Lucha Libre related milestones and Lucha Libre movies from Mexico up to 1969
By: Juan Nunez
The following is a running list of Lucha Libre related milestones and Lucha Libre movies from Mexico up to 1969. There's plenty of stuff between 1970 and the 90's as well, but I felt like I had to cap this list because it was a lot. Most movies are listed by the exact release date, but some are listed with a year because their release date is unknown. I only looked at movies from Mexico. Other Latin American countries might have their own Lucha Libre movies as well, but I'm not knowledgeable in them.
I want to give a huge credit to the Grandes Figuras De La Lucha Libre magazine. Most of this information comes from them.
Also, people might be interested to know that many of these movies are on Youtube.
January 15, 1918 - Maciste Turista (Maciste The Tourist) - An Italian production about a Hercules-like Italian hero named Maciste. This is one of the oldest film series in the world. The plot of this particular movie revolves around Maciste, traveling to Mexico on vacation and running into adventures. The lead role was played by Mexican strong-man and Lucha Libre pioneer Enrique Ugartechea.
March 30, 1932 - Santa - The first Mexican sound film. Not directly related to Lucha Libre.
August 18, 1938 - Padre de mas de cuatro (Father of more than four) - A movie about a boxer and wrestler trying to get out of debt. This movie is noteworthy for featuring the first known plot about a wrestler, and also featuring footage shot at Arena Modelo, AKA the original Arena Mexico. This movie is not considered the first Lucha Libre movie because it doesn't follow the normal action-adventure format of the genre.
February 24, 1939 - El Capitan Aventurero (The adventuroes captain) - A police captain chases a bank-robbing romantic couple that outsmarts him. The boxer, wrestler, and referee Ruddy Blancerte is a part of the cast.
October 29, 1949 - No me defiendas compadre (No defend me buddy) - A part of the long-running comedy series of movies by German "Tin Tan" Valdes. This one features the main character working as a wrestler as he tries to avoid going to jail.
February 26, 1952 - Huracan Ramirez (Hurricane Ramirez) - The first in a series of films about the crime-fighting masked hero. That same year the Luchador Daniel Garcia Arteaga would start wrestling as the character.
October 17, 1952 - El Luchador Fenomeno (The phenomenal wrestler) - In the afterlife, a wrestler's soul is granted permission to mess in the affairs of mortals in order to bring justice in the case of his own murder and to win the world title. He does this by possessing the body of the main character played by long-time comedy star Adalberto Martinez "El Resortes".
May 22, 1953 - La Bestia Magnifica (The Magnificent Beast) - The story of a pair of best friends breaking into the wrestling business under the names of Dinamita( Dynamite) and La Bestia Magnifica.
April 2, 1954 - El Enmascarado De Plata (The silver masked man) - This movie is about a killer that uses a hurricane to cause mayhem. The killer uses a Zebra pattern mask. The hero, El Medico Assecino (The killer doctor) uses a silver mask. Originally, this movie was supposed to star El Santo but he declined the role.
November 18, 1954 - Sindicato de telemirones (The syndicate of television) - A singer fakes the success of his TV show. When a network executive finds out the singer turns to professional wrestling.
April 18, 1956 - La Sombra Vengadora (The avenging Shadow) - A masked vigilante called La Sombra Vengadora clashes with a drug kingpin named La Mano Negra (The black hand). La Sombra is a masked hero who looks almost exactly like the pro wrestler Rayo De Jalisco, who debuted the gimmick in 1960. La Sombra Vengadora would also be brought into wrestling in 1958 by the wrestler Rogelio De La Paz.
July 18, 1956 - La Sombra Vengadora contra La Mano Negra (The avenging shadow against the Black Hand). The sequel to the first movie.
September 26, 1956 - Ladron De Cadaveres (The Corpse thief) - A wrestler accepts the challenge of a monstrous wrestler in order to solve a murder mystery.
