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Wrestling & Horror Related Pop Culture

IMG_4764Yes, that’s a long ass title. But how else can you shorten, “Hey, here’s a list of pop culture stuff that involves pro wrestling with a horror/supernatural slant that would be perfect to watch, read, or play in the spirit of Halloween”? Exactly. Now, do yourself a favor and check out the list.

Guacamelee10. Guacamelee
This game draws more from Day of the Dead lore than from Halloween, but it’s still worth playing if you have a PS3 or PS4. The references to internet memes and past video games throughout the game makes it even more enjoyable. But the best part is that you’re basically playing a video game version of an old El Santo horror b-movie. And for you Sexy Star fans, you can choose to be luchadora Tostada, instead of luchador Juan Aguacate. Choose either one, or form a tag team, and fight off skeletons in colorful sombreros, giant piñata-like monsters and, of course, Mexican Death Carlos Calaca. Who’s different from regular death in that he wears a mariachi suit.

The Munsters 5 - Masked Marvel19. The Munsters
Yes, there is an episode of The Munsters where Herman dons a mask and wrestles guys that he could easily rip apart and maim. Instead, he actually does the job for almost everyone, until he goes up against a shooter who roofies him. The only thing that would’ve made this better is if Grandpa Munster played Paul Heyman to Herman’s Brock Lesnar. They would’ve made a killing.

Wrestlemaniac 38. WrestleManiac
The only stand alone movie on this list because unlike the old school El Santo vs. movies, it’s not about a gentleman luchador going up against some kind of monster. It’s the luchador himself who’s a deranged mythological killer. Really, the only thing it has in common with the old Santo movies is the masked man factor. Although it’s still campy as hell in its own way.

IMG_46447. Genre TV Shows
Back in the day, genre-type hour long shows were only a thing hardcore nerds were into. Now, every TV drama that’s not a police procedural is based on horror, fantasy, or super heroes. Most of the popular genre shows dealt with supernatural stuff and three of those just happened to have wrestling-related episodes. If you ever wanted to see demon versions of Booker T. and Scott Steiner take on Wiccan sisters Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano then definitely check out the literally titled Charmed episode “Wrestling with Demons.” Spoiler alert: the demon versions of Booker T. and Scott Steiner look like their regular human counterparts.
In the wrestling-related episode of Angel you got lucha libre, Day of the Dead references, Aztec mythology, and zombies. It’s like they specifically made this episode with me in mind. Too bad I didn’t see it until 2015. Watch it!
X-Files is returning in January 2016 because we live in a world where Hollywood will revive discontinued brands in an effort milk what little money is left from nostalgic loyal fan boys. In this X-Files episode you’ll find Agents Mulder and Scully encounter one of the more peculiar and frightening things, two Kathy Griffins. This somehow ties into this wrestler who also has an evil twin who just so happens to wrestle Rob Van Dam disguised in a Zorro gimmick.
IMG_47606. Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie’s involvement with wrestling doesn’t start and end with Edge’s former entrance theme “Never Gonna Stop”. Or that time he guest hosted Raw.  Rob Zombie has gotten involved with wrestling outside of the WWE through his own personal projects, El Superbeasto and The Nail, both of which were comic books. The comic book version of El Superbeasto appeared in Zombie’s Spookshow International series and looked way cooler than the cartoon version of El Superbeasto. I never read the comic book, so I don’t know if the animated feature film The Haunted World of El Superbeasto maintained the same tone. Truth be told, I watched it for five minutes and turned it off. Probably because it didn’t feature any wrestling. The Nail, on the other hand, not only has wrestling, but also looks like a much better homage to 70’s exploitation flicks and Lucha Libre b-movies. Take your pick.

ScoobyDoo5. Scooby Doo
Everyone’s familiar with the WWE Studios/Warner Bros. joint venture Scooby Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, which heavily featured John Cena and a mute Sin Cara as the main protagonists alongside the Mystery Gang; and not to mention Kane, as one of its top villains, alongside some dude pretending to be a ghost bear. But before this major mainstream team up, Scooby Doo had already produced two episodes featuring ghostly grapplers. One was for it’s prequel series, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, in which they have to battle a guy working a masked cow gimmick. Which isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds when you consider AAA’s newest lucha sensation, and Dr. Moreau creation, Taurus. In the Scooby Doo reboot, What’s New, Scooby Doo? Not Much, Still Solving Crimes, the gang takes on the Titanic Twist, who looks like he stepped out of a character card from Champions of the Galaxy: Troma Edition. Also, both episodes are cleverly titled “Wrestle Maniacs.”

Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies 44. Wrestling Horror Movie Subgenre
The best part about these movies are the concepts. And you really have to enjoy either cult-like, so bad they’re good horror movies or pro wrestling to really appreciate them. I’ve only seen one of them so far, and the most popular and star-powered of them, Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but director Cody Knotts still found my review a hoot to read. But I’m sure if you have enough friends and booze to sit down, and know what you’re getting to, you’ll find Pro Wrestler’s vs. Zombies, Monster Brawl, Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl, Enter… Zombie King, and Oh! My Zombie Mermaid worth your time. Especially, when these films boast a collective roster of wrestling cameos that would give any old school wrestling fan a nice nostalgic buzz.

IMG_47633. Luchador Comic Books
If you thought Luchadores fighting supernatural evil on film made for a great marriage of cinematic pop culture, then you’ll have no problem accepting that luchadore comic books are the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of wrestling pop culture. Luchadores were the original masked men in tights and capes fighting evil forces. So their natural progression from the squared circle to colorful panels made all the more sense. What really set some of these apart where the luchadores who found themselves battling adversaries from beyond the grave. The pulp imagery of Rafael Navarro’s Sonambulo follows a luchador gumshoe who can see people’s dreams and… dead people. As mentioned, there’s Rob Zombie’s take on the luchador comic book subgenre and countless of comic books inspired by El Santo and Blue Demon. But do yourself a favor and seek out lesser known titles like The Holy Terror, for luchadores battling ancient Aztec curses; the mysticism surrounding La Mano del Destino; or El Zombo Fantasma, to find a luchador stuck in purgatory forced to be a ten-year-old girl’s guardian angel.

IMG_47612. Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain
As big of a fan as I am of Guillermo Del Toro, I didn’t bother checking out The Strain, the show about stopping a viral outbreak of vampirism. Then I discovered that there’s an old washed up wrestler character who basically used to do El Santo vs. films. Then, I discovered that Joaquin Cosio, who also played a lucha libre vet in Matando Cabos, was cast as The Strain’s retired luchador, Silver Angel. AND THEN, I found out that Guillermo Del Toro was actually directing the old school lucha libre mini movie featuring Silver Angel that was to be shown within the show. So, yeah, I’ll probably be watching this now.

IMG_47651. El Santo vs. Movies
If you ever find yourself coming across one of the millions of El Santo vs. movies, do yourself a favor and watch them. Even if you don’t speak Spanish. Plus, you don’t really need to understand what they’re saying because there’s nothing subtle about bad acting and cheesy special effects, and the basic premise of good vs. evil. Whatever your favorite monster, El Santo has most likely given them a Tope de Cristo. Seriously, El Santo fought more monsters than there are Monsters in My Pocket. El Santo’s cinematic monster battles are more memorable than his wrestling matches against actual wrestlers. Everything on this list leading up to this entry exists because of these films. Know your roots and check them out!

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