Cult TV Essentials

Cult Movie Essentials: Santo vs. the Villains of the Ring (1966)

Santo vs. the Villains of the Ring  aka Santo contra los villanos del ring opens with a wrestling arena bout between Santo and Espanto that lasts nearly 10 minutes, followed by about 2 minutes of dialogue, then another fight in the street between Santo and 4 thugs (Wolf Ruvinskis and Eduardo Bonada join in after about 4 minutes).

Later in the film, masked wrestlers Gray Mask and Black Mask join Santo, Ruvinskis and Bonada, while the bad guys’ gang is augmented by Beni Galan and a couple of non-wrestlers including stunt man Ramiro Orci.

In between all these fights we find a plot that centres around Santo’s god-daughter Maria Elena, who inherits 6 million pesos from her grandmother. Francisco Iglesias, the head of a mystic cult of spiritualists, stages a phony séance to convince Maria Elena to turn over half of her fortune to his group. Santo is apparently shot to death in a battle with the wrestlers in Iglesias’ employ, and when Beni Galan poses as him in another faked séance, Santo bursts in and exposes the whole plot.

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