In this film, the heroic Masked Luchador El Santo
has invented a working time machine. For some reason, Mexico's scientific community scoffs at the notion of a cardboard time machine invented by a professional wrestler, so Santo determines to prove them wrong.
With the help of Professor Sepulveda, his beautiful daughter Luisa, and cowardly comic-relief sidekick Perico, Santo gets his girlfriend to wear a sexy silver space suit, then sends her back in time to 19th century Mexico, where she inhabits the body of another young lady (though played by the same actress), the daughter of one Professor Soler.
Unfortunately, it turns out that Professor Soler's estate is being visited by the mysterious European Count Alucard, and a sort of transplanted, truncated version of Dracula (1931)
ensues, with Luisa in the role of Mina. Professor Soler and Professor Van Roth defeat Dracula, putting a stake in his heart. Unfortunately, in a departure from the traditional story of Dracula
, Luisa has already been turned into a full-fledged vampire herself by this point. To save her from a staking, Santo pulls her back to the 20th century, alive and well and not a vampire.
But the adventure isn't over, because in the modern era we have criminals searching for Dracula's lost treasure, wherein they get the brilliant idea of reviving Dracula himself, who quickly starts amassing a small army of beautiful Mexican vampire babes, and there's a wrestling match between Santo and the lead criminal's luchador son to win the last clue for the location of Dracula's treasure, and Dracula still has power over Luisa due to her time travel journey, and...
...and in other words, just another typical day
in the life of El Santo
This film is also notable for having an alternate "adult" version, El Vampiro y El Sexo
("The Vampire and the Sex"). Intended for release in more liberal overseas markets, it apparently had a limited release (newspaper ads exist for showings in New York-area Spanish language theaters), then was widely believed to be lost, with only production stills of nude lady vampires providing evidence of its existence.This version of the film was finally discovered by the producer's grand-niece and publicly screened in Guadalajara in July 2011.
This film provides examples of:
- Alucard: Dracula uses this name in 19th century Mexico.
- Bowdlerization: In El Vampiro y El Sexo, Dracula's lady vampires have a scene where they're completely nude. Obviously, the filmmakers knew they couldn't do that in the all-ages Mexican version, but it's amusing how far they go in the opposite direction. The vampire brides wear completely shapeless black gowns that give no hint whatsoever of the ladies' shapely bodies underneath. Even the costumes worn by the chaste heroine Luisa are more revealing (and they're quite modest.)
- Bumbling Sidekick: Perico. He's actually (slightly) braver and more competent than the usual example, able to more or less hold his own in a fight with criminal thugs.
- Captain Ersatz: Professor Van Roth is pretty much Van Helsing from Dracula with a slightly modified name.
- Classical Movie Vampire: Dracula hews pretty close to the Lugosi model.
- Cool Gate: Santo's time machine is basically a cheaper-looking version of TV's The Time Tunnel.
- Dramatic Unmask: The Black Hood turns out to be one of the "mainstream" scientists who disses Santo's time machine.
- Gender-Restricted Ability: For some reason, young women are better suited to survive Santo's experimental time travel process than men (indeed, even better than such a remarkable paragon of manhood as the great Santo himself!)
- Genius Bruiser: Often true of El Santo, but never moreso than in this movie, possibly the only recorded instance of a professional wrestler inventing a working time machine.
- In the Hood: The mysterious masked criminal called "The Black Hood" dresses appropriately for his name.
- Latex Space Suit: A shiny silver version is what Luisa wears to go back in time.
- Mental Picture Projector: Apparently, the technology which enables Santo and his friends to monitor Luisa's journey back in time. Conveniently, it displays pictures and camera angles, and even scenes where Luisa is not physically present — almost as if the characters were watching a film of Luisa's adventure!
- Mental Time Travel: Santo's time travel process is this... more or less. Many details are a bit muddled, to say the least, but the gist of it is that Luisa inhabits the body of another young woman living in the 19th century.
- Money Fetish: He doesn't seem to be wealthy or greedy, but Perico's outlandish twenty-years-before-its-time dollar sign piece of bling◊ is otherwise pretty inexplicable.
- Only One Me Allowed Right Now: Possibly a rule followed in this film, though the matter is never actually addressed directly. Logically, the "past life" Luisa who got turned into a vampire should still exist as a corpse in the 20th century, and one who could be revived like Dracula and his other brides (plus, Vampire Luisa should be conveniently located in the coffin just next to Dracula's!) But the movie avoids even mentioning this, perhaps since "modern" Luisa also exists in 1968.
- Our Time Travel Is Different: Instantaneous mental time travel depicted by stepping into a machine ripped off from The Time Tunnel and falling into a bed (or out of it, when returning to the present and the film is reversed) while wearing a nightgown. Oh, and the technology is discovered by a Luchador... that's pretty different, too.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Not terribly different, though, tracking pretty closely to the common cinematic versions of the mid-20th century.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: He's perfected a functioning time machine, and all he can think to do with it is steal some treasure from Dracula?
- They Called Me Mad!: A rare heroic version. Santo gets seriously ticked off when his revolutionary time travel ideas are rejected by the mainstream scientific community. The entire plot is driven by Santo's desire to prove them wrong by retrieving Dracula's treasure.
- Weakened by the Light: How Santo destroys the vampires.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to the past-life Luisa who got turned into a vampire and staked? Is her corpse still in the coffin next to Dracula's in the 20th century? If so, why didn't she get revived like Dracula's other brides?