Archive for the Lorena Velazquez Category

DOCTOR OF DOOM/1963/RENE CARDONA

Posted in Armando Silvestre, Lorena Velazquez, Mexican Films, Rene Cardona, Wrestlers and Boxers on May 30, 2011 by Bill Courtney
DOCTOR OF DOOM

1963/Director: Rene Cardona/Writer: Alfredo Salazar

Cast: Lorena Velazquez, Armando Silvestre, Elizabeth Campbell, Sonia Infante, Chucho Salinas, Chabela Romero

Also Known As: Rock ‘N Roll Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Ape, Sex Monster, I Tigris Tou Catch    

Doctor of Doom (Las Luchadoras vs el Medico Asesino/The Wrestling Women vs. the Murderous Doctor) was one of six lachaodra (wrestling women) films produced by Guillermo Calderon that were directed by Rene Cardona and written by Alfredo Salazar. The last two films, Las Luchadoras vs. el Robot Asesino and El Horripilante Bestia Humana (both from 1968) were loose remakes of Doctor of Doom. El Horripilante Bestia Humana is also known as Night of the Bloody Apes and was reviewed only a few posts ago here at the Cafe. Of the six films three would be translated into English by the legendary K. Gordon Murray, those being Doctor of Doom, Night of the Bloody Apes and the second of this post’s double feature Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy.

Lately I have managed to get my little hands on quite a few Mexican horror films and a small number of luchalibre (wrestling) films with Santos (or Samson as his name is translated by K. Gordon Murray and crew) and have to admit that for the most part these are all entertaining little films. I think about a 3rd of the films though are not subtitled or dubbed and that can be a hassle for me. While I can watch a film in another language and get some pleasure from it I really cannot review or the film or comment on it. At the most I could get some screen captures and promote the film that way but how can I comment on a story that I really do not understand except on a most basic level. I will say, as I have said before, that these films do not suffer from being dubbed into English unless you are a purist. I find the dubbing to be fun really and all the colloquial errors only add to the enjoyment.
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Like Night of the Bloody Apes, Doctor of Doom follows the demented misadventures of a mad doctor who feels the need to transplant the brains of apes into the body of human beings. Unlike NOTBA Doctor of Doom never really tries to explain why the doctor is doing this. He is trying to create a super race I believe but over all explanations are avoided. The identity of the doctor is kept secret for most of the film though he is supported by some secret cabal who want him to succeed in his experiments. The identity is not really hard to guess if you watch lots of these styles of films, you just focus on the non-lead character who seems to be the most unlikely person to be the mad scientist and he will be said culprit by the last stretch of the movie. Most prior experiments have all turned out poorly in that the subject has died. The doctor’s current human objects for receiving the ape brain have been women who die off on the operating table. It is not explained why the doctor chooses women when his one living test result, Gomar, was a male. Gomar is now kept in a cage and fed raw meat which seems to keep him happy. One recent victim, Alicia, is the sister of luchadora Gloria Venus (the stunning Lorena Velazquez). Alicia was a scientist herself but she dies on the table and the doctor decided to settle for brawn or brains and sets his sites on a strong luchadora for his next experiment. A group of thugs try to capture Gloria and her partner Golden Rubi (Elizabeth Campbell) while they pretend to be asleep but the gals whoop their tails. Velazquez and Campbell did most of their wrestling stunts but in the fight scenes out of the ring it is obvious that shorter, stockier less ravishing stunt doubles are used. The two gals get acquainted with cops Aramndo and the diminutive Chema (the four would team up again in Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy) played by Armando Silvestre and Chucho Salina respectively. In both DOD and WWvsTAM comic relief is supplied by the romantic attraction between Chema and the Amazon like Golden Rubi.

The mad doctor is the deceptively timid and squeamish Dr. Ruiz (Roberto Canedo) and he is assisted in his schemes by his evil assistant Boris (Jorge Mondragon) who, despite the name, is not European nor is he a hunchback or imbecile. He is just a thug who may or may not believe in what the doctor is doing and could care less so long as he is paid on time. There are quite a few scenes that unintentionally funny. One is when Armando and Chema get stuck in a room with a spiked wall closing in on them on one side and a ferocious Gomar clawing at them on the other. They have enough to call the girls on a Dick Tracy type wrist watch communicator with a homing device built into it. The girls need to drive around the city and track the signal as it gets weaker and stronger and all the while the wall is still closing in on them. They eventually find the place and break in with no problem and then have to have their stunt doubles get into a brawl with the hoods in the hideout while the wall is still closing in on and Gomar is still clawing away. Now to be fair tiny ass Chema as climbed up the wall and is bracing himself between the wall above Gomar’s cage and the wall of daggers and that seems to be enough to stop the wall from moving while the girls ride around town and fight the bad guys. 

They rescue the guys with little problem and before the fight is over Dr. Ruiz has a bottle of acid thrown in his face. Despite these set backs he manages to transplant Gomar’s brain into a luchadora and in the process creates the masked wrestling dynamo Vendetta. At this point Ruiz begins to wear a wrestling mask himself and match is set up between Vendetta and Gloria Venus. During the bout in which pretty Gloria begins to get the worse end of things Rubi twists the arm of one of Ruiz’s henchmen and learns what is up and she gets into the ring and Vendetta begins kicking her cute butt too. But soon Vendetta and Ruiz are on the run and climb a nearby water tower, followed by Armando who, not surprisingly, is soon having his finger’s stomped on at the top of the tower. Now say what you will about goofy little Chema when it comes down to it he makes Lee Harvey Oswald look like a boy scout. He grabs a rifle and when two clean shots kills Ruiz and Vendetta. The guys get the girls and the bad guys get snipered off. A genuine happy ending.

