DOCTOR OF DOOM (1963) Reviews of Mexican ape monster and female wrestlers movie

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Doctor of Doom is a 1963 Mexican science fiction horror film about a mad scientist who transplants an ape’s brain into a man to kidnap women.

Directed by René Cardona from a screenplay written by Alfredo Salazar, the movie stars Lorena Velázquez, Armando Silvestre, Elizabeth Campbell, Roberto Cañedo, Sonia Infante, Chucho Salinas and Chabela Romero.

The redubbed and shortened US version for American International Pictures Television was supervised by K. Gordon Murray.

Remade in 1969 as La Horripilante Bestia Humana, which was re-edited as Night of the Bloody Apes with more splattery scenes and thus became one of the notorious British video nasties in the early 1980s.

Plot:
A mad scientist terrorizes a city by kidnapping young women with his ape-man Gomar and then using them as subjects in brain transplant experiments. A female wrestler whose sister was one of the victims swears vengeance against the mad doctor…

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Reviews:

Doctor of Doom is composed like a mini-serial: Every 20 minutes or so, a confrontation between the police and the evil scientist concludes with a narrow escape or a foiled capture. Wrestling fans will love the authentic ringside footage, of which there’s a generous helping, but the rest of the film is cardboard cheap and a bastion of lunacy for lovers of weird cinema.” AllMovie

How bad is it? It’s the first and one of the better Mexican wrestling women movies. Should you see it? It can’t hurt (much). Avoid the “Rock n Roll Wrestling Women” redubbed version […] There’s plenty of action and silliness.” Down Among the “Z” Movies

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Doctor of Doom is camp-filled, high-spirited enjoyment, much in the tradition of old-time serials. There’s daffy dubbing, unintentional humor, unconvincing stunt doubles, an overacting villain, a gorilla monster with bad make-up, and a couple of beautiful babes who spend most of the running time kicking everybody’s @ss in.” DVD Drive-In

“It’s certainly not for all tastes, and is so bad (in so many ways) that you may groan more than you laugh — but there’s something endearing about the sight of strong women wrestling their way to the top, beating up bad guys […] Many watch this film for the extended female wrestling scenes (which become tedious if you’re not a fan), but its primary enjoyment (such as it is) really comes from the awful dubbing.” Film Fanatics

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“Because [K. Gordon] Murray preferred dialogue that matched the Mexican actors’ lip movements, rather than an accurate translation of the original dialogue, some of the lines induce wild laughter […] Not that it’s possible to get too melodramatic in a film featuring cliffhangers, a super-strong man-ape named Gomar, plenty of fistfights in rooms stocked with empty cardboard boxes, cheap sets, and a spiked-wall trap.” Johnny LaRue’s Crane Shot

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“Although the pace is fast and the action plentiful, to be fair the story is a little hackneyed. But any shortfalls in that department are more than made up for by our feisty heroines. They go toe to toe with the Doctor’s goons at every opportunity and Velazquez certainly has a mean right. There’s no flashy martial arts combat here; the girls are just plain hard!” Mark David Welsh 

“The cops outfit the girls with signal wristwatches, so they can be located in case they are abducted. Then, go figure, it’s the boys who fall into a death trap set by Doc — metal spikes on one side, Gomar on the other, as the walls close in — so the girls use the signal watches to track down the cops and rescue them. This movie empowers women.” Mark Voger

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“The film moves quickly and boasts a number of hilarious highlights, including an educational female wrestling demonstration that must be witnessed to be believed. On top of that you get voluptuous women, a midget wrestler, a gang of masked baddies, and the aforementioned flesh-eating ape monster. Then there’s the outrageous climax…” Mondo Digital

“What Doctor of Doom lacks in finesse — and it lacks a lot — it makes up in exuberance and a not-quite innocent charm, like an old Mascot serial or a horror flick from PRC. Director Rene Cardona, who launched wrestling super-star Santo into a cinematic career, handles it with just the right slap-dash energy and enough inattention to detail to keep things in constant motion.” Mystery*File

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” …it doesn’t make much sense but has a vivacious verve that complements its lunatic storyline. There are plenty moments of hilarity, such as the small detective telephoning his deaf grandmother to warn her of the mayhem and roaring down the line at her, or the delirious way the Mad Doctor transplants the gorilla brain into a female wrestler called Vendetta for revenge, all making Doctor of Doom a lot of fun.” The Spinning Image

“This movie is a treat. Nearly every scene has something to delight: odd dialog, bad science, weird costumes, silly action. It’s just relentlessly goofy and quite charming […] The film hit the ground running and captivated me for the duration.” Web of the Big Damn Spider

YouTube reviews:

Trailer:

Cast and characters:
Lorena Velázquez … Gloria Venus
Armando Silvestre … Armando Campos
Elizabeth Campbell … Golden Rubi
Roberto Cañedo … Professor Ruiz
Sonia Infante … Alicia/Alice
Chucho Salinas … Chema
Chabela Romero … Carmela Camacho “Vendetta”
Martha ‘Güera’ Solís … Wrestler
Magdalina Caballero … Wrestler
Tona La Tapatia … Wrestler
Irma Gonzales … Wrestler
Jesús Murcielago Velázquez … Marcado
Cavernario Galindo … Wrestler
Reyes Oliva … Wrestler
Raúl Reyes … Wrestler

Original title:
Las Luchadoras Contra el Médico Asesino

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