santo is wrong this time, since the mummy starts walking around and killing people, starting with the old Indian. The porters rebel and run away; the foreman gets on a horse and tries to ride for help, but the mummy shoots him with a bow and arrow. The mummy also burns down most of the camp. Professors Romero and Jiménez both bite the dust, followed by Rosa. Pretty soon, only Santo, Sergio, Susana, and Jorgito are left. Santo finally comes to grips with the mummy, who is (disappointingly) revealed as the greedy Sergio, who wanted all of the riches of the tomb for himself. As the film ends, Susana and Jorgito watch Santo in a wrestling match back in the big city.

One interesting aspect of this film is the presence of Santo's real-life son in the role of young "Agapito" (he's billed as "Jorgito," i.e., Jorge Guzmán). This adds some extra-filmic interest to the scenes in which Santo befriends the boy.

Santo has a half-way romance in the movie with Mary (aka María) Montiel, who had previously had a small role in Atacan las brujas, as did--coincidentally--Alma Rojo (aka Alma Pichardi). Carlos Ancira had been the chief mad scientist in Santo y Blue Demon contra los monstruos.

The flashback scenes to pre-Conquest times consist of some new footage and some stock footage from an unidentified movie. I believe actor Marco Antonio Arzate plays Nonoc in his pre-mummy state. The mummy, oddly enough, kills most of his victims with a bow-and-arrow (which might be a clever advance tip-off that he's not REALLY a supernatural creature). The final fight between Santo and Nonoc is brief but rather good (earlier, Santo fought a bunch of rebellious porters, to get some more physical action into the picture).

As most people should know by now, this title was released on DVD by Rise Above Entertainment in 2003.

Not as boring as Santo vs. Cazadores de Cabezas, the trick ending is still a letdown.


Updated 16 April 2004. dwilt@umd.edu