The Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (Las Luchadoras Contra la Momia, 1964) is often & famously labeled one of those "so awful it hurts to laugh" Mexican horror films.
So I guess I must've seen way too many truly bad films because this one struck me as rather good, & not Turkey Award material in the least. It's culturally distinct & low budget, but very appealing.
It's a sequel to, & better than, Las Luchadoras contra el Medico Asesino (Doctor of Doom, 1962) which had pit the wrestling women against a mad scientist.
A product of their time & place, "wrestling horror" films are high camp without being self-consciously so, influenced without spoofing intent by pulp fiction, Hollywood horror, & Saturday matinee serials, which no matter how over the top were generally rather serious in tone, as is The Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy.
Mexico truly led the way in turning championship wrestling into more of a carnival than a sport, & then they brought this wild sensibility to horror cinema, preserving a peculiar respect for wrestling fans, whose favorite entertainment is never being lampooned.
Hot amazonian babes Loretta Venus & the Golden Rubi in super hero costumes will be entering the wrestling ring to take on the best of Japan's chunky little Judo sisters, Lien & Tzu. The ring battles are fought with a marvelous conviction.
The wrestling women know full well that Lien & Tzu will stop at nothing to win; they will even be willing to break Loretta & Rubi's backs. And their ring antics are no sillier & no better than any Wrestlemania program of today, perhaps a little more convincing than today.
Loretta Venus is played by Lorena Velazquez, who was Miss Mexico in 1960 & Mexico's representative in the Miss Universe contest. From an acting family, she was already appearing in films before her Miss Mexico pageant win, & in the 1970s transitioned from cinema to telenovellas, remaining a popular television actress right up to the present day.
The Golden Rubi is played by American actress Elizabeth Campbell, of true amazonian stature. After appearing in several Mexican wrestling films throughout the 'sixties (including four films with her signature role the Golden Rubi) she retired quite suddenly & became reclusive, with only rumors of her whereabouts thereafter. For all anyone knows she may ahve been sold into the white slave market, imprisoned in some oil-sheik's harem.
The Chinese-named Japanese Judo girls are the sisters of Prince Fujiyata (Ramon Bugarini) leader of the evil Black Dragon Gang, so there's a bit of Yellow Peril in the tale.
Fujiyata has mind-control powers & is searching for the secret of the Aztec Mummy's treasure, & is willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.
Too much of the film is about the Black Dragon Gang & the quest for the Codex, rather than the mummy, but eventually it'll all be drawn together for a dynamic conclusion.
In fantasy-historical flashback we see Aztec ritual life rather nicely staged. Dances & an attempted virgin sacrifice are performed on attractively designed sets that really capture the feeling of a past culture.
The sacrificial virgin is saved by the heroic Tezozoc (Gerardo "El Romano" Zepeda) who loves her, which dooms them both for breaking sacred laws. In the modern age the result is uncovered by archeologists who awaken the heroic Aztec's lovelorn living mummy, not too dissimilar in nature from The Mummy (1932) as played by Boris Karloff, & scarier than the very different creature in Rafael Portillo's Aztec Mummy trilogy.
The background story is shown to us with all the pokerfaced beauty of a Universal horror film. But as a Mexican take on the subject, wrestling women Loretta & Rubi assist the professor (Victor Valezquez) in the matter of the Aztec mummy's codex & ultimately with the mummy himself.
Numerous either cool or hoky adventures erupt when the Aztec mummy comes to life, due to the removal of his jeweled breastplate. It climaxes in the pyramid with Charlotte (Maria Eugenia San Martin), a slain archeologist's daughter, about to be sacrificed in the old manner.
The wrestling women arrive in the nick of time to save the damsel in distress & experience some girl-wrestler action with the very strange & surprisingly scary Aztec mummy, who can change into a vampire bat or a giant spider. It ends with the good-guys & good-gals escaping the pyramid as it collapses & buries the Aztec mummy forever, or until the next Aztec mummy movie, which ever comes first.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl