Mystery men return for Cinema con Queso Friday, August 24 at Liberty Hall
History will be made at the next Cinema con Queso! We'll be screening the first lucha libre superhero movie ever made - El Enmascarado de Plata (1954). Technically it's not the first lucha libre movie, but it is the first where the luchador star functions as a freelance superhero, complete with crime lab, a cool motorcycle (a vintage Indian!), a kid sidekick and not one but TWO masked bad guys.
The story is this movie was designed to be El Santo's film debut but, for whatever reason, he turned it down and the starring role fell to El Medico Asesino, who was then very popular on the early telecasts of lucha libre matches. The story follows El Medico's attempts to shut down the criminal gang led by The Silver Mask. But wait! There's another masked bad guy lurking in the wings.
Originally intended as a 12-chapter serial, the film was never shown in that form. Instead, it was edited into a single feature film which was widely seen in Mexico and briefly in Los Angeles. To our knowledge, the film has NEVER been subtitled or dubbed into English. For our Cinema con Queso screening, we've provided the first ever subtitles!
Our second mind-blowing feature comes all the way from Turkey, where in the 1960s there was an extremely popular series of superhero movies. Most were unlicensed rip-offs of characters like Superman, Spider-Man and even El Santo!
Fantomas vs. The Iron Claw (1969) pits the arch criminal Fantomas (based on a literary character created in 1911 by French writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre) against the heroic Iron Claw, whose main superpower seems to be shooting people. And the plot? Surely you jest. Fantomas is seeking revenge against The Iron Claw for reasons which are never fully explained. What follows is 90 minutes of chases, belly dancing, fistfights and LOTS of gunfights between our hero and the minions of the masked Fantomas.
What Fantomas vs. The Iron Claw lacks in budget and style (and believe us, it's lacking a LOT), it more than makes for in sheer enthusiasm.
Please join us Friday, August 24 at 7:00pm at Lawrence's Liberty Hall. Tickets $10 and available at the door.
Retro Cocktail Hour - Kansas Public Radio, 1120 W. 11th St. - The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66044 • (785) 864-4530 • (888) 577-5268