Luchador films are a genre onto itself. Starting with 1952’s Huracán Ramírez, a number of savvy filmmakers decided to capitalize on the popularity of Mexican wrestlers and create film vehicles for these masked luchadores that functioned as outlandish and action-packed big-screen serials. With a low budget and featuring choreographed fist fights with some of the country’s most well-known fighters including El Santo (Rodolfo Guzman Huerta) and Blue Demon (Alejandro Muñoz Moreno), these films became cult hits in the ’60s and ’70s.
The plots are hilariously absurd (these masked wrestlers get to fend off vampires, zombies, and hellish spiders!) and the women are as voluptuous as you’d expect from B-movie casting calls. But they remain a fascinating curiosity in Mexican cinema history—there truly is nothing quite like them. So if you’ve been meaning to see what all the fuss is about these gritty luchador flicks, then new streaming service Pantaya has you covered. In addition to showcasing newer Spanish-language fare, the Netflix-like platform is devoted to highlighting gems from Mexico’s vast film vault. And so, for your giggling enjoyment, we offer this list of luchador films from their heyday (and one modern animated twist on them!) that you can watch from the comfort of your own home.
All the films in the list below are available to stream on Pantaya.
Santo y Blue Demon contra los monstruos
The terrible Dr. Halder has been brought back to life to seek revenge against El Santo and Blue Demon. And this time he’s brought a slew of horrifying monsters to help him, which include Wolf Man, the Mummy, Cyclops, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, zombies, vampires, and even Frankenstein!
Santo vs. los villanos del ring
Santo’s goddaughter, María Elena, has inherited 6 million pesos. Francisco Iglesias, the leader of a mystic group, organizes a fake spiritist gathering to convince her to donate her entire fortune. So it’s up to El Santo to solve this mystery and stop him before he succeeds.
Neutron vs los asesinos del karate
Neutrón battles a group of robotic assassins who are experts in karate and use their hands and feet as weapons to acquire riches and conquer the world.
Several people have been murdered after receiving an anonymous letter announcing the date they will day. When a friend receives one of these letters, El Santo gets involved, squaring off against a group of neo-Nazis.
The masked wrestler Blue Demon faces an invasion of extraterrestrial humanoids, who are revealed to actually be spiders from space that feed on brains.
Blue Demon destructor de espías
Blue Demon must exit the ring to save the world from a criminal organization that seeks to poison the world with a lethal gas. He works with the police to capture Hans, the group’s leader.
Blue Demon frente a la muerte
Professor Marcus plans to take over the world by stealing scientific experiments, but justice calls, and Blue Demon answers to solve the case.
El Santos vs La Tetona Mendoza
This Mexican animated film for adults is based on a comic by José Ignacio Solórzano and Trino Camacho featuring a luchador named El Santos (voiced by Daniel Giménez Cacho) as he finds himself in the middle of a zombie invasion while trying to impress his ex-wife, La Tetona Mendoza (Regina Orozco), who begins to show her affection for another man. Along with Cacho and Orozco, the ensemble cast includes the voices of Héctor Jiménez (Nacho Libre), Joaquin Cosío (Quantum of Solace), Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir (A Better Life), Cheech Marin (From Dusk Till Dawn), Dolores Heredia (Rudo y Cursi) and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim).