Doctor of Doom (1960)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Horror  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |   Countries - Mexico  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Fred Beldin

Something gets lost in translation when idiosyncratically Mexican films are dubbed for audiences north of the border, and the resulting cultural slugfests are bizarre by any measure. Doctor of Doom comes courtesy the late, great K. Gordon Murray, an American producer and distributor who reworked and rereleased scores of Mexican features for drive-ins and Saturday afternoon matinees. Originally known as Las Luchadoras Contra El Medico Asesino, this enjoyably goofy lady wrestler melodrama pits two lovely pugilists against a "Mad Doctor" (as he's known in the press) who performs experimental brain operations involving "women of low IQs" and gorillas. Doctor of Doom is composed like a mini-serial: Every 20 minutes or so, a confrontation between the police and the evil scientist concludes with a narrow escape or a foiled capture. Wrestling fans will love the authentic ringside footage, of which there's a generous helping, but the rest of the film is cardboard cheap and a bastion of lunacy for lovers of weird cinema. The folks behind Doctor of Doom were veterans of the Mexican film industry. René Cardona was a journeyman director of low-budget Mexican genre films including a number of Santo titles, and screenwriter Alfredo Salazar was nearly as prolific at his trade. They brought most of the cast back the following year for a sequel, Las Luchadoras Contra la Momia, or as it was known stateside, Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy.