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Santo in 'The Treasure of Dracula'

original title: Santo en El tesoro de Drácula

Comparison:

  • US Blu-ray (VCI)
  • French DVD
Release: Jan 25, 2022 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Santo and the Treasure of Dracula

Professional wrestler and scientist Santo has invented a time machine that allows him to travel into the body of an ancestor. Since women are better suited for the rigors of time travel, he sends his girlfriend Luisa on the trip, who finds herself in a stately mansion. Recently, their friend Mara has died with two bite wounds on her neck. Luisa is also suffering from bouts of weakness. Professor Van Roth, who is called in, quickly realizes that this must be the work of a vampire who is now targeting Luisa. He is right in his suspicion that it is Count Alucard, who lives nearby. He possesses a magic ring and an amulet with which some women are transformed into willing servants. Just as he is about to do the same to Luisa, she is brought back by Santo. Through time travel, Luisa has knowledge of the whereabouts of Dracula's treasures, which Santo now wants to recover. The masked boss of a crime syndicate has secretly observed the time travel and also sets out to find the treasure.

The Mexican wrestler El Santo, whose career lasted several decades, is considered an icon in his home country. His perpetual fight for justice has been stylized in films and comics. He has appeared in a total of 52 films. One of them is Santo en el tesoro de Drácula, a wild mixture of sci-fi, horror and wrestling. The time travel part is very much based on Dracula. The rest is entertaining nonsense about the search for Alucard's treasure. A crime syndicate mixes things up, culminating in some brawling and a wrestling scene that is extremely contrived in content.

VCI Blu-ray with the erotic version is cut

Two versions were made of Santo en el tesoro de Drácula. In addition to the family-friendly version that was intended for the Mexican market, there is an export version that includes some nude scenes of Alucard and Luisa's servants. Santo is said to have agreed with director René Cardona that only the harmless version would be released. The export version was considered lost for a long time until it was rediscovered in the archives of the production studio Cinematographic Calderón. The export version was supposed to premiere at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in March 2011 under the new title El vampiro y el sexo, but it was canceled due to unresolved licensing issues. In addition, Santo's son El Hijo del Santo opposes it because he was worried about his father's reputation. After the legal problems were resolved, the export version premiered on July 25 at the Diana Theater in Guadalajara. This was followed by a broadcast on Mexican television and further releases, be it on DVD and now on Blu-ray. The film was shot in color, but the Mexican DVD by Zima Entertainment shows the film in black and white.

In the US, the film was released on Blu-ray by VCI, who announce a 4K restoration big on the cover. In addition, the film is available in the English language version for the first time. This is a newly dubbed version of somewhat dubious quality. It may be amusing that the Dracula voice actor tries for a good Bela Lugosi interpretation, but in general the dubbing seems too modern for this film. English subtitles are available, but unfortunately the Spanish language version is missing. This can be considered a major shortcoming. The picture quality is indeed much better than all previous releases, but unfortunately they have turned the color and filter controls too much. The image looks way too soft and the color matching is also messy. A great pity. Also annoying are the redesigned opening and closing credits.

As a comparison with the French DVD revealed, the VCI Blu-ray is also shortened. When Alucard remembers how Luisa bit, the Blu-ray is missing some shots of Luisa naked. Later in his hiding, some dialogue from Alucard is lost. Since there is a reel change at that point, the cut can be attributed to a film tear.

The misses are annoying and can be attributed to sloppiness. The missing footage could have been reconstructed from the French DVD or the Mexican TV version. The picture is too heavily filtered and the English dubbing is poor. Even if the VCI Blu-ray is currently the best quality release of the film, you should think twice about buying it.

Picture Comparison:

Bach Films DVD:

VCI Blu-ray:

Runtimes:

French DVD: 82:05 min.
VCI Blu-ray: 86:00 min.

Comparison between the French DVD by Bach Films and the US Blu-ray by VCI.

[00:00:00][00:00:00]

The French DVD has the Spanish opening credits.



The BD apparently has a new English-language opening credits.



FR: 1:36 min.
BD: 1:47 min.


[00:32:00][00:33:26]

The French DVD shows Van Roth reaching into his pocket to get the stake.

Here, a few seconds are lost in the French DVD as well. There is a missing cut to Soler. Also, in the next shot you see Van Roth earlier.



FR: 2 sec.


[01:12:12][01:15:16]

At the flashback as Alucard remembers how he bit Luisa, the French DVD shows Luisa stroking her body for longer. Cut to Alucard. In the next shot he comes back up to Luisa.



FR: 25 sec.


[01:19:26][01:22:21]

In the French DVD, Alucard goes on to explain that they lived in the darkness that humans call death. Now they need the human blood to stay alive.



Some seconds are lost here as well compared to the Mexican DVD.

FR: 13 sec.


[01:22:55][01:25:46]

In the French DVD, the tomb is seen longer, then Fin fades in.



The BD fades to "The End." The credits for the English language version of the film follow.



FR: 9 sec.
BD: 14 sec.