SANTO IN THE WAX MUSEUM (1963) Reviews and overview

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Santo in the Wax Museum is a 1963 Mexican superhero horror feature film about the titular wrestler investigating a number of kidnappings. The original title is Santo en el museo de cera. The English-language dubbed version released to TV by American International in the USA via K. Gordon Murray was retitled Samson in the Wax Museum.

Directed by Alfonso Corona Blake (Santo vs. the Vampire Women; The World of Vampires) and Manuel San Fernando from a screenplay co-written by Alfonso Corona Blake and Fernando Galiana (as Fernando Galeana) and based on a story by Julio Porter, the Filmadora Panamericana production stars Santo, Claudio Brook, Norma Mora and Rubén Rojo.

A young female photographer visits the wax museum for a magazine photoshoot but later disappears. The museum’s proprietor, Dr Karol (Claudio Brook), pleads innocent and asks his professor friend to enlist Santo to investigate the crime and clear his good name… but is he as innocent as he appears?

” …this combo House of Wax (’53) and Island of Lost Souls (’32) excels primarily for a dominating, duplicitously evil performance by Claudio Brook. Just one of many high points, his evocation of a former concentration camp survivor creating monsters via human subjects makes for a formidable foe for the masked wrestler-crime fighter. A good script and capable direction…” Cool Ass Cinema

“The dubbing is better than usual, and Claudio Brook makes for a decent villain (physically resembling John Carradine), even though his obligated scars are limited to his hands and his body, and we don’t get treated to a House of Wax-like “scarred face” revelation for the climax. With clever nods to other famous Hollywood horrors, Samson in the Wax Museum is grand fun, and definitely one of the superior Santo adventures.” DVD Drive-In

“The movie trots on for about forty minutes pretending that no one has any idea who is responsible for the disappearances (anyone in the movie, that is; the average viewer should figure it out in ten seconds). There’s some nice horror scenes of wax figures coming to life, and some scattered fun throughout.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“While the first half of the film is dreary, the second picks up and becomes an enjoyable B movie. This begins with the revelation of Dr Karol as the villain. Rather entertainingly, Karol is outfitted with a full mad scientist’s laboratory where he holds Roxana Bellini tied up to a lab table intending to turn her into his Panther Girl exhibit.” Moria

“The only disappointment was that Frankenstein’s Monster, Jack the Ripper, Doctor Jekyll, Stalin and Gary Cooper never came alive because that would have been almost too cool for school. Instead, we get these four ugly pig-men who mostly acts like zombies and can’t fight! But don’t worry. There’s enough fights for the whole family and good one’s too.” Ninja Dixon

“It all looks rather cheap and static, even though some of the sets and most of the make-up effects are quite well done. Storywise it’s not that special and acting-wise it’s very dated although Claudio Brook is deliciously villainous.” Screen Anarchy

“Action, thrills, animated dummies, even unintentional laughs (especially unintentional laughs, some would say), they’re all here in a typical entry in the cycle.” The Spinning Image

“The thing that’s kinda cool about it is that it also borrows freely from The Island of Lost Souls too as Dr Karol keeps a race of animal men in his dungeon (and naturally they turn on their creator and kill him). These final scenes are electric. Shortcomings aside, this movie features Samson fighting monsters in a cool mad scientist lab; so what more could you ask for?” The Video Vacuum

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Choice dialogue:

Doctor Karol: Such young beauty. Your skin is as soft as a baby’s Susan. And very soon now you’ll have wrinkles and ugly lines. Your mouth is perfectly shaped. I’ll transform it into a constant hideous grimace.”

Doctor Karol: “Don’t be silly. Death is too simple a solution. I hate beauty in others and for that, I’ll punish you.”

Doctor Karol: “In a few minutes I will start the transformation I have in store for you. I detest loveliness and yours is about to disappear, Susan.”

Susan: “You sadistic dog!”

Doctor Karol: “Oh, how I enjoy it when I torment others and see their terror and hear their desperation.”

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Main cast and characters:

Santo … Santo (as Santo? El Enmascarado de Plata – real name Rodolfo Guzman Huerta)
Claudio Brook … Doctor Karol
Norma Mora … Gloria
Rubén Rojo … Ricardo Carbajal
Roxana Bellini … Susana Mendoza
José Luis Jiménez … Professor Galván
Víctor Velázquez … Inspector Fernández
Jorge Mondragón … Comisario / Police Chief
Fernando Osés … Secuaz / Henchman
Nathanael León … Secuaz / Bald henchman (as Leon Moreno)
Concepción Martínez … Elderly lady who found the camera
Myron Levine … Doctor

Technical details:

92 minutes
Black and white
Aspect ratio: 1.37: 1
Audio: Mono


Released on 20th June 1963 in Mexico

More Mexican movies

More wax museum mayhem

Some images: Cool Ass Cinema

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