For some reason, some wacko named Arturo Martínez decided to make a “historically based” luchador film. Now, I understand that it’s just a wrestling flick, but the historical inaccuracies turn out to be the most entertaining part of the movie.
We open with a Luchador named Tinieblas (Darkness) in an antique store. As is customary in Luchador movies, Tinieblas wears his mask even though he is not in the ring. The design of the mask is not the usual cowl with holes for the eyes, mouth, and nose. It’s a completely yellow affair with no discernible features, other than a strangely shaped black blotch in the middle. It makes him look like a dandelion with a black moth sitting on its face.
He buys a pretty cool-looking painting featuring a half-skeleton, half-foxy lady reclining on a bed. The shop owner warns him that the painting is cursed, but Tinieblas doesn’t seem to realize he is in a cheap genre movie, and so ignores the warning and buys the painting.
Then he meets up with his buddies El Fantasma Blanco (The White Ghost) and Mil Máscaras (Thousand Masks) for a wrestling match against some pudgy guys. You can’t complain about painfully long wrestling matches in these luchador films, they are obligatory.
After the match, the boys are ready to get busy with some groupies back at Tinieblas’ groovy pad. Of course, all the wrestlers still keep their masks on even though they are partying with the girls. I’m hoping they make an exception for intimate moments, ‘cause that could get kinda gross.
Anyway, midnight strikes and the painting starts smoking. Then, all of a sudden, everyone at the party is transported to 1520. Oops!
Once there, they find a Spanish colony. The Spanish didn’t actually reach Mexico until 1521. Ah, but it gets better. While our Luchadors wander around this mysterious place, they run into Inquisitors! No one expects the Inquisition, especially since it had ended a century earlier, in the 1400s. One scene features a Velasquez painting of King Philip, who hadn’t been born yet, but I guess that’s the painting they had in the prop shop. I know it’s silly to hold a luchador film up for careful inspection, but it was just one crazy anarchism after another. The luchadors had to fight Mayans. You know, the ones from the civilization that collapsed 6 centuries before our heroes arrived.
Stranger than all the inaccuracies is how the conflicting parties are arranged. You have the Spanish invaders with their Inquisition on one side, and you have the indigenous people ruled over by an evil witch on the other side. The witch looks distinctly European in her green velvet ball gown, but apparently, she is some kind of indigenous bruja. She hates the Spaniards because they killed her mom, but she has preserved her mother’s body by turning her into a bloodthirsty zombie.
Given the choice between the bloodthirsty zombies or the bloodthirsty Inquisitors, the luchadors decide to side with the Inquisitors. Talk about the lesser of the two evils.
Well, after watching everyone run around pretending to pretend to wrestle, they smash the painting over the witch's head, and in a “deus ex painting”, they all return to 1974 where they belong.
I’m not sure if I would watch another of Martínez’s films, but I sure would love to own some of his movie posters. Check it out!
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