Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: Santo in Operation 67 (1966)

Santo in Operation 67  aka Santo en Operación 67 is the first Santo movie in colour and takes a heavy influence from James Bond with Santo and Jorge Rivero as secret agents. The movie features all the Bond things you would expect like action, gadgets, international intrigue, and ladies in skimpy outfits (including some nudity)!

The plot concerns an international crime organization, based in Hong Kong, has a branch in Latin America, headed by Ruth Taylor. The organization has stolen the original printing plates for a high-denomination bill, and replaced them with fakes . Thus, the government is printing counterfeit money and the spy ring is printing the real thing – the aim being that it will throw the economy into a tailspin and the organization will take advantage of the disruption. Ruth tells her assembled agents they will be given large quantities of bills to spend and invest; but first, each man has a special watch welded onto his wrist. These watches serve as radio communicators with headquarters.

Meanwhile, Santo and Jorge are relaxing on the beach with two young, bikini-clad women. Suddenly, the sound of the waves and seagulls ceases–it’s just a recording, and the “beach” is actually a mockup located somewhere in Santo’s mansion. The two heroes hear a beep indicating that a message from Interpol is coming through.The Interpol chief in Paris informs them that an Interpol agent is on his way to brief them on the plot.

After Jorge watches the aforementioned strip-tease number in a nightclub, it’s time for a tag team match between Santo and Jorge, and two opponents. Rivero does some of his own wrestling, but his double is painfully obvious at other times, since he’s carrying a spare tire around his waist that clashes with Rivero’s chiseled physique. In the audience are the newly-arrived Interpol agent, the Japanese exotic dancer, and some of the spy ring’s agents.

After the match, two of the agents plan to abscond to Rio de Janeiro with the money they’ve been given, and money they’ve won by betting on Santo! They don’t realize that their watches allow Ruth and Suki, her assistant, to eavesdrop. When a switch is thrown at spy HQ, the watches shoot off sparks and kill the two agents.

The Interpol agent visits Santo and Jorge, and shows them the false bills. Jorge offers to drive the agent to his hotel; while they’re gone, two spies break in and try to assassinate Santo. After a decent fight, one spy falls out of the second-floor window to his death; his partner is pressured into talking, but before he can say anything, Suki flips the switch and electrocutes him. Santo watches this with a foolish look on his face. He calls Jorge, who ‘s in bed with the Japanese dancer and tells Santo to bug off .

The next day, Jorge’s car is pursued by a light plane with machine guns mounted in its wings. After a chase, Jorge pulls a bazooka from his trunk and shoots the plane down. He then goes back to the dancer’s apartment: she’s surprised to see that he’s alive. As they leave, the police arrest her, she’s later found in her cell, dead–she committed suicide with a poison pill! Jorge goes back inside to wait, and is soon confronted by one of the spies, with a sword cane. The ensuing fight isn’t great, but both men try hard, breaking up a lot of furniture and carved wooden screens. Finally, the spy grabs Jorge’s pistol but Jorge impales him with the sword cane.

Santo is nearly the victim of a drive-by shooting. He hops in his car and pursues the spies, eventually using his car’s built-in flamethrowers to burn them to a crisp. These failed attempts irritate Ruth. Her agents rig up a device at the wrestling arena to kill Santo, but Jorge–in the audience this time–shouts a warning and when the lighting grid crashes into the ring, both Santo and his opponent are unharmed.

The Interpol agent isn’t so lucky. As he’s talking to Santo and Jorge and is just about to give them a clue, the spies use a long-range rifle to blast him. Jorge and Santo give chase in Santo’s car, trailing the assassins to a nearby village. Santo catches one spy and appropriates his radio watch, which is exposed as such when Ruth calls. They hand the device over to an Interpol scientist.

Ruth, posing as a foreign journalist, arranges to meet Santo and Jorge. Jorge makes a date with her, and they go to the beach. They kiss, and Ruth says, “Whatever happens, I really love you.” Meanwhile, a frogman plants a bomb in Jorge’s speedboat; Ruth jumps overboard, but Jorge–warned by Santo, who’s on another boat and has been watching through binoculars–also escapes as the boat blows up. Both Jorge and Santo are promptly attacked by frogmen assassins, but manage to kill their assailants.

Using the radio-watch, Santo, Jorge, the scientist and a bunch of Interpol agents locate the spy HQ. Ruth, realizing that one of their communicators has been stolen, throws the switch to kill all of the agents wearing them! The Interpol agents crash the hideout; Suki escapes, leaving Ruth to face the law. She shoots it out with them. Mortally wounded, she gives Jorge her emerald ring to remember her by and says, “Remember what I said, I never lied.” Then she dies. Jorge: “What a pity.” The scientist tells Santo that he disabled the tiny bit of uranium inside, so that’s why Santo wasn’t zapped with the others.

As the film ends, the fake bills are shoveled into a furnace as Jorge and Santo watch.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.