Saturday, May 07, 2011

EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO - Close But No Cigar... Yet!

Who's that masked man? El Santo or a double?

It was supposed to have been screened. EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO. The mythical "nude version" of SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA (SANTO EN EL TESORO DE DRACULA). At a film festival in Guadalajara. Then El Hijo del Santo (Santo's son) stepped in, made legal threats, and a public showing of one of the most sought after Mexican films was cancelled.

The history of EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO is as follows:

When SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA was being filmed, producer Guillermo Calderon Stell suggested to El Santo, who also was producing, that a few nude scenes be filmed for European exhibition. According to El Hijo:

"Guillermo Calderon proposed to El Santo to make--as his first film as a partner--an adult version where they might show naked actresses who participated in the film, including Noelia Noel, with the intention of exhibiting it in Europe, which my father, at that time, strongly objected to, arguing that his films should not have sex or extreme violence, because his films were for the whole family, not for adults....

"My father told his then partner, he had every right to film what he wanted, and even make another movie, but that the name of El Santo and his performance and image could not be used under any circumstances. It was then that, respecting the arguments of my father, Calderon shot some scenes with Aldo Monti (Dracula) and actresses Gina Moret, Jessica Rivano, Sonia Aguilar, among others, who played the female vampires in transparent gauze, exposing the upper part of their bodies, and that was titled EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO...."

Guillermo Calderon Stell shelved the nude version (though it had showings in other parts of the world), and it became if not a "lost film," certainly impossible see in its adult version. Recently, while researching the Calderon filmography for a documentary, Viviana Garcia Besne (Calderon's niece) discovered the film in a warehouse and saw the obvious potential of releasing it.

The current wish from Team Calderon is to reactivate the Calderon Stell film library for international sales, to include this coveted version of SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA. We can only hope that this will happen, as surely enough years have gone by to diminish, if not invalidate, the wish to keep El Santo's image squeaky clean among kids who are not that into El Santo these days, as were earlier generations, and who are much more familiar with nudity and sex than those generations ever were. Just the knowledge that such a version exists, including other El Santo films in nude versions (!), is enough to make this wish rather realistically flimsy. Then, too, the publicity behind a release of this nude variant would do much to put the entire El Santo film catalog front and center on the market.

Let's go for it.