Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: Santo in Dracula’s Treasure (1968)

Santo in Dracula’s Treasure aka Santo en el tesoro de Drácula is one of the most notorious Santo movies as an x-rated version of it exists entitled El vampiro y el sexo (which contains nudity).

In this film Santo invents a time machine with his friend Dr. Sepulveda and shows it off to a group of scientists. But, since he hasn’t tested it, they scoff. Afterwards, Santo expresses his anger, and Dr. Sepulveda offers to be the test pilot. Santo says no, it would be too risky and he might need Sepulveda’s help. Santo’s cowardly assistant Perico refuses to go. Besides, Santo says, the ideal subject would be a young woman. Luisa, Sepulveda’s daughter, takes the hint and volunteers. Soon, dressed in a silver space suit, she steps into the machine. Luisa then falls in a slo-mo Time Tunnel like way into a large, luxurious bed in a 19th-century bedroom.

Professor Van Roth arrives to consult with Prof. Soler, Luisa’s father. Soler says Luisa has been suffering from exhaustion and anemia lately, and has two small punctures on her neck. If this wasn’t suspicious enough, Soler’s new neighbor stops by, a foreign nobleman named “Count Alucard.”

Back in his subterranean hideout, the Count creates some new converts: first he bites them, then he stabs them, then he stamps them on the neck with his signet ring. In a cloud of smoke, they turn into bats and fly off in search of prey. Dracula stops off to bite Luisa again. Meanwhile, Van Roth is experimenting with the name “Alucard,” and discovers that–held up to the mirror–it spells “Dracula”! The Count himself appears and smashes the mirror (since he doesn’t cast a reflection, he doesn’t care much for them), but is chased off when Van Roth brandishes a sprig of mandragora bush. Luisa is given a necklace of the anti-vampire herb to wear, but Dracula hypnotizes the maid, who promptly removes it. Luisa is now free to leave with Dracula. He shows her a coffin full of the gold and jewels aka his “treasure”.

Meanwhile, Soler and Van Roth–in a scene taken from Bram Stoker’s original novel–take time out to stake another vampire woman. Using a dog, they track Dracula and Luisa to the grotto where their coffins lie. Dracula gets the stake treatment, but before Luisa can be hammered, Santo brings her back to the present.

A black-hooded figure has been spying on the entire experiment. He wants that coffin full of gold, and tells his gang that they should keep a close eye on Santo and the others, but don’t kill them. Santo, still smarting at his rejection by the scientific community, says he can prove that his time machine works if he can find Dracula’s treasure. Luisa isn’t crazy about this idea, but they go to Dracula’s crypt and take a medallion from his chest. Black Hood and his gang–including his son, wrestler Atlas–follow, and a fight breaks out. In all of the confusion, Santo forgets to take Dracula’s ring, which contains another part of the puzzle. The Black Hood and his gang promptly take possession of the ring. In a confrontation with the crooks, Santo refuses to give up the medallion. Dr. Sepulveda proposes that Santo wrestle Atlas, winner take all, and the Hood agrees.

Two weeks later, Santo beats Atlas and the Hood hands over Dracula’s ring. However, he’s made a copy, and then he gets the brilliant idea to revive Dracula and use him to find the treasure. So, the stake is removed from the vampire’s corpse. Dracula goes to Sepulveda’s house, where little Paquita has been playing with the medallion. As he steals it from the sleeping girl, Dracula spots Luisa and recognizes her as his long-lost mate. He hypnotizes her and they leave, thrashing some of the Hood’s gangsters and Sepulveda’s gardener as they go. The gardener tells Santo, and he sets off with Perico and Sepulveda; the Hood and his men follow, and eventually force Santo’s car to stop. After a fight, the police arrive and arrest the crooks. The Hood is exposed as Dr. Kur, one of the scientists who doubted Santo’s time machine.

Santo, Perico and Sepulveda go to Dracula’s hideout. The vampire has reconstituted his corps of vampire women, and is preparing to bite and stab Luisa. Dracula traps Santo and his friends with a net, but suddenly a huge hole opens in the roof of the grotto, and the sunlight kills Dracula and his crew. Wrestler X, Santo’s friend, had been alerted by Santo on his wrist radio, and had blown open the roof with dynamite. When X and his wrestler friends ask about the “danger” Santo had been in, they’re shown the pitiful remnants of a few bats on the floor. This isn’t too impressive, and they leave, probably thinking Santo is a little screwy. Santo, Luisa, Perico, and Sepulveda also depart.

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