1957 - El Tesoro De Pancho Villa (The treasure of Pancho Villa) - The third in the La Sombra Vengadora series released sometime in 1957.
1957 - El Secreto De Pancho Villa (The secret of Pancho Villa) - The fourth in the La Sombra Vengadora series released sometime in 1957.
November 13, 1957 - La Momia Azteca (The Aztec Mummy) - A masked villain is robbing graves to create a monster. The movie features various wrestlers as extras.
December 11, 1957 - La Maldicion De La Momia Azteca (The Curse Of The Aztec Mummy) - The sequel to the November 13th movie. This one features a Santo-like hero called El Angel.
July 17, 1958 - La Momia Azteca contra El Robot Humano (The Aztec Mummy Against the Human-Robot) - The third movie in the Aztec Mummy series.
February 19, 1959 - El Super Flaco (The super skinny man) - A romantic comedy involving a skinny store owner, a famous actress, and the wrestling champion.
November 12, 1959 - La Ultima Lucha (The last match) - Based on the real life of wrestlers, this movie follows a set of wrestlers as they travel from town to town.
March 31, 1960 - Los Tigres Del Ring (The Tigers Of The Ring) - A movie about the wrestling adventures of a pair of brothers and the conflict that it creates with their family. This movie features one of the largest wrestler casts of its era.
1960 - Secuestros Diabolicos (Diabolical kidnapping) - The sequel to Los Tigres Del Ring.
October 27, 1960 - Furias Desatadas (Furies unleashed) - The third in Los Tigres series.
December 8, 1960 - El Torneo De La Muerte (The Tournament Of Death) - The final part of Los Tigres series
July 7, 1961 - Santo Contra Cerebro Del Mal (Santo against the brain of evil) - A masked secret agent recounts the story of going up against an evil scientist while teaming up with the masked hero El Santo. This movie was El Santo's first movie, and it was shot in Cuba.
November 16, 1961 - La Furia Del Ring (The Ring's fury) - A wrestler and trainer refuses to fix wrestling matches for the mob. This movie features a cameo by Gory Guerrero.
December 8, 1961 - Santo Contra Hombres Infernales (Santo against the men from hell) - A sequel to Santo Contra Cerebro Del Mal, this continues El Santo's adventures as a masked secret agent in Cuba.
February 15, 1962 - Asesinos De La Lucha Libre (Assassins of Pro Wrestling) - A film that mixes Lucha Libre and Western tropes. This film is said to have some of the best wrestling sequences of its era.
April 6, 1962 - Neutron El Enmascarado Negro (Neutron the Black-Masked man) - Neutron is an atomic age crime fighter operating in Mexico City. The movie features various wrestlers in small rolls. In the mid-2000's, CMLL would have a wrestler with this gimmick.
May 31, 1962 - Santo Contra Los Zombies (Santo against the Zombies) - El Santo fights a mad scientist that uses Zombies to rob banks.
August 10, 1962 - Los Automatas De La Muerte (The Automatons of Death) - The second in the Neutron movie series.
September 20, 1962 - El Misterio de Huracan Ramirez (The mystery of Huracan Ramirez) - An aging Huracan Ramirez struggles to keep his legacy alive.
October 11, 1962 - Santos Contra Las Mujeres Vampiro (Santo against the Vampire women) - This first movie in which El Santo fights supernatural villains. Santo battles Zorina, the Vampire Queen, who is awakened after a 200-year sleep.
November 30, 1962 - Santo Contra El Rey Del Crimen (Santo against the King Of Crime) - Part one of three movies where El Santo and his friends fight crime. El Santo takes down a gambling ring.
1963 - La Sombra Blanca (The White Shadow) - A El Santo-like knock off short film movie.
January 25, 1963 - Santo en el hotel de la Muerte (Santo in the hotel of death) - Part two of three movies where El Santo and his friends fight crime. Santo investigates a series of murders at an archeological site.