As I said Night of the Bloody Apes follows basically the same story line as does Las Luchadoras vs. el Robot Asesino (maybe translated as Wrestling Women vs the Mad Robot, the version I have is not subbed or dubbed) but DOD lacks the violence and nudity and rapes that made NOTBA the most infamous of the Calderon, Cardona, Salazar films. Of the two films I think Doctor of Doom is the more enjoyable experience. It is certainly campier and seems to be closer to the Santo type luchilibre films I have grown rather fond of lately.

Lorena Velazquez

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MEXICAN WRESTLING WOMEN vs. THE AZTEC MUMMY/1964/RENE CARDONA

Posted in Armando Silvestre, Lorena Velazquez, Mexican Films, Rene Cardona, Wrestlers and Boxers on May 21, 2011 by Bill Courtney
MEXICAN WRESTLING WOMEN vs. THE AZTEC MUMMY
AKA: Las Luchadoras contra la Momia

1964/Director: Rene Cardona/Writers: Guillermo Calderon, Alfredo Salazar

Cast: Lorena Velazquez, Armando Silvestre, Elizabeth Campbell, Maria Eugenia San Martain, Chucho Salinas, Ramon Bugarini, Victor Velazquez

This version of  Mexican Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy disk is part of a Something Weird video series DVDs that will feature the K. Gordon Murray English dubbed versions of many Mexican Wrestling films. Many will feature, or course, the more familiar names such as Santos (called Samson for some inexplicable reason in the Murray features) and Blue Demon (I am not completely sure if Murray dubbed any Blue Demon films and will check into that) but thankfully others will contain what may be the most enjoyable theme in this sadly over looked little genre: lucadoras, or vivacious Mexican wrestling women. Now I version I have may or may not be the Something Weird Video print but I do not think it is since I have read that the SWV version has some rockabilly music placed over top some of the wrestling scenes. This was done by rockabilly, wrestling and b-movie promoter Johnny Legend and so the title was updated to Rock and Roll Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy. This really makes little sense to me but who I am I to question Johnny Legend. The version I got is from Cinemageddon and seems to be the actual K. Gordon Murray version sans rockabilly insertions.

The film features  the four lead characters from Doctor of Doom, Gloria Venus (here called Loretta!) and Golden Rubi (Miss Mexico 1960 Lorena Velequez and American Amazon Elizabeth Campbell) are back as well as actors Armando Silvestre and Chucho Salinas as their suave and bumbling boyfriends respectively. While this is a pretty good movie and in some ways can be seen as a sequel to Doctor of Doom there a couple problems with it that, in my opinion, make it the lesser fare of the two films. One problem is the wrestling matches go on a little two long. These are wrestling movies and so there will be wrestling bouts that are usually handled in a very serious manner. But there just go on a little too long here sometimes. Could have either been trimmed or could have cut to some other scenes to break the monotony. But not a big issue. A bigger problem I had was that the genuinely scary Aztec mummy does not appear on screen until 70 minutes into the film and then does appear that much until the film’s ending. I have always felt the Mexican mummies were far creepier looking than the Hollywood ones and this one is a really freaky looking mummy that can even transform into animals like a bat or tarantula. This is really pretty disappointing and if you watch the film and see how scary this mummy is how and yet also how wasted it was I think you may have the same feeling.

Those complaints aside this Rene Cardona film is a watchable and enjoyable movie, as are most Mexican wrestling films. The story is about a group of archaeologists who have been dying off one by one and one of the last one’s seek the help of the two people most qualified to rescue him: Gloria Venus (I will not call her Loretta) and Golden Rubi, two wrestling champions who are, in the tradition of Santos, also crime fighters and righters of wrong. The archeologists are being targeted by the sinister Black Dragon gang because the leader, Prince Fujiyata, seeks a he believes they have that will lead him to a secret tomb and untold treasures. It so happens that the last surviving member of the team is Dr. Telles and not only does he have the codex but happens to the uncle of Armando (Armando Silvestre), and Armando luckily is Gloria Venus’s boyfriend. What is interesting about Prince Fujiyata is that he is supposed to be Japanese but sports a Fu Manchu style mustache and wears traditional Chinese costumes. Furthermore his two Judo chopping Japanese sisters are named Tzu and Lien which are both Chinese names.
READ MORE BELOW. SHARE IT IF YOU LIKE IT.There are plenty of little antics that takes place while Fujiyata zeros in on the location of the codex. He uses mind control powers to manipulate people, there are a few fight scenes with obvious stunt doubles standing in for Velasquez and the very tall Campbell. There is comic relief provided by the love relationship between Amazon Golden Rubi and the diminutive Chucho Gomez (Chucho Salinas) and of course there is an epic wrestling match between Venus, Rubi and the Japanese/Chinese. There is a well done flash back sequence to the origin of the mummy where we learn why the mummy, Tezozoc (Geraldo Zepeda) was entombed and forced to stand guard for eternity over the treasure chamber.

The final confrontation between the wrestlers and their boyfriends and the mummy is a little weak and I had hoped the mummy would have killed off a few people. That’s way you write characters into the script like assistants or security guards. Again the problem is that the mummy simply appears too late. There are loads of plot gaps but why in the world would you what these films if not for the mistakes and blunders. What is redeeming about some of these films in the end is the earnestness with which they are made. The heroes are larger than life and inspiring in a matinee hero fashion. The girls are sexy and the mummy is scary. Lots of fun if you love Mexican mummies. Am trying to get the rest of Rafael Portilloi’s Aztec Mummy trilogy after seeing this one. I have seen his entertaining Robot vs the Aztec Mummy and a review will be here someday.