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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, February 6, 2023

Doctor of Doom (1963)

When we think about the subgenre of Mexican masked luchador horror movies obviously most of us go to Santo or the Blue Demon. But there was a less successful attempt to do lady luchador movies as well. Doctor of Doom is one of those and I have to say I dug it. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

An evil scientist is terrorizing “the city” by kidnapping beautiful young women for his hideous brain transplant experiments. We know this because after some wrasslin’ inserts we see him operating and a lady dying on the table. He theorizes that his experiments fail because he needs a smarter lady to transplant the brain into… because of science reasons and whatnot. So he ends up kidnapping the sister of the champion wrestler lady Gloria. When Gloria’s sister also dies on the table, she swears that he will be brought to justice! With the help of Golden Ruby, a new to town lady wrestler, she gets kidnapped by and slaps the bad guys around.

Eventually the mad doctor/scientist gets really mad (she did toss acid on his face!) and builds a special killer lady wrestler to kill Gloria in the ring. But fear not my friends as she and Golden Ruby are able to fight the killer off and eventually both the doctor and his creation meet their ends at the end of a rifle and fall off a water tower. It was truly beauty that killed the beast… or something like that anyways.

These movies, whether it is a Santo entry or one of the many copies/clones like Doctor of Doom, are an acquired taste. Some folks get annoyed with the padding out of the short runtime with a couple of extended shots of luchadores doing their thing in the ring. Personally, I kind of dig this myself and find it entertaining. As far as padding goes it can be a lot worse then watching acrobatic jumps and hip tosses. Clocking in at only seventy seven minutes long it is paced well and never lingers long enough to lose the audience. There is enough humor mixed in with the action to make you chuckle here and there and overall, I had no complaints. It is cheesy and harmless fun that is entertaining.

The Lady Wrasslers!
The fact that this movie is made as well as it was shouldn’t come as a surprise. It was directed by the prolific Rene Cardona who had a hundred and forty seven directing credits over his forty plus year career. The guy made a lot of low budget gold including some Santo flicks, so he was familiar with this genre and how to make it work. There was a formula, and he knew how to execute it.

I realize that I had forgotten to mention that the mad doctor has a monster in the basement that he uses to help capture his victims. The monster is called Gomar and is basically a guy with some latex slapped on his face. While simple it is effective and along with the post acid splash scarring is decent enough for the budget and overall goofy vibe.

Doctor of Doom is a fun way to kill some time and well worth checking out. As of the writing of this review you can find the movie on YouTube as well as several other places. It is easy to find and at the low low cost of free! Give it a chance.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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