Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: Santo in Baron Brakola (1965)

Santo in Baron Brakola aka Santo en el Barón Brakola is another Santo film that builds on the Santo legacy idea with a large part of the film set in 1765, with Santo’s “ancestor,” the “Caballero Enmascarado de Plata” as the hero.

This Santo is dressed in a frilly colonial costume and wears two different masks: one a fairly plain, 3/4 face mask tied with a string that exposes his mouth and chin, the other a glittery silver domino mask, exposing a large portion of the performer’s face. Neither mask is the typical, full-head Santo mask. It’s doubtful this is actually Santo (Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta), except perhaps in the action scenes, since the hair and face that can be seen do not seem to belong to a man of more than 50 years of age. Furthermore, this character engages in several sword fights, so it is possible the man behind this particular silver mask was one of the credited fencing masters. As usual, Santo–and the Caballero–has his dialogue dubbed, so it would not have been necessary to hire an experienced actor for the role.

Baron Brákola emerges from his coffin, in a hidden chamber in the musty dungeon (filled with mummies, stuffed animals, masks, rats, and cobwebs) of an old house. He goes into another chamber where a coffin contains a pile of rags and a wooden stake: these are the remains of his long-lost love, Rebeca, who was killed in 1765 by an ancestor of Santo. Brákola swears vengeance on all who participated in this.

Meanwhile, Santo is participating in a match. Eduardo and Silvia are among his fans. Afterwards, in the deserted arena, middle-aged don Luis is attacked by the Baron. Santo comes to his assistance. “Stick a stake in his heart!” don Luis shouts, “The stake! The stake!” When Santo finally gets the hint and picks up a nearby stake, Brákola screams and disappears. Back at don Luis’s house, the older man tells Santo that he moved to Mexico from Europe, where he and his daughter Silvia lived ” in a region famous for its legends of monsters and vampires.” Santo says “I’ve had experience with that class of beings.” Don Luis says he doesn’t live with his daughter Silvia because he is a descendant of the long-dead Rebeca, and thus a target for Brákola’s vengeance. He tells Santo the story (in flashback):

In colonial Mexico in 1765, the rich Baron Brákola asks don Fernando and his wife for permission to marry their daughter, Rebeca. Don Fernando says it’s up to her, and Rebeca definitively refuses. The Baron says they’ll pay for treating him like this. Worried about the threat, don Fernando contacts the Caballero Enmascarado de Plata, who promises to help protect them. The Baron sends two hired swordsmen to kill the Caballero, but they fail; the Baron himself (after attacking a barmaid), joins the fray, and is fatally wounded. He retreats to his crypt – which already bears a sign Baron Brákola, 1661-1765?

Baron Brákola is resurrected as an ugly bushy eyebrowed, beetling brow, and a generally moronic look, sort of like vampire. He begins a series of nocturnal visits to Rebeca, drinking her blood. During his final visit Rebeca dies, the Caballero bursts in and a long fight ensues. The Baron is ready to finish off his opponent when Rebeca’s spirit appears; they walk off together. Later, Brákola digs up Rebeca’s coffin and carries her corpse back to his house.

Rebeca, now a vampire herself, even tries to attack the Caballero who like Santo, sleeps in his mask, but is scared off when he tells her to “believe in God.” Then Campesinos start to turn up dead.

Finally, the Caballero locates Rebeca’s coffin and stakes her, but can’t penetrate the Baron’s burial chamber. And so the flashback ends, with don Luis telling Santo that the Baron, after being dormant for years, is now back for revenge. Santo leaves. Brákola appears and hypnotizes Don Luis into writing down Silvia’s address. When don Luis wakes up, he sees the piece of paper and calls Santo. They arrive too late, Silvia has already been bitten. However, Santo supervises a blood transfusion from Eduardo to Silvia. Don Luis gives him a map that allegedly shows the location of Brákola’s hideout.

Brákola takes the place of one of Santo’s opponents. A rough match ensues with the referee being tossed out of the ring, Brákola screams and flees when Don Luis shows up and flashes a cross at him.

Santo uses the first map to find a second map which is hidden under a mantle beneath a painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe, where vampires couldn’t get it – obviously! He locates Brákola’s house. Oddly enough, after more than 200 years it still looks the same, nobody lives there, and even the furniture is still intact. Locating Brákola’s crypt, Santo engages in yet another long and brutal fight with the vampire, finally ramming a wooden stake into his supernatural opponent. Brákola manages to climb back into his coffin before expiring, this time for good.

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