Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Atomic Superman by Dave Goode

Back in the mid-1960s I remember seeing a copy of a poster for NEUTRON,THE ATOMIC SUPERMAN in a copy of Castle of Frankenstein magazine. Pure coolness. A couple of years later I got to see it under the title NEUTRON,THE BLACK MASK. And it was just as good as the poster. Neutron would be my introduction to South of the Border super-heroics. Despite the fact that Neutron wore the boots ,tights and mask of a luchador unlike Santo ,Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras he wasn't fighting the forces of evil in between his scheduled wrestling matches. He was a full-time crimefighter.

This is a "MacGuffin movie" with everything revolving around the good guys keeping criminal mastermind Dr.Caronte from getting his hands on the neutron bomb. Also there's a subplot that would be familiar to Republic movie serial fans. The viewer is left guessing which one of the 3 heroes is the mysterious masked Neutron. His identity is revealed at the end of the picture. But by the time of the sequel LOS AUTOMATAS DE LA MUERTE a.k.a NEUTRON VS.THE DEATH ROBOTS everyone seems to have amnesia. And no one remembers the hero's secret identity.

In the third film NEUTRON CONTRA DR.CARONTE it's revealed that one of our 3 heroes was in fact the masked super-criminal Dr.Caronte.
 There were two more Neutron flicks after the Dr.Caronte trilogy LOS ASESINOS DEL KARATE and NEUTRON CONTRA EL CRIMINAL SADICO. But these two flicks were lacking a certain coolness. For one thing Neutron was no longer wearing his cool black mask with the 3 lightning bolts. Secondly there was no musical interlude with the pop group Los Rebeldes Del Rock performing their hit song Melodia De Amor.
There was also a series of Neutron Fotonovelas. And luckily enough the hero was once again wearing the lightning bolt mask. Atomic Superman? I wonder if anyone was disappointed that Neutron was a costumed athlete ala' Batman or the original Daredevil and didn't posses "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man".

 *Editors notes: Wolf Ruvinski, aka Neutron, was a rudo who wrestled in South America, Mexico, and the U.S. He wrestled professionally until 1950 leaving only after he was injured. He was also a a pretty good actor, appearing in over 50 films all the way up to 1996. In 1968, Ruvinskis appeared on TV's I Spy in the episode titled "Shana". You can read more about Wolf Ruvinskis here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_Ruvinskis 

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