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Lucha Libre Mexicana - Luchador Movies
The Masked Luchadores of Luchador Films
The coolness of Lucha Libre or Mexican pro wrestling cannot be underestimated.
Of course we all know about the wrestlers (luchadores) that have competed in Mexican wrestling rings since the early 1900s.
But as opposed to wrestling here in the States, Lucha Libre is a Mexican tradition, far more a part of the culture than the WWE or TNA are here.
For example, the hugely popular film genre in Mexico, Luchador films.
These were what we would consider B-movies here in the US, with low production values and bad story lines.
But they were popular in Mexico because they starred the heroes of the ring, the Luchadors.
These cheaply made action flicks were their superhero films.
Heck, they even had their own version of the Justice League or Avengers.
Although not every wrestler in Mexico is masked, the masked luchadores seemed to be the ones that drew in the crowds.
Here are some of the most popular wrestling movies, and a little bit about each one.
The Mystery of Huracán Ramírez
Considered the first real luchador film, Huracán Ramírez was a black and white 1952 film starring Eduardo Bonada as Fernando Torres / Huracán Ramírez.
The real life identity of Huracán Ramírez gets a little complicated.
As I mentioned, Eduardo Bonada portrayed the lead character in the film, but luchador Eduardo did all the wrestling and fighting, Daniel Silva did all the acting shots.
After the film was released, Eduardo continued to wrestle in the ring as Huracán Ramírez.
In 1953 he was replaced by 43-year-old wrestler Daniel Garcia Arteaga.
Daniel was not only Huracán in the ring, but he appeared in El Misterio De Huracán Ramírez(1962), El Hijo De Huracán Ramírez (1965), La Venganza De Huracán Ramírez(1967), Huracán Ramírez y La Monjita Negra (1972), De Sangre Chicana (1973) as the Luchador.
1952's first "real" luchador film starring HuracÃ¡n RamÃrez
The legendary masked Mexican wrestler El Santo appeared in more luchador films than you can shake a stick at.
Starting with 1958's Santo contra el cerebro del mal (Santo Vs. The Evil Brain) the silver clad wrestler appeared in almost sixty wrestling films.
His last one was Santo en la furia de los karatekas (Santo in Fury of the Karate Experts) in 1982.
At the time of that film he was 65 years old.
Santo vs. las Mujeres Vampiro
Short clip from Santo vs. las Mujeres Vampiro
Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos
Classic Santo film in Spanish with subtitles and DVD bonuses.
Starring Santo, Wolf Ruvinskis, El Nazi, Beny GalÃ¡n and Ham Lee
Of course since Santo had movies Blue Demon had to have films as well.
Blue Demon made his film debut in the 1964 film titled (appropriately enough) Blue Demon (El Demonio Azul).
He went on to appear in twenty seven films, the last one being Misterio en las Bermudas (Mystery In Bermuda) with fellow luchadores Santo and Mil MÃ¡scaras.
One of the coolest things about Blue's films is that in some of them, he was the the leader of a group of masked superheroes known as Los Campeones Justicieros (The Champions of Justice).
Think the Justice League, but with luchadors.
Los campeones justicieros
Here's a clip from 1970s Los campeones justicieros with Blue, Mil Mascaras, Blue Demon, El Medico Asesino and Tinieblas.
Oh yeah, and some evil midgets.
One of the members of The Champions of Justice, Mil Mascaras was created for film, but his career carried over in to actual wrestling and made him a legend.
Yeah Mick Foley, Chris Jericho and "Superstar" Billy Graham have all gone on record saying that Mil had a huge ego and was very hard to work with, but hey, that has never changed the opinion of his adoring fans.
Mil appeared in over twenty films, starting with Mil Mascaras (1966) and going all the way up to Mil Mascaras: Aztec Revenge which should be released in 2011.
Mil Mascaras (1966)
Here's a clip from the very first Mil Mascaras film.
Although he never had his very own film, Mexican wrestler Tinieblas ("Darkness") did appear in several films.
As a matter of fact, he was in ten luchador films from 1970 to 1982.
The first was Las Momias de Guanajuato (1970) and the last was Santo's La Furia de los karatecas (1982) that I mentioned earlier.
Tinieblas was also a member of Los Campeones Justicieros (The Champions of Justice).
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