Monday, April 06, 2015
Doctor Of Doom
If you’re curious about the weird world of Mexican wrestling movies, DOCTOR OF DOOM is a decent way to jump in. It seems influenced by old Republic serials, full of superhero-type action, mad science, cunning death traps, and mind control. The difference between DOCTOR OF DOOM and the dozens of adventures starring famous wrestling heroes like Santo, Blue Demon, and Mil Mascaras is that the hero is a woman, Gloria Venus, played by the gorgeous Lorena Velazquez.
A mad doctor, his face always hidden to allow the audience the game of guessing his identity, is kidnapping women to use in his brain transplant experiments. All are failures, and the women die, leading the doc to deduce that he’s choosing women that are just too damn stupid to handle the strain of having their brains removed and replaced with a gorilla’s. His response is to kidnap a scientist named Alice (Sonia Infante), but she dies too.
So he figures to try experimenting on a woman who is physically strong. He chooses voluptuous lady wrestler Gloria and her new roommate Golden Ruby (Elizabeth Campbell). He botches the snatch in more ways that one, because Gloria just happens to be Alice’s sister and dating a cop, Mike (Armando Silvestre), which gives her more motivation to bring down the mad doctor’s deadly reign of doom.
American distributor K. Gordon Murray created a dubbed English soundtrack for DOCTOR OF DOOM’s television release by AIP. Because Murray preferred dialogue that matched the Mexican actors’ lip movements, rather than an accurate translation of the original dialogue, some of the lines induce wild laughter, particularly when delivered by actors replicating the over-the-top deliveries.
Not that it’s possible to get too melodramatic in a film featuring cliffhangers, a super-strong man-ape named Gomar, plenty of fistfights in rooms stocked with empty cardboard boxes, cheap sets, and a spiked-wall trap. Director Rene Cardona repeated the formula in the direct sequel, THE WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY, and his son Rene Cardona Jr. remade DOCTOR OF DOOM as the gorier NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES.