I haven’t seen too many El Santo flicks, but I’m certainly anxious to get my greedy little hands on more. If, like me, you’re woefully ignorant of this iconic slice of Mexican cinema, allow me to introduce you to the world’s more charitable superhero. Also known as the Man in the Silver Mask, El Santo travels around the world, assisting people with their assortment of problems. Vampires, bandits, ghouls, ghosts — it doesn’t matter what sort of issue you’re experiencing, this wrestling legend will gladly lend a helping hand. In “Santo vs. the Riders of Terror”, our hero squares off against a trigger-happy cabal of professional thieves who are using a group of homeless lepers as a scapegoat for their nefarious deeds. Santo, of course, understands that these poor diseased bastards couldn’t possibly have the strength to stage these elaborate robberies, and quickly sets a trap for the men behind the curtain, so to speak. The film comes packaged with an abundance of extended fight sequences, most of which find the masked man getting his ass squarely handed to him. Since Santo is a wrestler, these showdowns are staged like wrestling matches, with our hero getting the upper hand on his adversary at the last second. “Santo vs. the Riders of Terror” not only provides you with 90 minutes of unbridled entertainment, it also teaches you all about leprosy. Edutainment is rarely this entertaining. Do keep in mind, however, that it takes roughly 20 minutes for Santo to make an appearance, so hang tight until he gets there. It’s worth the wait.
Note: The clip embedded below is from a documentary about El Santo, which I highly recommend watching. Since a clip from “Riders of Terror” is nowhere to be found online, I figured this would suffice as a substitute. Check it out if you have a few minutes to burn.