28 August 2009 | horrorhammer
Fun but perplexing entry in the Santo mythos
Santo contra el cerebro diabólico is actually one of the more exciting films among the earlier efforts in the series. Many of the Santo films from the early 60s are overly talky and, sometimes, have very little to do with El Santo at all, such as El Hotel del Muerte wherein the Man in the Silver Mask doesn't even show up until an hour into the picture! This one does not suffer from either of those problems too terribly and it is pretty suspenseful with loads of intrigue and great fight scenes. However, it ends up a totally different story than it starts out as. In the beginning our intrepid police detectives arrest a mysterious criminal who is never named and never speaks, but who is apparently a subordinate of a criminal mastermind they hope to catch. After that, Fernando discovers that Virginia (the Lois Lane of El Santo movies) has gone to an isolated village to do a story and disappeared. The detectives go after her and find a small community lorded over by a rich and evil man in a pretty typical Western genre plotting device. The first part is never mentioned again, and at no point is anyone resembling a "cerebro diabólico" (diabolical brain) ever seen. I have to assume that for one reason or another they abandoned the original story for what they ended up with, but the result is a pointless and confusing prologue and a title that doesn't make any sense at all. But in the end, who cares? It's El Santo, not a Merchant-Ivory production. Enjoy it for what it is!