Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doctor of Doom (1963)

What is it about the combination of monsters and Mexican wrestlers that generally proves so appealing? While I think I liked this film a little better when director René Cardona remade it a few years later as Night of the Bloody Apes (the later film, for one, is a lot trashier), Doctor of Doom certainly uses its more innocent charms to its advantage. Aiming for cheese rather than sleaze, Cardona comes up with an appealingly cheapjack mishmash of beauties, beasties, brawling and brain surgery. Gloria Venus and her American partner Golden Rubi make for two strapping, confident heroines, with most of the comic relief provided by their incompetent policeman paramours. In particular, the shortish, enthusiastic cop who has a thing for Golden Rubi, unflappable and mock-tough as he is, is the MVP of this film and I wish he was in everything. On the side of evil, there's a masked mad scientist obsessed with the removal of young women's brain matter, a feral ape man who likes to hurt things and a number of anonymous thugs who are in the film mainly so Gloria and Golden Rubi can issue some pain. The goofy dubbing is merely the frosting on this absurdly delightful cupcake of crap.

Grade: B-


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