Rudos vs. Technicos
It's April 1st, so you know what that means. No, not April Fool's Day, Wrestlemania! This is the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympics for wrestling nerds like myself and what better way to celebrate than with a wrestling-based horror movie. Some might think that Hulk Hogan's “Suburban Commando,” Triple H's “The Chaperone,” or The Big Show's “Knucklehead” would be considered horror movies, but no, they're just bad. I could have went with “See No Evil” starring Kane, who is actually performing tonight against Randy Orton, but maybe I'll save that for Summer Slam. For this induction, we go south of the border where Lucha Libre is king. It's time for Wrestlemaniac! Ding! Ding! Ding!
Wrestlemaniac (also known as “El Mascardo Massacre) stars Rey Misterio Sr. as the masked wrestler, El Mascardo. Amateur porn director Alphonse is driving a van through Mexico with adult film stars Dallas (Leila Milani, WWE Diva Search, Deal or No Deal), Debbie, and Daisy. He's also joined by Jimbo, who owns the van, and Steve the camera man (Jeremy Radin). They are on their way to film a low-budget porn when they get lost on a back road. They stop at a rundown gas station where a weird man (Irwin Keyes, House of 1000 Corpses, The Flintstones) gives them directions to the closest gas station, but warns them that it cuts through the haunted town of “La Sangre de Dios.” Steve knows about the town where the masked wrestler El Mascardo was sent after brutally murdering his opponents. Legend has it that El Mascardo was some sort of Frankstein-style monster, made up of parts from the 3 best wrestlers in Mexico in order to win at the Olympics. They arrive in the abandoned town to shoot their movie and are slowly being picked off by the very real El Mascardo. In true luch libre fashion, when El Mascardo defeats his enemies, he rips their faces off in lieu of masks, the ultimate humiliation. While hiding, Steve discovers audio tapes that give details into El Mascardo. He had been lobotomized many times to no effect and follows the rules of lucha libre wrestling. Will Steve and Dallas be able to defeat El Mascardo and remove his mask?
This low-budget pseudo-slasher movie is low on plot but high on bloody fun. The story is very basic, even more so than your average killer movie. Just get the people to the place so they can be killed. Wrestlemaniac doesn't need much of a story because it bodyslams you with tons of blood, gore, and action. The makeup looks very good, especially when El Mascardo rips off his victim's faces. There are a few wrestling moves thrown in to make a mark like me smile, but no real lucha. Rey Misterio Sr. (uncle to current WWE star Rey Mysterio) is a bit too old to be doing flips and hurricanranas, but he is still a very imposing horror villain. Non wrestling fans will still be able to enjoy themselves, though they may miss a few references and winks to the sport (or sports entertainment if you prefer). Having your mask removed in Lucha is a very big deal, one that people do not take lightly, especially if it's not supposed to happen.
I would have liked more origin and back story to El Mascardo. Maybe some flashbacks to previous matches or when he arrived in the town. The movie is only about 85 minutes long, so it wasn't time constraints. Maybe they just didn't have the budget to make it happen. The acting is fine, with Jeremy Radin and Leila Milani putting in the best performances. There are some cool and creative camera shots that really capture the horror and violence. The music is good throughout and the mariachi music is a nice touch.
El Mascardo lost the pie-eating contest
Wrestlemaniac might not be the smartest horror movie, but it has a fairly original idea and loads of bloody violence to keep you entertained. The makeup is great and the acting is good enough to keep you involved in the story. Rey Misterio puts on a good, imposing performance and could have a future in horror. Tonight, I'll be cheering on CM Punk, The Rock, Undertaker and the rest as the do battle at wrestling's biggest night of the year. Best in the world!