Spoiler alert: This movie features Mexican wrestlers using backbreakers to kill porn stars.
If you haven’t been reading, Burnsy’s 73 Sports Movies In 73 Days series has watching and writing about a different sports movie every day to fill the void between the end of basketball (and hockey) and beginning of football. He’s already covered a few stinkers — The Minis, Ladybugs — but he’s also knocked out a few true classics, like Over The Top and Back To School.
Today I’m helping out, so I’ve decided to write about a movie that touches on a variety of topics I’d consider myself an expert on, including
1. Pro wrestling
3. The relative attractiveness of ‘Deal Or No Deal’ models
4. horror movies with wrestlers in them
5. really, really bad versions of 1-4
I present to you the glory that is 2006’s El Mascarado Massacre, aka Wrestlemaniac, un film de Jesse Baget.
“Wrestlemaniac.” Get it?
So this is a really, really bad horror movie about porn, pro wrestling and ‘Deal or No Deal?’
Here’s what you need to know: a group of the most predictable-ever horror movie friends (imagine the cast of Cabin In The Woods with zero irony) take a road trip to Mexico to shoot amateur porn. They throw their map out of the car because one of their friends is Mexican, so OF COURSE he knows the geography and culture of Mexico like the back of his hand, but WHOOPS, he’s not actually FROM Mexico, and WE CAN’T STOP THE VAN AND PICK UP THE MAP JUST KEEP GOIN’.
The pull into a FOREBODING GAS STATION (like I said, Cabin In The Woods with zero irony) and are told/warned about/goaded into visiting La Sangre De Dios, a legendary local ghost town haunted by El Mascarado, a put-together-like-Frakenstein Mexican wrestler who went crazy several years ago and started killing his opponents. Because they are guided by a rail, the horror movie friends go straight to the ghost town, break down in front of it and spend the next 35 minutes or so saying curse words and getting killed by backbreakers.
So imagine Cabin In The Woods with zero irony, and replace everything under the cabin with one old Mexican guy in a mask.
But hey, at least there’s some porny stuff happening, right?
Not really. Minus the opening and closing credits, the movie’s legitimately about 50 minutes long, so they get to the ghost town about 10 minutes in and start dying at 11.
One of the funniest things about the movie is that NOTHING MATTERS. They’re going to Mexico to shoot amateur porn for some reason, then stop at a mysterious ghost town to shoot it … but the attempt at porn itself is putting three girls on a bar and saying “YOU’RE WAITING FOR THE PLUMBER, NOW HAVE SEX.” Because you TOTALLY NEED TO BE IN A MYSTERIOUS MEXICAN GHOST TOWN TO FILM YOUR FRIENDS F**KING EACH OTHER IN A PLUMBER SCENARIO.
You may have seen this scene of former Lingerie Football player/’Deal Or No Deal’s’ “lucky 13” Leyla Milani making out with ladies on Mr. Skin (or, better yet, PABLONE 1000 Videos French Kiss Celebrity), but this is all that happens. The two less famous, less attractive women lose their tops, but nope, if you tuned in to see the one topless lady you’d feasibly want to see in Wrestlemaniac, you’re out of luck. Have fun trying to find that clip of the time her boobs fell out while she was trying to run an obstacle course in the WWE Diva Search.
Uh, well … there’s wrestling, maybe?
The character with whom we’re meant to identify is “Steve,” the not-from-Mexico Hispanic guy who is overweight, socially inept, the object of ridicule from the porn girls and, of course, an expert on Mexican pro wrestling. He loves it so much he even brought his own replica mask! Steve provides all the exposition for El Mascarado’s origin story, match history, “legend has it” rumor roundup and lucha libre rules. According to Steve, if you remove a Mexican wrestler’s mask, he has to retire forever and can never show his face again … so when a Mexican wrestler starts killing his friends, Steve’s big plan is to try to remove El Mascarado’s mask. Because he “follows the rules of Mexican wrestling” and would assumedly stop ripping off stripper faces if …
Well, forget it, it doesn’t matter. Spoiler alert: Nobody ever takes off El Mascarado’s mask. Not during the dramatic moment when Steve masks up and tries to take on El Mascarado in a wrestling match (seriously), not during the dramatic moment when Steve’s dying and passing on this information with his dying breath. Nope!
And in case you didn’t know, that’s … not what happens when you remove a luchador’s mask. I know they needed a hypothetical way to beat a murderous Frankenstein wrestler, but plenty of Mexican wrestlers have lost their mask and continued wrestling. Keeping your mask is important and prestigious, sure, but you don’t have to be a shamed hermit if you lose it. Especially if you’re wrestling stoners and Brazzers extras in a ghost town already.
How do they know all this shit about El Mascarado, anyway?
At one point they stumble upon a box of old tapes of doctors and scientists talking about his origin. They do this while trying to avoid being killed by him. No, seriously. It’s like a Bioshock game.
The IMDb page says Rey Mysterio is in this. Is Rey Mysterio seriously in this?
Yep! Well, sort of.
The original Rey Misterio debuted back in the 70s and wasn’t anything special, but he gained some notoriety as the trainer of a lot of well-respected, revolutionary luchadors and Japanese wrestlers like Psicosis, Konnan, Hayabusa and Rey Misterio Jr. Jr.’s the one you think of when you hear “Rey Mysterio.” The ECW/WCW/WWE one. He’s the original Rey Misterio’s nephew, and earned the name in a James Bond Jr. scenario. Eventually THAT Rey got so famous and popular that WWE decided to drop the “Jr.” completely and just call him “Rey Mysterio,” because who gives a f**k about Actual Rey Mysterio? Besides the producers of Wrestlemaniac, I mean.
Nowadays when Rey Misterio Sr. isn’t starring in horror movies, he’s trying to make money manufacturing clones of his nephew, which should probably in itself be a horror movie.
So is there anything GOOD in this movie?
Sure! The idea of a luchador killing people by trying to “take off their mask” and just ripping off their faces is pretty cool, and the effects for that are suitably gruesome:
And Leyla Milani is a very attractive member of the WWE Universe or whatever. And she wins the award for “most hilarious attempt at hiding in the history of motion pictures” when this happens:
Followed immediately by THIS:
Hahaha, who hides under a table like that? How does that thought process even cross your mind? “I need to hide under a table, let me go in ass first, grab my ankles and spread my legs.”
And that’s not including the moment when she tries to get out of the van, gets caught on the door handle on the way out and it TOTALLY RIPS OFF HER JEAN SHORTS, leaving her running around in her underwear.
Everybody involved in this has been shamed and forced to live in seclusion forever, right?
Well, Leyla’s starring in “CALL NOW TO TALK TO HOT, SEXY GIRLS” ads on late night television and most of the actors are stuck playing Waiter #2 on ‘iCarly’ or whatever, but the guy who wrote and directed it — and is most responsible for its overall success or failure — has made two more movies and has four in post-production.
Sadly, none of them involve Dr. Wagner Jr. killing the cast of Big Tits Round Asses with elbows suicida.
It’s about as by-the-numbers as a slasher flick can get, but Film Threat called it “Fantastic,” Fangoria thinks it is “KICKASS” and at the end of the day it is a movie about a luchador ripping off peoples’ faces, so I’ll give it two Umasked Rey Mysterio Juniors out of four.