Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blue Demon vs. the Diabolical Women

Blue Demon vs. the Diabolical Women
Blue Demon contra “Las Diabolicas”
Directed by: Chano Urueta
Mexico, 1966

Thought to be missing forever for a very long time, Blue Demon vs. the Diabolical Women is the first of the Blue Demon films to se him enter the crime-busting sphere, it's also the second of his adventures to be shot in colour. Filled with sixties, pop-art vibe, hip music, go-go boots and stereotypical Mexican wrestling film characters.

Being the second part of the so called “Blue Demon against Crime” series, together with Blue Demon contra Cerebros Infernales (Blue Demon vs. the Infernal Brains) made the same year with much of the same cast and crew, Blue Demon takes on some real villains instead of gothic monsters and extra terrestrials of the previous films. The plot focuses on a nifty little intriguing featuring double-crossing bands of thieves, a strange gloved and hat bearing super villain, a band of Luchadoras who go by the name of “Las Diabolicas, and believe it or not another Blue Demon impostor!
The film kicks off with an initial attack sees two thugs nick a woman’s beauty box. She screams for help and the familiar masked face of Blue Demon turns up… but instead of helping her out, he sticks her in a chokehold so deadly that it sends her to the morgue… WHAT? Yeah, that’s exactly the reaction the set up wants us to have.

The thugs take their loot to head villain [Carlos Agosti] who has a cunning plan at bay. The jewels are sewn into a wrestling cape before we head off out to the ring for a delicious introduction to Las Diabolicas, a sexy band of Luchadoras! A switch is made and the Luchadoras – without knowledge of it – now have the stolen jewels on their cape. (Although nothing really ever comes of it oddly enough...)
Detectives Jaime Rayes [David Reynoso] and Bruno (who looks just like Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas) are put on the case of the murdered woman, and who better to do their dirty snooping around and getting into places the cops can’t go than Blue Demon. Turns out that the thugs have a nemesis in their criminal counterpart, a mysterious gloved, big-hatted super villain – who passes time woodcarving on the desk in front of them. This masked villain barks out orders and brings ruthlessness to the criminal underworld. The sexy luchadoras don’t really get much to do despite the title – one would have wanted more of them and why not more screen time, especially as they are supposedly the minions of the Super villain (that’s no spoiler, don’t worry)
The double crossing starts, and threats fly between the thug gang lead by Agosti and the gloved super villain, before the kidnapping of detective Jamie’s girlfriend. It’s Blue Demon to the rescue, and a shockingly fast reveal and climax before the masked hero waves goodbye, states that he will return with more information soon and wham, end credits roll.

Obviously, keeping the gloved, hat wearing super villain disclosed for the majority of the film becomes a natural matter of interest – who is it? The thug gang uses a fake Blue Demon who creates a few what the heck moments when our hero does things out of character, such as the deadly headlock in the opening scene. You know things are going to get weird when the fake and true Blue Demon take on each other in the ring before the movie starts building to it’s climax. The use of a false and evil Blue Demon impostor used to trouble Blue demon and was always a problem for him, as these characters often did vile deeds and showed no remorse what so ever. He wasn’t happy with the impostor character that figured in this and few other Blue Demon films. Perhaps it used to remind him of his pre-movie past as a rudo. This is before archrival Santo defeated and unmasked Blue Demon’s tag team partner The Black Shadow. It was a shaping moment, where Blue Demon decided to become a técnico (good guy) wrestler.
There’s a lot of great moments in Blue Demon vs. The Diabolical Women (as there always are), there’s a tense scene where he’s hidden in a boot of a car whilst the baddies shoot slugs into the car, he surprisingly rides a motor bike, two female cast members have a wicked, and fast karate chop sock punch out, a guest appearance by Ana Martín, once Miss Mexico who lost her title in the finals in London due to her being underage. Blue Demon climbs a wall in a way that would put possible inspirational source Adam West and Burt Ward to shame. No tilted camera trickery here, it's all brute force. And the best moment of this film is undoubtedly the Blue Demon vs. Blue Demon fight! Despite being 44 at the time, there’s not much that gives away who’s who when Blue Demon takes on his younger doppelganger. 
For me, there was a rather interesting moment as chief of police Don Javier [Antonio Raxel] watches the match from home, on his television. I've previously mentioned that Lucha libre films became immensely popular after the Mexican Government banned televised Lucha libre fights in he mid fifties, but i don't know when they returned to airing them... is this just a coincidental moment, had matches started being televised again or is it some form of critique towards the ban. I'll have to get back to you on that one, but it was a head scratching moment for me.
Staying true to formula - or perhaps shaping what would become formula - director Chano Urueta – who directed four of the first five Blue Demon films – keeps pace with plenty of fights – Blue Demon takes on foes both in and outside the ring, Las Diabolicas have a pretty lengthy bout where a full six luchadoras grapple in the ring, and every now and again Urueta chucks in a nightclub scene with dancing mamacítas and horn based rock band The Klan make a musical appearance not once, but twice this time, and there tunes are so groovy that not even the bad guys can sit still. In between that there’s the somewhat thin mystery story and the crime piece.
Gustavo C. Carrión’s score is just as great and catchy as they usually are, and really brings fun to the film with it's up tempo pop jazzy tunes. The same score was also used in the companion piece Blue Demon vs. the Infernal Brains.

Several sources refer to Blue Demon vs. The Diabolical Women as being the first Blue Demon film in Color, although I think that they may be wrong, and it may actually be the second color film. Which means that Blue Demon vs. the Infernal Brain would be the first. Both films where shot in 1966, and predated by the black and white Arañas Infernales (Infernal Spider) a sci-fi horror piece (also released in 1966). Switching the two color films around makes more sense and logic when looking at the films in a chronological flow, as it makes more sense to follow up Infernal Spider which is  sci-fi horror with another sci-fi horror before moving into crime busting and eventually into the spy themed Blue Demon, Destructor de espias 1967.

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