Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Leyendas macabras de la colonia(1974)

Do you like luchadors? What about the Spanish inquisition? Now let's throw in some Aztec necromancy, time travel, and musketeers. How does that move you? If your as confused and amazed by the idea as I was, you should probably take the time to find and watch Leyendas macabras de la colonia. It is possibly one of the most bizarre luche libre, scratch that, on of those most bizarre movies I have ever seen. And it was a hulluva good time, especially with a 40 oz. of Miller High Life.

It stars three of the post-santo bigwigs of mexican B cinema, Mil Mascara,Tinieblas el Gigante, and El Fantasma Blanco in all there mask-wearing-ass kicking glory. The movie starts with Tinieblas in an antique store. Yes I know, but just because he's a wrestler doesn't mean he doesn't have a taste for the finer things in life. In this case, it's a 400 year old painting. When questioning the shop owner about it, he is told about a curse being tied to said work of art. For some reason, Tinieblas is skeptical and pays the curse no mind. At this point, I'm thinking "what the fuck?". I own several luchador movies, and these guys are constantly battling zombies, alien midgits, and aztec mummies. You would think that having such a crazy life would make you weary of "cursed objects", but apparently it doesn't. Tinieblas cares more about having a conversation piece that will get him laid. What an ass.

On that note, let's fast forward to the post-match potential gangbang. Our masked heroes, with two floozies in tow. decide to have a victory-celebrating nightcap at the Tinieblas bachelor pad. The painting comes up in conversation. Mil Mascaras, the man of a Thousand Masks, comments about how ugly the painting is. This leads Tinieblas to give him the rundown on the curse story, and about how old and awesome the artwork is. Apparently, ghostly things happen on the midnight of the full moon. And as you would expect in a movie of this caliber, everybody thinks it's hogwash except for the floozies, who start freaking out. Mil Mascaras still thinks it's an ugly painting, even after hearing the ghost story. Awesome. Not only does he kicks ass for a living, the beefcake is also apparently some kinda fuckin' art critic. What a Juan-of-all-trades. My hero. Despite the warning, the party still goes on. When the clock strikes midnight, this party of masked swingers get what was coming to them. This is when the movie really starts to get good.

Instead of getting down and dirty like they planned, the party is mysteriously transported back to the early 1500's. From this point on, not only do they fuck up some some Inquistion soldiers, they also manage to battle aztec warriors, play witness to a couple of rapier duels, get their asses handed to them by a female zombie, and witness the potential genocidal plans of a mestiza witch. Sounds like fun, Oh it is.

I love luchador movies. Especially those from the 70's. Not only do you get to see larger-than-life entertainers play the part of superheroes. You also get to see some of the outlandish street clothes these uber-sexgods rocked during this time period. Mil Mascara was wearing leather leisure pants for fucksake. Fuck yes. Back in the 50's, Santo only ever wore his wrestling tights. Boring! 20 years later, luchadors have a swankier image to maintain. Tights are for the ring, the rest of the time it's turtle necks, leisure suits, and ascots. Yes, i did in fact say ascot. Nothing says manly like a fuckin' neckerchief. But it did go nicely with the mask. Because even though they only wear wrestling clothes to work, the mask stays on at all times. Gotta maintain an image ,ya know.

Another subject I'm a fan of when it comes to these movies are the fights scenes. There is always going to be a full 15 minute ring match at the start of the movie, and sometimes one towards the end. In this case it was both. But seriously, arena-style wrestling is impractical in a real melee situation. Everydoy knows choke hold and leg locks don't fly in the real world. But this isn't real life. This is a world where wrestlers are not only entertainers, they are superheroes. They are Protectors of the Common Man. The modern-day Hercules, if you will. And they wear ascots.

I have a bit of an obsession with luchador movies. I think it is a mixture of the utter ridiculousness mixed with the exotic nature of Mexican cinema. Earlier on, most of these movies were rip-offs of classic horror and sci-fi produced in the USA. But when you add the mask-wearing element to an already-covered subject matter, a new magic happens. And this is the magic that will forever leave me spellbound. Sure, i've seen the Dracula story told time after time, but throw in El Santo and it's a new chapter in the mythology. The same goes for Frankenstein's monster, martians, and mummies. I wouls go as far to say that any movie remake with a luchador thown in is going to make it 100 times more captivating and entertaining, especailly to me. I'm pretty easly to please most of the time, so don't hold it against me.

So throw on a mask and drink a 40. It's clobberin time.

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