Since last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration involved a lengthy look at the life and career of El Santo, I thought I would do something similar (but shorter) this year.
While looking for something to post about, I found news that a once lost variant of Santo en el tesoro de Dracula (translation: Santo in “The Treasure of Dracula”) had been rediscovered! Back when the film was completed (1968 or 1969, depending on what source you read), someone had the bright idea to add in some sex scenes in an attempt to increase the film’s marketability overseas and retitled it as “El Vampiro y el Sexo” (The Vampire and Sex, like I really had to translate that)! Something similar was done with 1970’s Santo contra los jinetes del terror (Santo vs. The Riders of Terror) to create Los Leprosos y el Sexo (The Lepers And Sex, quite possibly the least sexy movie title ever conceived). As you’ve undoubtedly guessed, these adult versions were nowhere near as popular and faded into obscurity. However, El Santo’s son (El Hijo del Santo) apparently got wind of this news and blocked this version from getting rereleased out of concern that it would tarnish his late father’s image. We here at Gravedigger’s Local 16 don’t claim to know much about who owns the El Santo filmography or Mexican copyright law (save that the duration is currently life of the creator plus 100 years), but we suspect that this has more to do with the Mexican equivalent of personality/publicity rights than copyrights. It’s a tough situation: Although we at the Local support film preservation and the release of all alternate versions whenever possible, we can also see why El Hijo del Santo would feel embarrassed about the film, despite his father not appearing in the sex scenes. Especially since his father is a Mexican pop culture icon, their equivalent of Superman. Still, we hope that the location of the film is carefully documented and the reels are properly preserved so that it can be released when another member of the Santo clan who is less uptight about such matters will give their approval.
In the meantime, here’s some footage from from another El Santo film involving Dracula, 1973’s Santo y Blue Demon vs Drácula y el Hombre Lobo (Santo and the Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolf Man):
Despite the fact that it came out years after Santo en el tesoro de Dracula, the film acts as if the 60’s encounter never happened!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!