February 15, 1963 - Neutron Contra El Dr. Caronte (Neutron against Dr. Caronte) - The third in the movie series. The Dr. Caronte gimmick was used in pro-wrestling by various wrestlers including Miguel Uribe. The father of the first CMLL Mistico/Sin Cara/Caristico.
March 22, 1963 - El Senor Tormenta (Mr. Storm) - A wrestler named Cesar has a rivalry with a wrestler named Mr. Tormenta, who turns out to be a priest outside the ring. After Mr. Tormenta becomes ill, Cesar has to take his place under the mask. This movie pre-dates the wrestler Fray Tormenta. The script was written by wrestler Murcielago Velazquez.
May 17, 1963 - Santo contra el Cerebro Diabolico (Santo against the diabolical brain) - Part three of three movies where El Santo and his friends fight crime. Santos solves a series of murders in Mexico city.
May 24, 1963 - Las Luchadoras Vs. El Medico Asesino (The Women Wrestlers Vs. The Assassin Doctor) - The first Lucha movie about female wrestlers. A mad surgeon creates a monster who goes after women wrestlers.
June 7, 1963 - Tormenta en el ring (Storm in the ring) - A sequel to El Senor Tormenta. After his illness, the original Tormenta returns to the ring and clashes with organized crime.
June 20, 1963 - Santo en el Museo de Cera (Santo in the Wax museum) - El Santo investigates the disappearance of several people that have visited a wax museum.
August 20, 1964 - El Ciclon de Jalisco (The cyclon from Jalisco) - This movie mixes western comedy with pro wrestling. After leaving his small western town, a successful ladies man wrestler in Mexico city has doubts about whether or not to return to his small-town girlfriend.
November 27, 1964 - Las Luchadoras contra La Momia (The Women Wrestlers against The Mummy) - Women wrestlers try to solve a plot about the theft of artifacts from an ancient Aztec temple and a series of murders.
February 12, 1965 - El Asesino Invisible (The Invisible Assassin) - A criminal murder a scientist and steals his formula for invisibility. El Enmascarado De Horo (The golden masked man) tries to solve the case. The hero looks a lot like El Santo.
May 21, 1965 - Las Lobas Del Ring (The female wolves of the ring) - A women's wrestling tournament takes place around a series of murders.
June 11, 1965 - Neutron contra los Asesinos del Karate (Neutron against the Karate assassins) - Neutron tries to solve a series of murders done via Karate expert in Europe.
August 13, 1965 - Neutron contra el Criminal Sadico (Neutron against the sadistic criminal) - A killer sends films of his murders to the family of his victims.
August 27, 1965 - La Hacha Diabolica (The diabolical Axe) - El Santo is killed in 1603 by an Axe-wielding killer. Both are resurrected in modern-day Mexico.
November 18, 1965 - Santo Vs. El Estrangulador (Santo Vs. The Strangler) - El Santo investigates the murder of several artists who have been strangled to death.
March 31, 1966 - El Espectro del Estrangulador (The Specter of the Strangler) - A sequel to Santo Vs. El Estrangulador. The corpse of El Estrangulador is stolen from the morgue.
April 14, 1966 - Profanadores De Tumbas (Defilers of Tombs) - El Santo does battle with a mad scientist creating a monster.
April 15, 1966 - Los Endemoniados Del Ring (The damned of the ring) - The first in a series of films about a pair of wrestlers called El Angel (The Angel) and Satan, who team up to fight corruption in Wrestling.
May 20, 1966 - La Mano Que Aprieta (The Hand that Squeezes) - Part two in the Angel and Satan series. They take on organized crime.
June 23, 1966 - Cada Quien Su Lucha (To each their wrestling) - A part of the long-running film career of comedian "Capulina." This film is notable because it was written by Roberto Gomez Bolanos "Chespirito." The most famous Latin American writer and comedic actor of the 20th Century. Best known to American audiences for the character of "El Chapulin Colorado," which inspired the Simpsons character of Bee Man.
