JUST YOUR AVERAGE SF-VAMPIRE-SINGING VAQUERO MOVIE
Blame this one on Scott Phillips (make sure you get the right one). Sometime earlier this year he put some stills from SHIP OF MONSTERS (1960) on his fb page, and I was immediately hooked. I had to see this crazy-looking Mexican horror film, but no matter how diligently I searched the intertubes, all I can find was Spanish language versions. But, as a long-time habitue of eBay, I have learned the ways of patience. And finally, after months of waiting, my patience has been rewarded. Amply.
Ship of Monsters stars Ana Bertha Lepe and Lorena Velazquez as Gamma and Beta, the apparently Greek-speaking Venusians who want our men. Yes — this time around men are the prizes sought by scheming aliens whose own native-born bed-warmers have been wiped out by a non-specific but no doubt horrendous atomic disaster as Gamma and Beta are sent on a mission to scour the solar system to find suitable mates to repopulate the planet.
The Venusians must be pretty hard up because the first five males they capture on various planets are about as repulsive as you can find. Repulsive and nasty.
Fortuitously, they’re forced to land on the Earth to repair their spaceship and they run into Lauriano (Eulalio Gonzales), the singing vaquero, who is, frankly, something of a loser who lives in a run-down hacienda with Chuy, his young brother, and Lolabrigida the cow.
But he’s a prince of his sex compared to the previously captured men-folk, and both Venusian babes fall for him. Inexplicably, Lauriano only has eyes for Gamma, the expedition’s commander. She’s nice enough, but is no match for Beta, who is a bad-girl goddess, as can be seen in the two photos below. (Disclaimer: not taken from this film.)
(Velazquez, who is known as the “ageless wonder” still works regularly on Mexican tv today.)
But Beta is not the kind of girl who takes no for an answer. While Tor, the amazingly funky robot they picked up somewhere in their travels about the solar system (Lauriano calls him Trac-tor), repairs the ship, Beta schemes to capture Lauriano’s heart, but to no avail. So she releases their collection of odious aliens on the Earth, and, her sinister secret revealed, tries to compel Lauriano to become her mate.
Any more details would ruin the twists and turns of this vastly entertaining comedy/drama/ musical. Needless to say, Lauriano ultimately finds his true love — as does Tor — and presumably lives happily ever after, although the big problem posed at the movie’s beginning never really gets solved.
This is a must-see for those who like their films on the bizarrely surreal side. The only place you can get it with English subtitles is at trashpalace.com, whose proprietor produced the dubbed version of this vastly entertaining movie. He has plenty more rare and unusual titles available at his site. Go check them out. Tell him that Cheese Magnet sent you, and beg him for more Mexican horror classics.
My Rating: 9
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