I love that in 2016, after decades of hunting for interesting, obscure films from all over the world I can still find things that blow my mind. My latest discovery is the three film series from
follows El Latigo a.k.a. The Whip! I had never heard of this character until
spotting the DVD artwork for the third of the series El latigo contra las
momias asesinas (1980) - that translates
to The Whip Against the Killer Mummies!! It's as if this movie were made
specifically for me! A fake Zorro fighting killer mummies? Take my money now!
Luckily for me - and anyone else like me - that fine gentleman Juan over at Fifth Dimension Films has done the world a service by making these obscure movies available with English subtitles. Sadly, I am unilingual with only the vaguest understanding of a few words and phrases in French, Spanish and German so without an English option these kinds of films would be completely lost to me. Indeed, I would probably never bother with them at all because the frustration of not knowing what was going on would enrage me. Yeah sure, I might be able to dope out the basics but that is just not enough. But through the hard work of Juan I can not see EL LATIGO (1978) and it's sequels and for that I am incredibly grateful.
In the first film the villains are pretty straightforward in their goals and methods. They are standard western genre gunslingers and corrupt lawmen hiding behind a thin veneer of respectability until the Whip starts ....... whipping things into shape. But the second film takes a hard left turn as you might conclude from the title - THE WHIP AGAINST SATAN (1979)! Whoa, says I! From thieves and kidnappers to Beelzebub is a mighty big leap. Since The Whip seems loath to use guns (an oddity I find amusing) I felt that surely he was not well armed enough to take on a hoard of demons much less Satan himself. But heroes are made of sterner stuff than mere mortals such as I so into battle he goes. I won't give away the ending but needless to say he does manage to whip things into shape. (Sorry!)
I haven't watched the third film yet. I'm a little busy right now with show prep and I want to be able to give it my full attention but I fully expect it to be just as much fun as the first two. As you might have guessed from the fact that The Whip doesn't use guns the movies are a little juvenile in their approach but I find that part of their charm. Our hero doesn't kill people (kinda iffy on demons) and his actions are always honorable even in rough situations. In a way these play like lost western adventures from the 1950's shot through a Mexican lens. They conform to the rules of the genre while stretching certain details into unfamiliar shapes. For a jaded movie nut like me they are like a cool breeze on a hot day - refreshing!
If you're interested in checking these out for yourself go on over to Fifth Dimension Films and look them over. The trove of subtitled Mexican genre cinema doesn't stop at weird westerns - Juan also has a vast collection of uncut Santo movies as well! Oh yeah!