August 25, 1966 - El Hijo de Huracan Ramirez (The son of Huracan Ramirez) - The son of the legend puts on the mask. This is the first movie where the title character is played by the actual wrestler.
January 27, 1967 - El Baron Brakola (Baron Brakola) - In colonial times, a version of El Santo clashes with a vampire over the love of a beautiful woman named Rebecca.
March 3, 1967 - Las Mujeres Panteras (The Panther Women) - A women's wrestling team known as Las Panteras are also criminals that take part in reveries and killings.
June 27, 1967 - Santo Contra La Invasion De Los Marcianos (Santo against the Martian Invasion) - El Santo tries to stop an alien invasion in modern day Mexico.
November 16, 1967 - Operacion 67 (Operation 67) - A globe-trotting spy adventure starting El Santo. Filmed at the same time as the El Santo Movie "El Tesoro Del Moctezuma."
January 11, 1968 - Santo Vs. Los Villanos Del Ring (Santo Vs. The Villains Of The Ring) - El Santo takes down a con artist organization.
February 23, 1968 - Atacan Las Brujas (The Witches Attack) - El Santo investigates a cult of beautiful women.
April 5, 1968 - Los Canallas (The Scoundrels) - Mil Mascaras does battle with a biker gang of women. Despite film title using the male version of "The"(Los), the gang is actually called by the feminine "Las Angeles Infernales" (The Infernal Angels) and features both men and women.
May 31, 1968 - Aranas Infernales (Infernal Spiders) - Blue Demon fights spider aliens.
June 26, 1968 - La Sombra Del Murcielago (The Shadow Of The Bat) - A Phantom Of The Opera-like villain named El Murcielago (The Bat) haunts a woman who Blue Demon tries to protect.
July 4, 1968 - El Tesoro De Moctezuma (The Treasure Of Montezuma) - El Santo, as an international spy, tries to put a stop to foreign criminals seeking the treasure of Montezuma.
July 11, 1968 - Blue Demon Destructor De Espias (Blue Demon, Destroyer of Spies) - A James Bond-like Spy thriller with Blue Demon.
August 17, 1968 - Blue Demon Contra Cerebros Infernales (Blue Demon against the Infernal Brains) - This film is ahead of its time. Dealing with the sci-fi idea of transfer of consciousness from one body to another. Blue Demon fights a group of evil scientists who want to steal the consciousness of geniuses in their plan for world domination.
September 26, 1968 - Blue Demon Contra Las Diabolicas (Blue Demon against The Diabolical Ones) - Blue Demon fights a gang of criminals lead by an evil Blue Demon.
December 26, 1968 - Blue Demon En Pasaporte A La Muerte (Blue Demon in Passport To Death) - A genre-mixing movie where Blue Demon as a Spy does battle with an evil scientist.
January 9, 1969 - Las Luchadoras Contra El Robot Asesino (The Women Wrestlers against the Robot Assassin) - Two women wrestlers do battle with Dr. Olac, a mad scientist who brainwashes people and makes a killer robot.
February 27, 1969 - La Venganza De Huracan Ramirez (The Vengeance of Huracan Ramirez) - A mad scientist becomes a wrestling promoter with genetically modified wrestlers and monsters.
June 6, 1969 - Mil Mascaras (Thousand Masks) - After his parents are killed, a boy is raised by a team of scientists to be the peak of mental and physical fitness. He goes on to be a masked crime fighter.
June 13, 1969 - Las Vampiras (The Vampire Women) - Mil Mascaras and his friends fight against a group of Vampires.
November 27, 1969 - Blue Demon Y Las Invasoras (Blue Demon and the Invaders) - Blue Demon fights an alien invasion by a group of alien women.
December 4, 1969 - Santo Contra Capulina (Santo Against Capulina) - Santo meets the Mexican comedian Capulina. Capulina fakes being El Santo, while the real El Santo fights a gang of Diamond smugglers.
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