||Everyone knows professional wrestling is the undisputed King Of Sports. No sissy off seasons, protective gear, time-outs, stoppage over spilt blood, penalties, scholarships, strikes, training camp holdouts or any of the rest of the baggage associated with the pampered jocks sulking their way through other athletic endeavors.
It has been an honor and privilege for your narrator to be the stretchin' profession's top magazine columnist for the past 20-plus years, associating with the finest, most forthright humanitarians one could ever hope to meet. Tragically, the bonebending biz has not fared well on the silver screen, at least as it relates to Hollywood productions.
But send out a massive mucho gracias to our neighbors to the south, for Mexico has been providing the world with wildly entertaining mat-related movies for decades. In fact, grap pix made luchadore Santo--who was actually buried wearing his ring mask!-a more popular cultural figure than James Bond and Elvis...combined.
Mexipics can be lots of fun; but imagine how much cooler it would be if, rather than Santo or Blue Demon, the story revolved around a curvaceous female wrestler. And she got naked! And, wait, they threw in a monster!! And and and he encountered even more nude senoritas!!!
Wrestling, monsters and bare babes? That's the holy trinity of all things important in life. Surely, if a movie combined all three, you'd gladly pay $1000 for a copy. But what if oy were to till yeeoo yeeoo'd oolso get real loyve hott suhgery footage--at no extra chojj!
Well, DVD devotees, you'll find all of the above in Night Of The Bloody Apes (1968), inarguably the best stripping-female-wrestler-and-monster-and-naked-gals-and-gratuitous- surgery-footage movie ever committed to celluloid. And it will cost you less han one percent of that thousand bucks. (Leaving you plenty with which to Paypal my finder's fee.)
Director Ray Cardona Junior's greatest contribution to international understanding contains the proverbial kitchen sink of worthy ingredients. Damn good in-ring action (especially considering its vintage); a deranged doc who will do anything--ethical or otherwise--to cure his son's ailment; a gorilla-faced goon threatening to toss a brat off a roof; the kind of cops who don't mind pistol-whipping a palooka; dialogue with hilarious syntax due to the translators' unfamiliarity with the English language: it's all in Bloody Apes, in addition to the above-noted highlights.
And did I mention there are shapely girls WITH NO CLOTHES ON?
Though no film ever created could possibly contain any better elements, I strongly urge those with a taste for more than traditional Anglo fare to get acquainted with South Of The Border cinema. There are some incredibly imaginative plot twists and premises you just won't find in films produced elsewhere.
Here's the wisest way to familiarize yourself with the genre: instead of dropping dollars on the increasingly annoying Jack Black and his Nacho Libre, subscribe to the Mexican Film Bulletin (4812B College Ave. #12, College Park MD 20740)
Publisher and aces hombre David Wilt's English-language newsletter does a tremendous job of putting the reader in the theater, minus the gooey stuff sticking to your soles. One big plus is that, unlike many other DIY publications, the MFB isn't geared strictly towards those already well-versed in the subject. You don't have to know a ranchero from ranch dressing to dive right in and enjoy Dave's discourses.
Each review contains a detailed synopsis, and in a phrase, "This stuff gets cray-zay!" I've been reading the MFB for years now, and there has yet to be an issue where I didn't come away thinking "Wow, I'd LOVE to see that movie...and several of the others"--and bear in mind, I'm hardly a wide-eyed rookie when it comes to digging up--and digging--the offbeat.
As they say north of the border, check it oat.
There's a boatload of junkfilm reviews--most illustrated in the crazy new COLOR medium!--at ManorOnMovies.com. You are invited.