Lucha libre is for people bored of the WWE's plodding realism. American wrestling is to lucha libre as American football is to real football: It has far bigger but wimpier men who need to stop every 30 seconds for a bit of a rest. North America split the superheroic fantasy into two wrestling federations: The U.S. got inhuman musculature and the ability to monologue mid-combat, while Mexico took the masks, capes and nonstop ass-kicking. A good lucha fight looks like two men who were swallowed by a giant invisible break-dancing washing machine are blaming each other to death. When you play a lucha DVD, the fighters go through more revolutions than the disc.
And I'm Cracked's official luchador.
Lucha movies feature battles against Spanish-speaking moon Nazis, Atlanteans and evil wrestlers, and that was all in one movie. One movie that wasn't as crazy as the one we're about to tackle. Lucha movies handle threats to the world with all the wonder of a child's imagination and a slightly smaller budget. And one of the craziest and cheapest movies was Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra Los Monstruos.
The title is that long because it's also the entire script.
You'll notice it's Santo y Blue Demon Contra LOS Monstruos. Not UNO Monstruo, or DOS Monstruos, but LOS Monstruos, and they're not kidding. This movie is nothing but an evil scientist trawling up new monsters for Santo to punch and Santo punching them. And neither side disappoints.
The greatest luchador (and therefore person) in history was El Santo, the silver-masked saint, who makes the Rock and John Cena look like one-hit wonders. He wrestled for four decades and kicked ass for all of them, and in accordance with lucha honor, he never took off his mask.
... ever ...
The only real thing in any of his 52 movies is hordes of screaming fans mobbing him. He has more footage of people deeply loving him than Ron Jeremy. In over 40 years of public appearances, Santo only appeared without his mask once, a year after retirement, to say goodbye to his fans a week before dying of a heart attack while performing in mask. They buried him in that mask so that St. Peter would know who was coming and get the hell out of the way.
In lucha, evil scientists aren't so much characters as vital production equipment, like cameramen and mask polish. About half of all non-wrestlers are scientists. The only reason they don't have Mexican moon colonies, the only place where luchadores could leap even higher, is the law of conservation of lucha science, which states that every good scientist must be canceled out by an evil one.
They use burning torches in the middle of the day because tradition, and because filming at night is hard.
A torch-wielding hunchbacked midget steals an evil scientist's corpse and reanimates it with electricity. That's how much ass lucha kicks -- they've stolen and inverted-body-slammed the plot of Frankenstein, and the main villain isn't even alive yet. He seems to have set up shop in a '60s Batcave built inside an even '60s-er Star Trek cave to save money. That may explain why there's a giant-brained alien stumbling around, because the movie never does.
If you saw an open-skulled Easter Island head stumbling around, you'd think it was important. In lucha libre, it's Martes.
The evil scientist spends the first half of the movie assembling a team of monsters and the second half bouncing them back and forth against Santo like the world's most extreme Ping-Pong balls.