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Santo In The Treasure Of Dracula: The Se - Santo In The Treasure Of Dracula(DVD) [VCI Entertainment/ MVD Visua - 2021]

Over the years the good count (Dracula) has had a host of weird ’n’ wacky encounters, but this 1969 Mexicain production stands as one of the more bizarre, campy, and sleazed.  Santo en El Tesoro de Dracula( aka Santo in the Treasure of Dracula) appeared in two versions- an original and tame Mexican B & W, and this sexier, coloured and dubbed version for the European market. The film pares masked ‘n’ tubby wrestling hero Santo against the Count, with a wacky time-travelling plot, leering and well proportioned female nudity, a ton of awkward fighting, and more than enough camp ‘n’ cheese to sink in a small boat.  Here from VCI Entertainment/ MVD Visual is a region free release of the film.

Santo en El Tesoro de Dracula( aka Santo in the Treasure of Dracula) was the 20th Santo film released- it was directed by Havana born René Cardona- who had an impressive  140 or so feature-length credits to his name.  With his output shifting between a far few genres over the years, though he’s probably most to cult film fans as the director behind video nasty Night Of The Bloody Apes. In all,  Cardona made seven Santo films.
 
The film finds Santo inventing a time machine, and he decides to send back his female friend to the past- basically, the person who is going back in time dresses in a gold suit, stands on a slow-moving conveyer belt in front of a spirally 'n' swirling wall. It’s not a great or fine-tuned time machine, as they don’t know where/ when in time it sends its traveller- but lucky they have a TV screen that lets those in the present watch what’s going on. They find out soon enough they’ve sent her back to the 1800s, and it turns out that the Count is stalking ‘n’ sucking- as well as building an army of nude big breasted women. So here we have the rough premise of the film, but added into this we get hidden treasure, quirky and bumbling sidekicks, black hooded villains, and some very non-sensical/ wacky time-travelling plotting.
 
To start with and most notable about the film is the truly awful/ bizarre English dubbing- which sounds like it’s meant to be a joke, but of course, isn't- it’s often out of the sink, the voices use don’t fit the characters, and the voice acting is hammy as hell. Content-wise the film is a blend of campy sci-fi action,  wrestling superhero silliness with the bulky Santo, leering and prolonged topless nudity when the Count attacks, overblown and often bumbling fighting action,  and classic ‘n’ cheesy gothic horror tropes- we have mists,  shaky looking crypts, huge rubbery bats, and clearly modern houses dressed up to look gothic. By normal/ sane standards the films a bumbling and silly mess,  but if you are in the mood for cheesy sleaze- with twists of Sc-fi & gothic horror, and a lot of tacky wrestling and hammy superhero stuff you’ll get a kick out of this.
 
Moving onto this new region free  DVD release- and the 4K scan looks good enough, though of course, it does highlight the more cheap effects and shacky sets. Extras wise we get a around twenty-five minute of scene comparison footage between the original Black and white version, and the sexy colour. There are around six or so trailers for other Santo films- and these look great cheesy fun too.
 
So in finishing if you're in the mood for a truly campy, cheesy and sleazy slice of comic book exploitation you’ll be needing to track down Santo in the Treasure of Dracula. Let’s hope there are more Santo reissues in the pipeline from VCI Entertainment/ MVD Visual, as this is a lot of fun.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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