The Witches Attack screenshot

The Witches Attack (1964)

three stars

Heroic luchador Santo, el Enmascarado de Plata, must defeat an evil coven of Satan-worshipping witches.

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In The Witches Attack (original title: Atacan las Brujas), El Santo returns to battle evil supernatural forces once more. This time, el Enmascarado de Plata must save a beautiful young woman from a group of witches who intend to sacrifice the girl, and Santo himself, to their dark lord and master.

Ophelia dreams that she and Santo will be killed by Mayra and her witch followers. Will these visions help Santo prepare for the witches' attempts at infernal seduction, or lure him into a trap as part of Mayra's nefarious scheme? Only the luchador and his use of overtly Christian imagery can defeat these forces of evil! Also, Santo takes a break mid-movie for a quick two-fall wrestling match in Arena Mexico.

The Witches Attack screenshot

Some of Santo's horror movies are inspired by Universal Monsters classics, but the biggest influence on The Witches Attack seems to be the luchador's own Santo vs. the Vampire Women. In both, Santo must save a girl from a Satan-worshipping group of women: originally vampires, updated to witches here. And in both, the evil women are led by returning villainess Lorena Velazquez.

But this imitation pales in comparison to Vampire Women. While the earlier film hints at the devil's horned appearance using shadowy silhouettes, The Witches Attack shows us Satan himself several times, and the simple mask and cape don't inspire the same terror as the previous depiction. But the lackluster lucifer and the rubber bats used here are quite forgivable compared to the googly-eyed spider that looks exactly like a Halloween craft project for children (and it's apparently exactly as harmful as it looks: after being bitten, Santo simply applies a band-aid).

But, if you're going to rip off your own previous movie, you might as well rip off the best one. And really, the smartest thing a luchador can do after making a great movie is try his best to make another just like it. The Witches Attack might fall short when compared to its similar predecessor, but remains an enjoyable blend of horror and lucha libre in its own right.