Friday, 26 June 2009

Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964)

How can you possibly resist a movie with a title like Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (Las Luchadoras contra la momia)? Especially when it’s a sort of sequel to Rock’n’Roll Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Ape (otherwise known as Doctor Doom). And this 1964 Mexican horror flick is as much fun as the title would suggest.

This is one of a long series of Aztec mummy movies. This time a Japanese diabolical criminal mastermind known as the Black Dragon is trying to locate the fabled Aztec treasure. And he has his two sisters to assist him - both deadly martial arts experts. It’s up to those gutsy women wrestlers again, to prevent the Black Dragon from unlocking the occult powers to which the treasure holds the key. Will Gloria Venus and the Golden Ruby (the two chief lady wrestlers in the story) be up to the challenge?

It will come as no surprise that this is a very cheesy movie indeed. But it’s good cheesy. Fun cheesy. The Black Dragon is a suitably sinister villain. It has lots of action and plot complications. There’s some fun Aztec mummy folklore. And it has an epic fight scene between Venus and Ruby and the Black Dragon’s sisters! 

The actual Aztec mummy provides the excuse for much enjoyable silliness. He seems to be a part-time vampire as well, since he turns himself into a bat on several occasions. This is explained by the fact that he is really an Aztec sorcerer with shape-shifting powers, buried alive after an illicit tryst with a virgin who had been destined for the great honour of being sacrificed to one of the gods. 

There’s the usual comic relief character, but he’s not overly annoying. And there’s the usual slightly dotty scientist, an archaeologist and expert on Aztec legends and the occult. But it’s Lorena Velázquez as Gloria Venus and Elizabeth Campbell as Golden Ruby to whom the movie belongs. I’m not going to claim that they’re great actresses but their performances are energetic and enthusiastic and that’s exactly what is required.  

You can find this movie, along with five other wonderful Mexican cult films, in the Crypt of Terror: Horror from South of the Border boxed set from BCI. Only the English dubbed versions are included unfortunately, but the set is cheap and the films are thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended.

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