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Las Luchadoras Contra el Robot Asesino

Luchadoras Contra el Robot Asesino, Las (1969) Movie Poster
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Mexico  •    •  80m  •    •  Directed by: René Cardona.  •  Starring: Joaquín Cordero, Regina Torné, Héctor Lechuga, Malú Reyes, Carlos Agostí, Genaro Moreno, Pascual García Peña, Gloria Chávez, Gerardo Zepeda, Leo Herrera, Eduardo MacGregor, Sally Winters, René Barrera.  •  Music by: Antonio Díaz Conde.
     A mad doctor is using a super-strong robot to kidnap various people. Somehow a female wrestler and her cop boyfriend finds out about the doctors diabolic plans and runs to the rescue.

Review:

Image from: Luchadoras Contra el Robot Asesino, Las (1969)
Image from: Luchadoras Contra el Robot Asesino, Las (1969)
Image from: Luchadoras Contra el Robot Asesino, Las (1969)
Image from: Luchadoras Contra el Robot Asesino, Las (1969)
Image from: Luchadoras Contra el Robot Asesino, Las (1969)
In the 2nd Edition of his meritorious book "The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography" (McFarland 2008) the author RM Cotter says about this film: "The story [...] was a re-write of the first Wrestling Woman movie. Since both were written by Alfredo Salazar, at least the producers were not ripping off someone else's good idea.". (Page 144). This assessment, however, is not quite accurate. There are some elements out of LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL MEDICO ASESINO in it, but mostly LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL ROBOT ASESINO is a rather shameless rip-off of the episode RETURN OF THE CYBERNAUTS from the British TV series THE AVENGERS. The storyline is almost identical, a lot of the dialogs are used word by word and numerous sequences are copied in detail. To stretch the story of the 50-minute TV film to feature length, the writer invented a second showdown, and another Mexican horror film was ready to shoot. LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL ROBOT ASESINO is a wonderfully surreal concoction of absurd ideas and numerous set pieces of the horror and science fiction genre, stretched with some rather boring wrestling scenes, as they are typical of many Mexican genre films. These kind of movies, often with masked wrestlers in the hero's role, were mainly produced in the 50s, 60s and 70s, mostly cheap and in large numbers. To save time and money, the producers generously used the ideas of other filmmakers or integrated whole scenes from other films into their own productions. For the producers of LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL ROBOT ASESINO thrift was also the main rule. Thus the laboratory where Dr. Orlac performs his infamous experiments is rather poorly and meager equipped, despite the supply with "aparatos electronicas" from "Siemens, Mexicana SA". Carlos Agosti as Dr. Orlac performs in the style of the classic "mad scientist", but overdoing it a bit, with rolling eyes, malicious laughter and an overall very grandiose gesture. Of course, a monster he created ("el hombre zombie") and held captive in the basement of the lab also belongs to the inventory of the film. Joaquin Cordero as Inspector Arturo Campos remains pale in the part of the hero and the resolute "Luchadoras" are little more than decorative additions. Hector Lechuga provides a few comedic moments as the goofy assistant of the investigating inspector, but most of his antics are just plain silly. The real star of the film is undoubtedly the robot, a delightfully grotesque sight, with a metal head, a black trench coat, black hat and sunglasses. It is great fun to see him rip car doors out of their anchorage or clearing his way through walls and doors with karate blows.

But as already mentioned, screenwriter Alfredo Salazar has "borrowed" not only the appearance of the robot, but almost all of the films ideas from RETURN OF THE CYBERNAUTS. Particularly the following scenes and details from RETURN OF THE CYBERNAUTS can be find almost unchanged in LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL ROBOT ASESINO: The programming of the robot is done with index cards that are inserted into the robot, with a photo of the victim, some strange hieroglyphics and other data on it. These cards are designed almost identical in both films. The kidnapping of the scientists is in both films more or less identically staged. When the robot attacks one of the scientists, he can escape at first, but loses the keys to his car on the run. He manages to get them back in time and to start the car. At the same moment the robot braces against the vehicle, preventing it from leaving. While the driver puts the pedal, the car does not move a bit. In both films there is a close-up of the key lying on the ground and two close-ups of the spinning wheels. In both films one of the scientists fires his revolver against the robot, but that proves useless. When one of the scientists, who are imprisoned in large barred cells, refuses to participate in the realization of the villains plans, he gets the permission to leave the laboratory. But the man does not get far, because the robot kills him. One of the scientists manages to build a small bomb which he ignites in the laboratory. In the general confusion he can escape, but shortly after that he is being tracked by the robot and brought back to the lab. Later he is killed when the apparatus invented by the scientists is tested on him. Absolutely identical in both films is the sequence in which the robot appears in one of the victims office. He goes by the telephoning secretary to the office door, and the somewhat stupid typist begins to flirt with the robot until it knocks her out. Later, her only concern is her hairstyle and whether she will look good enough on the expected press photos. And finally, the showdown in the laboratory can be found in both movies, but as RETURN OF THE CYBERNAUTS ends here, screenwriter Salazar delivers a bonus with a second showdown in a wrestling arena. According to the Mexican Internet Movie Database www.cineyrevmex.unam.mx LAS LUCHADORAS CONTRA EL ROBOT ASESINO was shot between the 10th and 30th April 1968 and was shown in Mexico on January 9, 1969 for the first time. The AVENGERS episode RETURN OF THE CYBERNAUTS was first broadcast on September 30, 1967 in the UK as episode 121 and in the U.S.A. on February 21, 1968. In Germany the film was released 22.05.1972 under the title HORROR-MONSTER SCHLAGEN ZU and it was apparently the "El Sexo" version (EL LOCO ASESION Y EL SEXO) of the movie. So called "El Sexo" versions were produced of many Mexican horror films in the 60s and 70s. In these cases, additional or differently shot scenes with more erotic content than in the "regular" version were inserted into a movie. Most of these "El Sexo" versions seem to have been lost.


Review by Henry Spencer from the Internet Movie Database.