Five masked wrestlers are pitted against Mano Negra, a mad scientist that wants to conquer the world with the aid of a bunch of midgets he has endowed with super-powers.
Los campeones justicieros was the first movie produced by Rogelio Agrasánchez Linage’s company.
No expense or effort was spared to make Los campeones justicieros. Though masked wrestler films were already a staple of Mexican cinema since the early 1960s, this movie innovated the formula by having not one or two masked heroes in the film, but five. Santo was not available, so Blue Demon starred; his companions were El médico asesino, Mil Máscaras, Tinieblas, and La Sombra Vengadora. On the fiends side there was Black Shadow, another famous masked wrestler.
The movie is thrill-packed: there are action scenes with aircrafts; motorbike and car daring chases; explosions in the middle of a lake, smashing wrestling scenes in and out of the ring, and so on.
Most of the film was shot on location, what adds to its appeal. Wrestling scenes in the ring were shot at the Arena México, while some others took place in the countryside near Mexico City. The Mexico-Cuernavaca highway was chosen for the chase sequences. Precious Lake Tequesquitengo was the site for some of the most daring action scenes.
Noted screenplay writer Rafael García Travesí was in charge of the screenplay, based on producer Agrasánchez’s original idea. The plot is about a mad scientist, Mano Negra, who wants to conquer the world. He has developed a procedure that transforms common midgets into super-powerful beings, with “a ten-man strength”. The midgets are to defeat the masked wrestlers that had hampered Mano Negra’s schemes in the past. The villain also counts on Black Shadow and another powerful wrestler to reach his goal.
David Silva played the part of Mano Negra. Silva was one of the most popular leading men in Mexican cinema from the late 1940s to the middle 1950s. Later on, he began taking roles mainly in action films.
Gorgeous ladies are a must in Mexican masked wrestler films. In this case, Elsa Cárdenas is the leading female character: a deceiving woman that poses as the heroes’ ally but in fact obeys Mano Negra’s commands. Miss Cárdenas made stints in Hollywood, both in movies and in T.V. She is best known to international audiences for her roles in George Stevens’s Giant, with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean; and in Fun in Acapulco. In the latter, she is Ursula Andress and Elvis Presley’s co-star. She is still active in Mexican T.V.
Midgets played a relevant role in the film. Jorge Bauza Pingüino, an accomplished musician, plays the part of the little men’s leader. Other nine little people also took part. Wrestling sequences between the masked heroes and the petite fiends are smashing.
The movie turned out splendidly, and soon became a box office hit, what triggered production of two sequels.