‘Wrestlemaniac’ is a horror slasher starring Rey Misterio Sr. in which a group of adult movie stars comes face-to-face with an insane wrestler. The movie is worth a watch for wrestling fans as it begins with four beautiful minutes of vintage Lucha Libre footage. The next shot, in a perfect juxtaposition, is adult film director Alfonse lighting a cigarette. His lighter is engraved with the words ‘big’ and ‘dick;’ this sets the tone for the film.
While on their way to shoot a low-budget movie in Cabo San Lucas, the crew makes a stop to use a restroom at a dusty Mexican service station. They meet a local stranger who warns them not to stop in La Sangre De Dios because an insane luchador is living there. The cameraman is savvy to the story and fills in his colleagues. Legend has it that El Mascarado is the result of scientists mixing the body parts of three famous luchadors in a bid to create the perfect fighter. They failed and created a monster. El Mascarado has a habit of ripping people’s faces off so he has been locked away in La Sangre De Dios.
The cast and crew make the classic horror movie mistake and ignore the local folklore and decide to shoot their adult film there regardless. When one star leaves a bar to vomit, El Mascarado follows her outside and rips her face off. El Mascarado, played by Rey Misterio Sr., then stalks the other actors and crew and slaughters them one-by-one in a variety of gruesome ways. The film follows a classic of horror in making viewers wait almost an hour to get our first full look at the villain. The first couple of kills are made from the viewpoint of El Mascarado.
Rey Misterio Sr. is fantastic as the scary psychopathic luchador with his menacing size and eyes piercing through his bloodstained mask.
Rey Misterio Sr. Beyond El Mascarado
Rey Misterio Sr. began his career as a luchador in 1976 after he was deemed too big for boxing. ‘Wrestlemaniac’ was released in 2006, three years before Misterio Sr. called time on his legendary wrestling career. The film marks Misterio’s only acting role. He has two matches on the WWE Network. Both matches part of the Pat O’Connor International Tag Team Tournament from WCW Starrcade 1990. He teamed with Konnan to defeat Norman Smiley and Chris Adams before losing in the semifinals to The Steiner Brothers. In true WCW style, his name was misspelled on the entrance graphic. However, his legend was never going to be defied by one night in WCW. His career spanned 33 years and saw him become a legend in Mexico.
Misterio Sr. held titles for AAA, WWA, and WWO. He was also inducted into the Tijuana Sports Hall of Fame.
Rey Mysterio Jr.
His main legacy is his nephew, Rey Mysterio Jr. He was influential in his nephew’s upbringing and training in the art of Lucha Libre. Misterio Sr. was also strict when it came to ensuring his nephew respected the business and understood the honor of following in his footsteps. Misterio Sr. forced his nephew to earn the honor of using his name by competing for two years under the names La Lagartija Verde (The Green Lizard) and Colibrí (Hummingbird). When he felt the time was right, he christened his nephew with his now-famous name before a match in Mexico in 1991. Misterio Sr. also presented his nephew with a mask specifically made for him. Misterio Sr. would always redesign his masks as he felt this is what the translation of his name – Mystery King – represented.
Mysterio Jr. has barely changed the design his uncle created for him in 1991, simply switching the crown for a cross and adding an Aztec face on the back. He does regularly alter the color of his masks.
The movie certainly ends to set up a sequel but one has yet to appear. The writer/ director Jesse Baget has spoken of his hope to create a follow-up with a bigger budget. With a 4.4/10 rating from IMDB, it is unlikely any studio will be giving Baget the cash he wants.
Should I Watch ‘Wrestlemaniac?’
A murderous Mexican wrestler hasn’t been explored in movies much. This means ‘Wrestlemaniac’ feels different from most horror slasher flicks. For this reason alone, it’s worth a watch. Wrestling fans will enjoy watching the legendary Rey Misterio Sr. flinging people around makeshift rings before ripping their faces off. There are odes to Lucha Libre throughout the movie; these include the stranger and the cameraman donning luchador’s masks to posters on the town’s walls.
On the whole, the film doesn’t feel too far from an episode of Lucha Underground. We won’t be getting more Lucha Underground, so ‘Wrestlemaniac’ could be the best option for those missing it.
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