Mexican movies have mayor balls. It’s like eating paella, they throw everything into the mix whether you like it or not. It’s like when you were a kid and would play with your action figures, everything went! Well, it’s the same with this. El Charro de Calaveras is a lone Mexican cowboy, dressed completely in black, and a big black Mexican sombrero, going through the towns and helping to destroy evil and do good. He’s very similar to Batman, in that he became a crime-fighter after suffering the loss of his parents who were murdered in front of him, and uses a scary costume. Actually, he’s basically a Mexican western ripoff of Batman! The first part of the film features El Charro fighting an evil werewolf. When the werewolf is revealed to be a young boy’s parent, and kills the boy’s mother, El Charro decides to take in his son and butler along in his adventures. Here we have his Robin and Alfred.
If you think this movie doesn’t sound weird enough, it’s structured in a very episodic way. It doesn’t have one linear plotline, instead it features three different ones. The first is the already-mentioned werewolf episode, which features a weird witch that helps Charro find the identity of the werewolf by contacting a zombie to tell him! The werewolf transformation is also pretty wacky, in that he dissolves into a skeleton, and then dissolves into a werewolf! Apparently, just adding a bit of hair was too expensive. The werewolf costume looks like it was bought at a cheap Halloween store, and so does the monster in our second story, The Vampire. It deals with a vampire, of course, who goes around hunting for blood. When he takes possession of a supposedly-beautiful woman, Charro and his friends go to destroy the evil bloodsucker. While it was original that they decided to give the vampire a bat-like face, the effect doesn’t come off very well and it just looks like a deformed burn victim more than a bat. This vampire, of course, can turn into a bat. A white bat held by a very obvious string.
Our third story involves a Headless Horseman, trying like hell to kill a woman who carries his head in a bag. You see, if he regains the head, he’ll become a powerful monster. So El Charro goes to protect the young woman and the townsfolk from the evil Headless Horseman, but the inevitable happens and he obtains his head, ready for evil. Now only El Charro can stop him. This is my favorite of the stories as it’s the only one that reaches any level of creepiness, and it was mostly because of the Skeleton Monks, which reminded me of the Blind Dead Series. The severed head is obviously a rubber mask, and I couldn’t stop giggling when it moved it’s lips to talk.
So the production level on this film is far from excellent, it still has a lot of energy, fun and creepiness to be had. It’s kind of a horror movie for kids, and it has the spirit of the American serials of the 30’s. I wish they made a remake!