Friday, March 23, 2007

Las lobas del ring [She-Wolves of the Ring]

Las lobas del ring [She-Wolves of the Ring]

Las lobas del ring [She-Wolves of the Ring]

This is one of the least interesting of the Luchadoras series, a straight wrestling drama written by Jesús Velázquez rather than Alfredo Salazar (curiously, there is one dialogue reference to "la momia," the preceding film in the series). There are no fantasy elements and no masked wrestlers of any significance to the plot. This leaves far too much ring action which intercuts scenes of Lorena Velázquez, Sonia Infante, Elizabeth Campbell, et al., with their (inevitably) stockier wrestling doubles, plus some mild crime action and very lame comic relief courtesy of Pompín Iglesias, Nacho Contla, and Celia Viveros. The best thing about the picture is Elizabeth Campbell, who is intended to be secondary to Lorena Velázquez in importance, but comes off much better in almost every way.

In order to promote public interest, a group of wrestling promoters agree to sponsor an elimination tournament of women wrestlers, with a one million peso top prize. One group of women wrestlers is led by Loreta Venus and her friend from the USA, The Golden Ruby. They agree to share the prize among them, regardless of who actually wins. Sonia la Borrada and Tonia Rubio are part of a rival group of luchadoras (the dirty fighters). Sonia's brother is gangster Bernardo, and he agrees to help his sister's cause. The gangsters kidnap Susuki de la Mora on the night of her match. Malena substitutes and loses. Loreta and Ruby advance in their brackets, but Ruby is drugged before her second match, and loses to Sonia. Tonia figures out that Sonia and Bernardo are planning to double-cross the rest of the gang and keep all of the prize money; she threatens to go to the police, so Bernardo murders her.

On the night of the championship match, between Loreta and Sonia, gangsters kidnap Loreta's mother and Ruby. Loreta is told she must lose the match or her mother will be killed. However, Ruby manages to surreptitiously call Murciélago, an old wrestler friend. He and his associates--in a scene "borrowed" from Huracán Ramírez (1952)--crash into the crooks' hideout and free the two women. They arrive at the arena and Loreta goes on to win the match. Bernardo, fleeing from lady wrestler Chabela Romero (whose father he had murdered, years before), clumsily bumps into some electrical wires and is killed.

There are some unusual (not to necessarily say good) scenes in Las lobas del ring. In one sequence, Cavernario Galindo and Murciélago are discussing their long ring careers. They never had the chance to wrestle for a million peso prize; with tears in his eyes, Galindo says "wrestling is like a beloved woman you see in the arms of another. We look at her but have no hope that she will return to us." Murciélago challenges him to a friendly wrestling match, "so our tears and our sweat can intermingle."

The Chabela Romero sub-plot is odd: normally, one of the two protagonists would be given this type of "backstory" motivation. Instead, Chabela (who can actually act, more or less) is the one who says she became a wrestler after her father was murdered by gangsters, and she is the one who loses her match to Sonia when she spots Bernardo--the killer--in the audience. And she is the one who chases Bernardo through the arena at the climax, punching and kicking him until he finally ducks into a closet which houses some electrical wires and ZZZTTT!!!

Full review at:

Lorena Velázquez ... Loreta Venus
Elizabeth Campbell ... Golden Rubi
María Eugenia San Martín ... Susuki da la Mora
Sonia Infante ... Sonia "La Borrada"
Héctor Godoy ... Luciano
Eric del Castillo ... Bernardo
Pompín Iglesias ... Pompin
Nacho Contla ... Nacho
Roxana Bellini
Jorge Russek ... Bronco
Perla Walter (as Perla Welter)
Emma Arvizu ... Pantera
Emma Roldán ... Loreta's mother
Jorge Mondragón ... Arena owner
Benjamín Ceja ... Delfin
technorati tags: lucha libre, blue demon, nacho libre, music, jack black, trailers, mexico, rey misterio

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