[Podcast] Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70) – Episode 19 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“The day I died, I swore I would get my revenge!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, Jeff Mohr, and special guest Mike Imboden – as we wrestle with Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters in honor of El Santo’s 100th birthday on September 23, 2017.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 19 – Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70)

Directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares and written by  Rafael García Travesi, Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters tells an age-old tale. An evil doctor rises from the dead and directs the efforts of as many monsters as he can resurrect to combat the heroes. More specifically, Dr. Bruno Halder (Carlos Ancira), who hates Santo, his brother Otto Halder (Ivan J. Rado), and his niece Gloria (Hedi Blue), is resurrected from the dead by his diminutive hunchback assistant Waldo (Santanón). With the aid of his zombie henchmen in green greasepaint, Bruno gathers together some of the world’s most famous monsters and plans to murder his foes . . . and worse. He even makes a duplicate Blue Demon do his evil bidding. Thankfully Santo is here to protect his fiancee, her father, and the world!

Exactly what does the, “Against the Monsters” of Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters refer to? The complete cast of resurrected monstruos includes El Vampiro, La Mujer Vampiro, Franquestein, La Momia, El Hombre Lobo, El Ciclope, and the creature Joseph Perry refers to as “Tiki-brain Guy.” That’s surely enough to take care of Santo and Blue Demon, right? Not on your life! Not if you know the full legend of El Santo!

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements:

  • “… I got to actually touch our fellow co-ghost.” … “Let me show you on the doll where exactly it happened.”
  • “It’s cheesy. It’s just a big piece of chunky, stinky Limburger cheese, but I love it.”
  • “This thing is a thing of beauty. Just shut up and take my money.”
  • “Even during the makeout sessions, everybody leaves the masks on!”
  • “I’m wearing my Luchador mask right now, actually.”
  • “Let me cheer things up with my favorite monster who I call the Tiki-brain Guy.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. In timing with Halloween, our next episode in our very flexible schedule, in honor of Halloween, is Dracula (1931), hosted by Jeff.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an “Old Boy.” Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine and co-hosted the SQ Bloodlines podcast. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is co-host of the Decades of Horror The Classic Era and 1970s podcasts.
  • Hey folks.

    I’ve been looking forward to this one: I can’t say I’m a Rabid Cujo Santo Fan, but I have seen a few (maybe six in total, counting this one) Lucha Libre films by now and have been quite happy with each and every one.

    I approached the very first film with much fear and trembling. It was late at night on network TV, and my choices were down to a completely unknown movie about some masked wrestler in a wax museum, and an infomercial–I think the one where you cook or scramble an egg in the shell–something like that. Anyway, it was a close call, ’cause I just could NOT bring myself to imagine the wrestler holding my interest. (Like the egg would have, right?) At any rate, I went with Santo in the Wax Museum (1963) and it ROCKED.

    And while this newest film was quite a bit of fun for me as well, I’d have to say it’s my least favorite to date. Might be because the others I’ve seen all predated this one, and their production values were maybe a little higher. I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, as far as the production values go.

    I did think that Santo’s character carried a little more… mythic weight, I guess is what I’d call it… in his earlier films I’ve watched. In those films, he seemed a little more “force of nature-y” and less “regular joe-like,” if those scientific terms work for you. He DEFINITELY wouldn’t have had time or inclination for a fiance, let alone be cheating on her in the woods with an underwear-clad vampire lady.

    Still plenty to love in this film, even if Santo himself seemed to have taken a step down on the Ladder of Archetypes. (That’s a thing, right?) I empathized with Jeff’s struggles to get past some of the ridiculousness and impossibilities presented in the film–the earlier films I’ve seen all had them as well, but for some reason they didn’t faze me nearly as much as they did here. But once I DID move past them I landed firmly in the Chad/Erin/Joseph Camp of Gooey Cheesy Film Fun-ness.

    I was never particularly a wrestling fan, even as a kid–that was more my dad’s and grandpa’s domain and most of the enjoyment I experienced was by osmosis–but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying this and the other Lucha Libres I’ve seen one bit. I agree with Joseph, these appeal to fans and non-fans alike. Only thing I’d say is that the actual ACTUAL wrestling matches slowed things down for me a bit, while the in-story tussles had me hanging on every flip and jab.

    And I’m afraid La Nave de los Monstruos (1960) is now on my list (shakes fist at sky). Sounds like too much fun to pass up and I found a CC copy on YouTube that I set aside for later….

    At any rate, I’ve listed out a few of the “notice-ments” I had as I (mostly) enjoyed Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters:

    – Santo and BD hanging around the house in masks and polo shirts–PRICELESS.
    – Waldo is a total show stealer.
    – Why isn’t villain Halder green like the henchmen? He was reanimated the same way they were, right? Fresher corpse, maybe?
    – Why did Halder keep Real BD alive after duplicating him? WAY easier to just kill him off.
    – WTF… Fake BD is tasked with DESTROYING Santo, so he gently rolls him over a small drop off and down a gentle decline? THAT ought to do it! (Yeah, I saw the real cliff a moment later, but that first bit I was like “Seriously?”)
    – Pretty sure we only saw Fake BD crawl from that burning car wreck, but all the others are there and ready for business next scene. Hmmmm….
    – HOLY COW did you see that huge cable coming up off of El Vimpiro’s back in his first leaping/flying scene?
    – El Vimpiro’s first kill when he pulls back with a mouth full of his victim’s hair. Heh.
    – Cyclops was DEFINITELY a CFTBL stand-in. Had to be, with the swimming scene and all the swamp references, right?
    – I greatly enjoyed the Different Head used for The Cyclops’ moving jaw close ups.
    – Halder in the wrestling audience wearing dark glasses as his disguise. That was classic.
    – I felt bad for those poor rats who kept getting dumped several feet onto the floor whenever an actor opened a coffin’s lid.
    – Yeah, El Vampiro gets a tux while the Vampire Women have to run around in their underwear. That and the gratuitous side-boob displayed on the female werewolf victim let me know the Male Gaze was well in place here.
    – The treats off the electronic gun? Did I miss something?
    – Monsters are after us and we go to a nightclub WHY?–made (a little) more sense after realizing Santo instructed everyone to stick to crowded places at night, as the monsters can only attack at night.
    – So I thought the dancing guy had some talent. One of those numbers reminded me of Gene Kelley in the finale of An American in Paris. Not that he was anything close to Gene Kelley amazing, but the dance scene itself looked like it might’ve been a rip-off.
    – I’d love to have heard whatever props department conversation led to the decision to put three tiny little blinking lights behind a curtain at the back of a little room and then call it a nightclub.

    There you have it. Well done again on the podcast itself. I know I’m a broken record on that count, but I never seem to come across any reason to criticize.

    Cheers, All.

    • Thanks once again for your incredible feedback, Salty! Man, you made some great catches that I certainly didn’t see, such as El Vampiro’s cable, and you are right about those poor rats. You’ll be either happy or “happy” to know that I have chosen “Ship of Monsters” for my next film, sight unseen! Fingers crossed that it is a blast! We’ll be watching the same YouTube version that you have on hand. We appreciate your being a broken record with you kind words and compliments, because we love that tune! We’ll do our best to keep avoiding giving you reasons to criticize!

    • Jeff Mohr

      I’m slowly coming around, Salty. lol!