The World of Lucha Libre continues to be among one of Mexico’s biggest spectacles below the border while here in America the form of Professional Wrestling is still not fully understood. Some feel that the masks are goofy while luchadors and the Mexican people see the masks as sacred and even a way of life. Many Americans think Lucha Libre is nothing more than a form of acrobatics while the Mexican people (and luchadors) believe it’s an art form and a sport. The people at “Top Rope Productions” have set out to shed light on this amazing form of wrestling with the documentary “Viva Lucha Libre.”
Our first glimpses of the Lucha Libre world in this documentary are the mob scenes out of CMLL’s legendary Arena Mexico and Arena Coliseo where some of the biggest matches and biggest stars in Lucha Libre ever have wrestled. The history of how Lucha Libre started is touched on by author Dan Madigan (who wrote the extremely impressive “Mondo Lucha A Gogo” book, if you have no read that and are interesting in Lucha Libre you need to) and others as well, and speak on the man known as the godfather of Lucha Libre Salvador Lutteroth. Lutteroth is the founder of CMLL, the oldest Lucha Libre promotion and the oldest wrestling promotion in the world, thus is the man seen as almost creating Lucha Libre. The experts talk about the style of Lucha Libre with a focus on the high flying acrobatics and then the trio of legends (El Santo, Blue Demon, and Mil Mascaras) who took Lucha to a new level are spotlighted especially Santo.
Blue Demon Jr. even makes an appearance to speak about his father as the Demon-Santo feud is focused on. The way the Mil Mascaras character and luchador was created is touched on, which is an extremely good story, pretty much just as a replacement for Santo and Demon when Santo had a contract dispute and Demon was injured. Comedian Patton Oswalt even makes an appearance talking about his love for the old Lucha movies.
Truly the biggest part of Lucha Libre is the mask and the documentary does an amazing job in really describing the mascaras effect on Lucha and what it means to it. Blue Demon Jr. even calls his mask his “first skin” which hides his “second skin” under the mask. Mistico makes an appearance to talk about his mask and what it means to him but I’m truly not sure if it’s the original Mistico or not (who wrestles as Sin Cara in WWE) but clips of the real Mistico in the ring are shown as he’s speaking. When you talk about the mask in Lucha Libre you can’t forget the Mask vs. Mask/Hair Match and how big this match is in the world of Lucha Libre. The documentary also describes the humiliation and what losing the mask means. Blue Demon Jr. shows his trophies from Mask Matches and even several El Hijo del Santo masks which he ripped up during matches.
The dynamics of the rudo (heel) and tecnico (babyface) is described and how seriously this is taken in Lucha followed by the exoticos. The legendary Cassandro speaks about the exoticos as does Blue Demon. Cassandro explains the struggles he had coming up as a gay wrestler. One of the more popular aspects of Lucha Libre is the amazing Minis and this documentary would not be complete without a segment on these diminutive athletes. Mascarita Sagrada says that Minis are supposed to be for the kids but they have evolved into such great luchadors now that no one wants to miss their matches. Lucha Libre’s cultural impact in Mexico is discussed with it’s movies, TV appearances, comic books, toys, music, etc. and how wrestling was once seen as “low class” but is now every class.
“Viva Lucha Libre” does an amazing job in trying to explain and describe what is so great about the world of Lucha Libre and why it such a massive part of Mexican culture. This documentary is perfect for any wrestling fan who is intrigued by Lucha or even has no idea about what Lucha is other than seeing Rey Misterio Jr. on TV. It’s always equally entertaining for those of us that already love Lucha Libre. I’ve seen several Lucha documentaries but I don’t think I’ve seen one quite like this yet that really goes into detail about not just why Lucha is so great but also the history of the sport and what it means to the Mexican culture. I almost want to call it a fun History Class on Lucha. I definitely suggest this documentary for any wrestling fan, especially those interesting in Lucha Libre.
The filmmakers of “Viva Lucha Libre” are asking the fans for help in spreading this documentary further and getting it noticed in different Film Festivals so if anyone wants to help out with this you can (and anyone that donates gets certain “perks” or rewards for doing so) at http://www.indiegogo.com/vivaluchalibre.
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