Goddamn I love this poster!
Original Title: Operacion 67
Director: René Cardona Jr., René Cardona
Writers: Rafael García Travesi, Gregorio Walerstein
Operacion 67 features a pair of heroes, Santo and his hunky partner who attempt to stop Asian villains who are attempting to throw Latin America into chaos by flooding the area with counterfeit money. The two must engage in a number of dangerous altercations when the villains come for them as well.
Released the same year as my previous review, Santo Contra La Invasion de los Marcianos, this film goes almost in a completely different direction. Operacion 67 has a hero Santo, villains trying to kill him, and good ol' wrasslin, but this film finds our silver-masked friend portraying a Bond-borrowed spy with human enemies, he's a ladies man, and we even get some bare tit action!
Tits in a Santo movie!
This ain't your mama's luchador flick!
Boobiiiies! Could I have taken a manlier looking screenshot? Jesus Christ...
No capes this time... well for the most part. Santo sports not only his turtleneck get up that he grew partial toward as the 70s rolled on, but he has an awesome mod-bathing suit and silky smoking jacket as well. The shimmer really matches the shine on his mask I think. He and his partner really are presented with James Bond in mind, as evident in the title sequence that really hearkens to the Bond movie introductions, only instead of a man in a tux firing his gun, we get the one cape appearance by Santo as he wrestles random guys.
No monsters here either. This is Santo's first film not featuring some sort of supernatural element. And it feels very 60s as opposed to Contra Invasion de los Marcianos that still had a 50s holdover. Here you'll see more gunplay, cars with gadgets on board, secret hideouts, and most of the conventions typically found in the spy movies that got so popular at the time.
And with those spy movie conventions also unfortunately comes a conventional plot. There is nothing groundbreaking here, as is the case with many Santo films, the fun of them really being the individual parts that make these films so quirky. It has it's exciting moments, but honestly if this was not a Santo flick, it would be a total snoozer.
You'll laugh at Santo on his indoor beach. Smile at his partner Jorge who is badass enough to carry a fucking bazooka in his car. There's some brilliantly funny use of dummies falling from treacherous heights. Of course the wrestling matches show up. The go-to scientist who can invent anything? He's there.
And THIS made me laugh more than anything in the whole movie. It just looked so ridiculous to me for some reason!
Santo is his normal stiff as a board self. Keep an eye out for his DRAMATIC dodging of bullets as he is driving his car. You'll think the bullets are whizzing over your own head!!!!
Jorge Rubio as Jorge Rivera (they really got creative with that name) actually does a decent job. I suppose though if you are sharing the screen with Santo and not wearing a mask, you already have a leg up and will look a little better. He wasn't offensive at least. He is JACKED and I'm sure easy on the ladies eyes, so poor Santo, not quite the most ripped of individuals, has two strikes against him. Rubio, still acting, has quite an enormous resume.
The villainess, played by American Elizabeth Campbell, isn't bad either, but she is really stunning and I liked seeing her in a powerful position. She is sinister in a cheesy kind of way... good for this kind of film.
Rene Cardona and Cardona Jr. directed this film and did a good job I think creating this departure from the Gothic horror styles of the previous films. We'll see more from the Cardona clan here on the blog before the month is over...we'll just say it looks like Junior took the reins from dad and steered the carriage into the fucking gutter.
Anyway, while there's nothing groundbreaking, there are some elements in the storytelling, staging, and the photography direction that set this film apart from previous Santo entries. Regardless of it was stolen from other spy-thriller type films, it has a sense of style, as I mentioned, that really had it feeling like a 60s genre entry as opposed to 50s. Awww Santo growed up!
I feel like I haven't talked much about this one. Operacion 67 isn't the greatest, but interesting in lucha-movie history and the evolution of Santo from Saint to ladies man.
I found plenty of entertaining (and entertainingly bad) elements, but also loved see this transformation.
Moderate recommendation unless you're just into the genre.
Score 5.5 / 10