APRIL MOVIE THON 2: La verdad de la lucha (1990)

April 6: Viva Mexico — Pick a movie from Mexico and escribir acerca de por qué es tan increíble.

One of my favorite sites is Luchablog. There’s nobody else in America that does a better job of keeping you up on lucha libre — Mexican pro wrestling — as The Cubs Fan. I was intrigued that he had an article about the magazine Lucha Libre that started publishing a series of articles about “La verdad de la lucha” or “The truth of lucha.”

With May 29, 166’s issue 136, magazine director Valente Perez broke kayfabe and revealed that all lucha libre fights were predetermined and why that was a good thing, as it was a unique Mexican art form and even theater. He came up with the word Los Maestros to explain the best wrestlers in the sport and how they could tell a story and make fights look violent yet safe.

Perez also claimed that the first falls of the traditional lucha three fall matches were competitive real matches to test the wrestlers while the rest was for the fans, as real matches aren’t as exciting. He felt that the primera caída, or first fall, was essential as it proved who was a real wrestler.

He also had no issue calling El Santo a paper idol who had too many injuries and who would be better off just sticking to making movies.

In these articles, Perez referred to Mil Mascaras as a pistolero or a strong guy — or speak the American language of wrestling, a hooker or shooter — who can do whatever he wants to anyone he wants to do it to in a match.

And Mil Mascaras is both the star and co-writer of this movie, which is filled with some of the biggest names in lucha as of 1990: Pirata Morgan, Scorpio, Fishman, Enrique Vera, Hombre Bala, Solar (a true maestro who is still wrestling today!), Atlantis (so young in this movie!), Herodes, Cacique Mara, Gory Medina, Baby Face, El Greco, Ray Mendoza and his son Villano V, Príncipe Judas, Rafaga Azul, Tamba the Flying Elephant, El Verdugo, Nahur Kaliff, Blue Panther, Andy Barrow and Piloto Suicida. Thanks Luchawiki!

It’s the story of two wrestlers — Sergio Roca (Dragón I) who is played by Eduardo Liñán in the acting scenes and Mascaras in the ring and Joel Aguilar (Dragón II) who Mascaras’ brother Dos Caras in action — as well as their sons Jorge Roca (Hijo de Dragón I) who is Dos Caras and Guido Aguilar (Guido el Magnífico or Hijo de Dragón II) who is El Hombre Bala and los rudos El Manotas (Cacique Mara) and El Indio Navajas (El Greco).

There’s also a heel role for Noé Murayama, an actor born in Japan who came to Mexico with his dentist father and the rest of his family. He was in more than 160 movies, including Blue Demon contra Cerebros Infernales and, perhaps most famously in the U.S. thanks to the recent Vinegar Syndrome release, El Violador Infernal.

Directed by Fernando Durán Rojas and written by Carlos Valdemar (Zindy the Swamp BoyGuyana: Cult of the Damned) from a story by Mascaras, La verdad de lucha libre has a story of several generations off luchadors, as well as what it takes to get to the main event. It ends with Dos Caras watching from a wheelchair at ringside as his brother wins a match that’s more important than just a title.

This movie shows the very human side of being a pro wrestler (as well as the faces of several of the wrestlers, briefly, which is still a major thing in Mexico where wrestlers keep their identity a secret). Whether you love Mexican film or lucha — especially the history of the sport and art form — this is worth your time.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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