Santo, El Enmascarado de Plata vs La Invasion de los Marcianos
(Santo, The Silver Mask Man vs The Martian's Invasion) is a Black and White Mexican movie from 1966, part of wrestler/actor El Santo
series of movies.
In the film, a group of Martians comes to Earth and demand that humanity give up on war -since they fear that a nuclear war will disrupt the solar system (?)- or they will be destroyed, but are initially disbelieved by the public (and the government hides the truth to avoid a panic.)
The aliens land near Mexico City and begin kidnapping people to take back to Mars as part of their research for the invasion. In particular, the Martian Leader becomes obsessed with capturing El Santo, who keeps defeating them. Eventually they try using human disguises as part of their operation, but still cannot catch Santo.
Eventually, Santo, with help from a scientist friend (and a teleportation belt stolen from one of the Martians) manages to find their spaceship. Conveniently, the Martians have run out of the special pills that allow them to breath Earth's atmosphere, and Santo's attack prevent them from taking off, so they all die from asphyxia. After releasing all the abductees, Santo uses an (also incredibly convenient) self-destruct mechanism to destroy the spaceship, to keep its technology from falling in the wrong hands.
While it might sound and look silly today, the story is played straight, and even has moments of scientific and moral speculation. Unfortunately its special effects were poor even for the time it was made (though average by the standards of Santo movies).
Tropes in Santo vs The Martian Invasion include:
- Affably Evil: The Martians. They argue with the humans that they should surrender since they are superior (not that it keeps them from resorting to violence) and even speak with the Spanish equivalent of "thous" and "thees".
- Alien Abduction: The abductees include a normal family, scientists (including Santo's ally, Professor Ordorica), a Catholic Priest, and a Science Fiction writer (?)
- All Men Are Perverts: The Martians count on using the appearance of their (transformed) females to lure in their male targets. For the most part, it works.
- All Part of the Show: The aliens broadcast their demands all over Earth, but are believed to be just a prank or TV show.
- Artistic License - Astronomy: a nuclear war might kill all life on Earth, but that wouldn't affect Mars in any way. Perhaps they meant they were afraid humans might attack them someday if they ever developed the means to travel to Mars, but it wasn't made clear.
- The Big Guy: Hercules, the strongest Martian. He seems to be unique among his people, as he's the only one strong nough to fight Santo.
- Badass Normal: For all their powers and technology, the aliens cannot beat one human wrestler.
- The Cape: Santo. He actually wears a cape too.
- Food Pills: The Martians feed their prisoners with them.
- Deus ex Machina: The movie's ending.
- Hollywood Evolution: The aliens claim to be evolutionary superior to humans, both physically and morally. But other than their powers (and a third eye, which they call their Astral Eye) they aren't really that different from humans.
- The movie mentions a theory that ancient Atlanteans may also have been evolved humans.
- Humans Are Bastards: What the Martians believe. It is pointed to them that they are Not So Different.
- Informed Attractiveness: Played with: the aliens consider humans hideous and despise having to take human form... despite looking almost human. (additionally, ALL the Martian actors were extremely handsome or attractive.)
- Mexico Is The Center Of The World: Of all the nations on Earth, the aliens choose Mexico to land in. This is because of their anti-nuclear stance, supposedly.
- Mind Control: Possessed by the female Martians, and a male one.
- The Professor: Professor Ordorica, a well-known nuclear physicist and Santo's ally. He even gets a public celebration in his honor! He also invents a device that helps Santo track the Martians.
- Psychic Powers: The aliens "astral eye" allows them to paralyze or disintegrate people.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: With a third eye on it.
- Space Clothes: Including capes, though oddly the (male) Martians went shirtless.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The Martians use teleportation belts, even in human form (this of course gives them away.)
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Martian can take temporary human forms using a special chamber in their ship. They lose their powers (except mind control) in this form however.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The Martians cannot breathe oxygen and must take special pills to survive on Earth.
- You Are Not Ready: The government fears that there will be chaos if the invasion is revealed as true. When it eventually is, there is fear but things are successfully kept under control.