APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Santo: la leyenda del enmascarado de plata (1993)

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

Directed and written by Gilberto de Anda, Santo: The Legend of the Silver Mask tells the origin of El Hijo del Santo and how he came to wear the mask of his father. It’s also about the issues a young kid obsessed with Santo has with growing up.

My wife said that if you want to die, you should play a drinking game where you do a shot every time someone says Santo. There’s no way you would survive.

Hijo Del Santo’s pro wrestling debut was under the name and mask of Korak. His father would not agree to this, as while he wanted one of his sons to carry on the name and legacy, he wanted them to graduate college first.

Months after he got his Communication Science degree, Hijo del Santo made his debut with the mask of his father as a team with Ringo Mendoza versus Coloso Colosetti and Sangre Chicana. While fans were skeptical of him at first — Santo cast a very big shadow — he soon showed that he was an even better wrestler than his father, if not as big of a cultural icon.

While all this is happening, Don Severo tries to steal the farm of Marcos Arriaga, a widower who lives with his young son Benito. Benito is such a fan of Santo that he even wears his mask when he takes test in school.

Then, when the elder Santo dies of a heart attack, Benito is left depressed and hoping that Santo will return. He goes to Mexico City to find him while El Hijo del Santo trains and learns from his father’s sidekick, Carlitos (Carlos Suarez, who really was Santo’s friend in his later movies). There’s an amazing moment when he takes El Hijo del Santo into the near-Batcave of Santo which is filled with inventions and cool cars. They open a locked box which contains the original mask of his father and fog comes out of it.

At the end, when Santo saves Benito and his father by deflecting bullets and blowing stuff up real good with his laser car — just after winning the mask of Espanto Jr. — I couldn’t help but get excited. This is nowhere as good as the movies of his father, but El Hijo del Santo really should have gone wild and fought slasher killers and demons.

Espanto Jr.’s real name is Jesús Andrade Salas. He was such a rival of Santo that he lost his mask and hair three times to him. When AAA formed, he jumped there and eventually became an evil Santo named Santo Negro and had a lot of heat. Santo’s family objected to the idea of a fighter coming from South America to destroy El Hijo del Santo and take his mask, so they forced AAA to stop using the name. Instead, Salas became the original Pentagon and did a similar angle with AAA star Octagon. He had to retire in 1996 after he collapsed in the ring and was replaced by the former Metalico as Pentagón Black. There’s also a Pentagon III who lost his mask and hair to Octagon and, if you watch AEW, the one-time Zairus and Dark Dragon is now known as Pentagón Jr. or Penta el Zero M. He’s the nephew of Blue Demon Jr., so if El Hijo del Santo was still wrestling full-time or if his son El Nieto del Santo ever gets started, he’d be a natural rival for him.

There’s also some great footage of Santo hitting some of his topes in this that make them seem really dangerous and in your face, as well as Blue Demon looking so smooth in the ring.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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