El Puño de la Muerte (1982)

I’ve gushed over La Furia de los Karatecas before and I have to tell you, the fact that there’s a first part only confirms the fact that — even years after his death — Santo is here to save every single one of us.

Grace “Goddess of the Night” Renat — a popular vedette (think burlesque) actress — plays the twin goddesses at the heart of this story. You can tell when she’s on the side of the tecnicos when she has on a white fur bikini and los rudos when she has on the black fur bikini. I like that they made it that simple for me.

They are battling over Niña de la Selva — Jungle Girl — a space princess who has come down to our planet to teach us something, but mainly this movie is about karate. Imagine if Mortal Kombat had lucha libre and you will understand the magic that is this movie. Also — the Jungle Girl was raised by wolves which look like the kind of dogs that you or I may own.

Tinieblas is in this too and he’s a bad guy. I mean, his name does mean Darkness. He and Santo have a fight that made me respect how hard that Tinieblas was working to not hurt the elder Santo and sad that Santo was so old. There are enough good things in this movie to make me forget that pain.

While set in the jungle, this was shot in Florida at the Vizcaya Museum and the Coral Castle, which itself is the kind of magical site that thousands of movies should be set in. We will settle for The Wild Women of WongoNude on the Moon and Jimmy, the Boy Wonder.

Any movie that has a bunch of non-Asian people who supposedly live in an Asian hidden country that worships a C3PO mask is going to be a film that I love. My needs are so simple, yet so few films live up to them.

This movie is on Shout! TV and it’s beyond badly dubbed which makes it even better. Make your life great. Watch this.

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