Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography


Written by Robert Michael "Bobb" Cotter
Published by McFarland Publishing

One genre of horror with which I am least familiar is the Mexican masked wrestler/monster mash film. The Mexican flicks I know and enjoy from time to time include Germ├ín Robles in The Vampire ,The Vampire’s Coffin and The Brainiac, or Abel Salazar in Man and the Monster. Otherwise, I have only a cursory pop culture awareness of the history of lucha libra and some of its biggest stars like El Santo and Blue Demon. The only masked wrestling flick I own is an old baten up VHS copy of Wrestling Women Versus the Aztec Mummy.

So, when I saw Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter’s book The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography, I thought it would be fun to dive right into this monsterously mad subject and familiarize myself with the imaginative, crazy and down right bizarre wrestler/monster movies.

Boy, what a treat! Here’s the official description from the publisher:

Any on-screen schmuck can take down a wolfman with a silver bullet. It takes a certain kind of hero to hoist that wolfman overhead into an airplane spin, follow with a body slam, drop an atomic elbow across his mangy neck, leg-lock him until he howls, and pin his furry back to the mat for a three-count. It takes a Mexican masked wrestler. Add a few half-naked vampire women, Aztec mummies, mad scientists, evil midgets from space, and a goateed Frankenstein monster, and you have just some of the elements of Mexican masked wrestler and monster movies, certainly among the most bizarre, surreal and imaginative films ever produced.

Sweet! Now, if that doesn’t whet your appetite to devour this book from cover to cover, I don’t know what will!

As with his other books, Cotter includes full fimographies, detailed plot information and analysis, as well as a lot of groovy photos. This terrific book is divided into various chapters which traces the very beginnings of the genre through their heyday up to the present. The author includes sections on the Mexican versions (frankly, rip-offs) of the Universal monster films, discusses stars like El Santo, Blue Demon, and Mil Mascaras, and the wreslting women.

So, if you’re like me and not at all familiar with these fun flicks, definitely check out this book. Once you do, I bet you’ll catch the lucha libre bug like me and want to hunt down each and every weird, wonderful film in the genre!

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