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Film / Samson vs. the Vampire Women

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The (first) one where El Santo wrestles vampires.
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Samson vs. the Vampire Women ("Santo Contra Las Mujeres Vampiros") is a 1962 horror film starring the wrestling Mexican superhero El Santo/Samson.

The vampire women in Mexico have awakened from their sleep, commanded by their master, The Evil One, to find him a bride. They choose as their target the beautiful daughter (Duval) of a local professor (Augusto Benedico). To rescue his daughter, the professor calls El Santo, a silver-masked wrestler, for great justice. But even El Santo may have trouble with these vampires; their mooks act like thugs and know Kung Fu.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.


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Samson vs. the Vampire Women has examples of:

  • Airplane Arms: The vampire mooks do this while holding their capes. Tandra also does it, but to a lesser extent (she doesn't hold her arms straight out as do the mooks). We don't see Zorina do it.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: Samson has difficulty defeating a vampire in the ring because the vampire uses karate — and can kill with a single blow! His style of karate sure looks like an elementary school slap fight, though.
  • Bat Phone: Professor Orloff has a phone line to El Santo, plus a weird... rotating-antenna radio thing for video communication.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The vampires finally have El Santo in their power, tied up and helpless, but decide to remove his mask first, giving time for the sun to shine in and burn them up.
  • Blofeld Ploy: When Tandra's first attempt to kidnap the daughter fails, Queen Zorina doesn't take it well. She threatens to reduce Tandra to dust should she fail again—then to show she means business, she turns around and dusts two other vampire women, who hadn't done anything.
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  • The Chosen One: The same prophecy that warns about the vampires foretells a young warrior for justice wearing a silver mask who will fight them.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: It's El Santo fighting vampires. What more need be said?
  • Gaslighting: The professor inadvertently does this to his own daughter by telling her that all the vampires she keeps seeing and who keep whispering into her mind and controlling her are just figments of her imagination, even though he knows that they're not. She starts thinking she's either going crazy or that she's alone against real monsters (when neither is the case).
  • Green Aesop: There's an out-of-nowhere exchange where Samson and the professor note that the use of nuclear energy is indicative of mankind's inherent desire to destroy the world, and is causing monsters to return into the world.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Okay, not an actual guard but a wrestling manager/cornerman. When one vampire mook pulls a Kill and Replace on Santo's wrestling opponent, said cornerman doesn't notice the substitution. Sure, the wrestler is masked, but their body shapes are vastly different.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Quite literally when one of Tandra's minions comes face to face with a church cross and bursts into flames before Santo can get to him.
  • Homage: There's a good chance that El Santo from Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter is a spoof of this movie's hero.
  • Honor Before Reason: Once it becomes clear that Santo's opponent has been replaced with an impostor trying to kill him, Santo's cornerman tries to have the match called off, but Santo would rather die than send his fans home disappointed.
  • Kill and Replace: One of the vampires murders another wrestler and impersonates him in an attempt to kill Santo during a match.
  • Kill It with Fire: How the vampires finally die.
  • Masked Luchador: El Santo
  • Mask Power: El Santo
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Lady vampires in this movie do cast reflections, but the mirror shows them as ancient crones with a bad skin condition.
  • Mooks: The vampire thugs.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Seems like a fairly traditional vampire film until the Masked Luchador protagonist shows up, nearly halfway through the movie.
  • Police are Useless: The entire police force is less capable than a single professional wrestler when it comes to defeating vampires whose only tactic is to run away in a straight line with their arms extended airplane-style.
  • The Prophecy: Which states that 1) Zorina and her followers will seek revenge on the descendants of the woman who stopped them long ago, 2) that a silver masked man will be able to stop them, and 3) the silver masked man may not in fact be able to stop them.
    Mike: It's a vague prophecy.
  • Reduced to Dust: Queen Zorina threatens to do this to Tandra as punishment for failure, and she actually does it to two other vampires, for no real reason.
  • Serious Business: One of the vampire mooks pulls a Kill and Replace with El Santo's wrestling opponent. El Santo quickly realizes that this is not his actual opponent, and that the imposter is literally trying to kill him in the ring; yet, rather than have the match called, he chooses to see it through. It would be justifiable if it were made clear that Santo somehow senses that the imposter is one of the vampires (since he knows he must fight them eventually anyway so there's no point in running now), but no such thing is indicated; in fact, Santo appears just as surprised when the monster is unmasked as everyone else.
  • Shirtless Scene: Anytime Samson/El Santo appears in the film.
  • Superhero: El Santo.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The vampires. Blocking the windows from the sun never occurred to them?
  • Translation Train Wreck: The English dub... flubs a few times. "Bat" is always translated as "vampire", for one. And then there's the scene where the professor begs the police inspector's help then immediately refuses to specify what he needs help with and asks him to leave. Repeatedly.
  • Villains: Tandra is The Dragon and The Heavy; outgoing Queen Zorina is the Big Bad, and Satan is The Man Behind the Man who only appears as a voiceless shadow on the wall.

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