Santo Contra la Hija de Frankestein
(Santo vs. Frankenstein’s Daughter)
Director: Miguel M. Delgado
Screenwriter: Fernando Osés
Cast: Santo, Gina Romand, Anel, Roberto Cañedo, Carlos Agostí, Sonia Fuentes, Carlos Suárez, Gerardo Zepeda, Lucy Gallardo
Running Time: 97 minutes
The 34th film of Santo’s illustrious film career offers a lot of fresh takes on often (and I do mean often) used tropes of the Santo franchise. Santo Contra la Hija de Frankestein (Santo vs. Frankenstein’s Daughter) features an “evil mad scientist” that is a woman as opposed to “Mirror Universe” Fraiser Crane. There are not one, but two monsters to fight. (Both played by Gerardo Zepeda.) The “State Farm Insurance uniform” (red shirt and tan khakis) wearing henchmen aren’t mindless drones or zombies.
Like any self-respecting Frankenstein movie, the film opens with grave robbers exhuming a body to be used to construct an animated monster by Dr. Freda Frankenstein, daughter of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. You see, she’s still around after these one hundred plus years thanks to a youth serum that she has concocted. But after a century of use, the serum has become less effective and she needs some “new blood” to rejuvenate the formula. That’s where Santo comes in.
Santo, who first appears in this film during a world middleweight championship semi-final match with the red-masked El Toro of Argentina, apparently has special blood that Freda Frankenstein needs to improve her serum and keep the effects of her advanced age at bay. In order to get to Santo, she sends her henchmen out to kidnap Santo’s girlfriend, Norma—and they do. Santo and Norma’s sister, Elsa set out to rescue his love. Santo is of course captured, and he ends up tussling with henchmen, a “man-gorilla hybrid” beast-man (Truxon), and Freda Frankenstein’s latest creation, the reanimated accumulation of seven corpses, Ursus (a pretty decent take on the classic Frankenstein’s monster).
There is a lot of being captured then escaping from Freda’s underground lair, as well as a lot of being recaptured and escaping yet again from said underground lair. This enables Santo to get plenty of opportunities to go mono a mono with Freda’s monsters, as well as taking on groups of her henchmen. And if that wasn’t enough luchador action, Santo does manage to alleviate the daughter of Frankenstein problem in time to make it to wrestle the Japanese opponent Yamaguchi for the championship belt.
Being the 34th film of the Santo franchise, the title character is well established as the suave and never to be underestimated masked superhero. He’s quick to assure the damsels in distress that he’s got everything under control and villainous vamps that he will be victorious. Gina Romand chews the scenery in a manner that only enhances her portrayal of the mad scientist bent on immortality. And, even the henchmen come off as more than one-dimensional fodder to just be beaten by the Lucha Libre skills of Santo. Santo Contra la Hija de Frankestein (Santo vs. Frankenstein’s Daughter) gets four out of five Máscaras de Oro (Gold Masks).
Santo Contra la Hija de Frankestein (Santo vs. Frankenstein’s Daughter) has yet to be reviewed on the Luchador Gringo & el Mayo Lucha Libre Cinema Podcast but will be updated with a link here when it is. In the meantime, you can watch the film in its entirety with English subtitles on the Luchador Gringo YouTube channel.