There are plenty of movies where Mexiluchaheroes battle monsters, but for outright monster wrestling there is no finer film than the 1966 Curiel creepfest La Sombra del Murcielago, aka Blue Demon vs. the Shadow of the Bat.
It’s a take on the uber-familiar Phantom of the Opera deal, but in this case the cavern-dwelling disfigured killer is a former champion wrestler, and he’s kept his skills honed! Fernando Oses is wonderful as the over-the-top organ-grinding grappler, and Blue Demon is… well, Blue Demon – he’s the muscle, point him to the right cave and let him start swinging those shovel-mits of his.
Perhaps the best pure wrestling fights in the Mexican horror genre ensue. Blue made this film while recovering from a near fatal head/neck ring injury, so he’s doubled in several of the fight spots, but the action is well cut and Oses gives a great physical performance, so you don’t notice it much.
What I really love about this film is Oses’ multi-staged man-monster. he starts out in a lucha hood with a furry bat makeover, then finally reveals the f’ed-up face. He’s also the only version of the Phantom to employ a full-time goon/body guard/sparring partner.
Shadow of the Bat is high on the list of my favorite lucha films, purely from the standpoint that the villain is as capable a wrestler as the hero. I wish more movies had been engineered this way. You’re swapping the superhero for a luchador, why not make the monster in the same mold? Wrestling Mr. Hydes and irradiated heavyweight champions-run-amok should have been commonplace in the genre. A Frankenstein sewn from hall-of-fame luchadores, possessed mask turns champion tecnico into a killer and the only way to redeem his soul is to pin him in the ring… why wasn’t the trade of the enmascarados ever part of the editorial?