Midcentury Mexican sci-fi kitsch movies: an appreciation

Over at the WIRED "Underwired" pop culture blog, Hugh Hart has an extensive post up about cheesy, low-budget Mexican science fiction movies from the '50s and '60s. Above, a scene from Santo vs. the Martians (1967), which features the famous Mexican wrestler defending nuestra planeta against space-aliens. Snip:


These unsung heroes of vintage Mexican cinema mesmerized south-of-the-border moviegoers for a decade in low-budget pictures that threw together science, sex and action with low-budget abandon.

"Part of the charm of these films is that they are so atrociously underbudgeted and the effects are so cheesy," said UCLA Film & Television Archive programmer Shannon Kelley, who curated the upcoming free film series "Aztec Mummies & Martian Invaders: Mexican Sci-Fi Classics."

"To make something seem supernatural, they'd just add a strange warble sound effect in the background," she said. (…) "The aliens all wore these very simple Mylar costumes," she said. "Plus you have the posturing by the actors."

Vintage Mexican Sci-Fi Beams a Blast From the Past, con Queso (WIRED: Underwired)

And if you're in Los Angeles, every Friday in August there are screenings of these films over at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. Looks like an amazing lineup, I hope to catch at least one of them: ¡ AZTEC MUMMIES & MARTIAN INVADERS !: MEXICAN SCI-FI CLASSICS