Mystery Science Theater 3000: SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA
March 5, 2022 12:45 PM - Season 13, Episode 1 - Subscribe

a.k.a. Santo en el tesoro de Drácula, Santo and Dracula's Treasure. "A COLORES!" El Santo, the Silver Mask, is a luchador who likes to dabble both in Super Science and the supernatural. He's invented a time machine that sends a young woman back into a past life, which was turned into a vampire by Dracula, while he watches. But never mind the infernal terror, El Santo learns about the great treasure of Dracula's family, and he wants a piece! But so does the mob! There's a lot of movies in this movie. The episode is missing ending credits, and way a bit marred by technical difficulties, but it was shown last night, and was pretty good! Kinga and Max escape the storage room of Moon 13 by exploding it, causing a cave-in. So they're currently set up on Moon 1, on the lunar surface, and opening Kinga's newest venture, the Kingadome. It contains the Gizmoplex, which in the show's lore is a physical place, but it's also the website the episode can be viewed by backers of last year's Kickstarter, here. A more general release will come in May.

It's been a long time since I did this!

MST3K Wikia - Paste Magazine

Rotten Tomatoes (Critics N/A, Audience 58%) - Wikipedia
IMDB (1969, 5.5 stars)
"Mexican wrestler El Santo invents a time machine. After somebody uses the machine to find the hidden location of Drácula's treasure, El Santo must hunt down the vampire."
Directed by René Cardona. Written by Alfredo Salazar, based on "Dracula," created by Bram Stoker. Starring Santo (Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta), Aldo Monti, Noelia Noel and Alberto Rojas as Perico.

Turns out they distributed a version of this movie with nudity, titled El Vampiro y el Sexo, in 1968, and a poster was even made for it, but it was not shown publicly until 2011.

As for the episode, new things this season are some ad segments. They're pay-offs of a Kickstarter perk, and are performed by the cast. They're pretty entertaining, as is an intermission sketch by Joel and a couple of other crew, where they make "Nachos El Santo" and introduce their new soda printer, which makes legally-distinct flavors like Mountain Don't, A&W Foot Beer, and... Orange Flush. Ew.

In technical matters, this season has a distinct feel to it. Anticipating restrictions from COVID, a lot of Season 13 is being made using green screens and digital compositing, and it affects the look of the show. See what you think.

Finally, a word for Perico, a comic-relief character in the movie, the Shaggy to Santo's Fred. A friend of and assistant to Santo, but is mocked and mildly bullied by him. Why does he stick around? Find someone better Perico!
posted by JHarris (17 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A bit of a shaky start, but the movie choice was perfect. It's amazing they didn't do more El Santo films back in the day.

Now that I know the green screen was a COVID thing makes me feel better. I thought it was a cost saving measure and I missed the tactile background. I mean, on one hand it opens up the things they can do like Kinga's dome emerging and it's clearly a miniature they were able to blow up in size. On the other hand, the weird look of the characters against the green screen makes me think they're about to show me the weather conditions in Omaha.

My daughter actually sat down with me to watch it last night and started riffing. Her favorite riff was variations of "The Bad Guy has a traffic cone on his head".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:05 PM on March 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

Mean Jonah Okerlund interviewing the bots as wrestlers who have nothing but nice things to say about one another was a delight. I had to pause it because I was laughing so hard.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:47 PM on March 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

A big part of the success of the wrestlers sketch is how well Baron sells that Macho Man impression, it's great!
posted by JHarris at 8:57 PM on March 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

Maybe it's just been a long time since I saw new MST3K, but I thought this was better than either Netflix season. Felicia and Patton seemed more relaxed in their roles. The movie was perfect fodder for MST3K. I thought the riffing was above average as well. A very good start to the new season.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:50 AM on March 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

A big part of the success of the wrestlers sketch is how well Baron sells that Macho Man impression, it's great!

My daughter's response to that voice: "Are they trying to do Space Ghost's Grandpa?"
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:58 AM on March 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

Did anyone else have problems with the sound and picture not synching properly during the first 20-30 minutes or was that just me? (I mean for the host segments since the movie was pretty badly dubbed)
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 1:14 PM on March 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Ardship - yes, I noticed the same thing. I thought it was just the new technology being tried for the first time.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:34 PM on March 6, 2022

Perico: I saw a guy in a mask lurking about!

Masked Luchadore El Santo: A guy in a mask? I don't believe those really exist.
posted by ckape at 4:10 PM on March 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

I liked the green screen look in the end--it looked a little amateur, but it gave me the impression of "what would MST3K look like if it started at KTMA today?" that fits for this show and maybe no other.

Agree that the riffing was on point and the wrestling promo host segment really took me back, in a good way.
posted by stevis23 at 4:49 AM on March 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

According to the Kickstarter backer updates, former MST3K head writer Elliott Kalan (who has stepped back due to other commitments during the post-Netflix hiatus) has been put in charge of writing all of the host segments this season. His particular comedic voice is pretty recognizable, but also feels a bit more true to the sketch-inspired stuff of the original run, instead of the more story-based stuff we got in the Sci-Fi and Netflix years.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:56 AM on March 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Some of the backers are grumbling about the look & feel of the green screen sets. I just think it’s a cool technical achievement that the show can shift to remote production at the drop of a hat if needed.
posted by dr_dank at 3:23 PM on March 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the show changes forms every so often, that's just the most recent iteration, and actually one with the best justification. I remember back ages ago complaining on Compuserve that Joel and Frank were leaving! I think MST has shown us, whatever form it takes, regardless of what it might mean for a different show, this one deserves a chance to make it work, and will be different in some other way eventually anyway.
posted by JHarris at 6:45 PM on March 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

It's amazing they didn't do more El Santo films

A lot of them weren't available back in the day and only a handful were available dubbed - in fact some of the films were considered "lost" (only crappy TV prints remained) for a long time until they turned up in 2000s. This one, in particular, was recently remastered (including the Euro cut, El vampiro y el sexo, which features a fair bit of nudity ) so it was likely available. Anyone needing more Santo need only look to David Wilt's old school review site of those films.
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:01 AM on March 9, 2022

It's also possible that they were considered too silly for MST, in general? A story going around says that Frank's last episode was originally going to be Master Ninja III, but they switched it to Samson And The Vampire Women because Frank had a fondless for the Santo films. But why wouldn't they have done it before? Maybe they didn't want their jokes to compete with a masked luchador super scientist fighting the supernatural?
posted by JHarris at 3:22 PM on March 9, 2022

Also to Ashwagandha that site is, IMO, what the World Wide Web should be. It is an old-school wonder!
posted by JHarris at 3:31 PM on March 9, 2022

It's also possible that they were considered too silly for MST, in general?

The Santo movies are pretty varied, I'm perhaps biased as I've recently watched all of them, but none are more silly than Eegah and certainly no worse than Master Ninja. I'm not saying they are coherent though - one of them has Santo building a time machine, another has him keeping office hours and advising young couples on marital difficulties. I do think print availability and the lack of dubbed versions is the real cause. Really only Santo and Wax Museum and Santo vs the Vampire Women were, for years, the only dubbed Santo films available (via K. Gordon Murray - MST fans will know his release of the Mexican Santa Claus movie). The Mexican films that are the real missed opportunity, for me, are the La caperucita roja films. They are mostly insane.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:47 PM on March 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

We've seen one of the La caperucita roja movies! Little Red Riding Hood, dubbed by K. Gordon Murray, was the subject of a fan-made MSTing.
posted by JHarris at 10:51 AM on March 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

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