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Fantasmo vs the Vampire Women – Review by Kelly Luck

One of the regulars at the Fringe is the Right Between the Ears theater company, a group which has been doing radio comedy in the area for many years now. Each year’s Fringe offering tends to be based on some pastiche of long-past popular culture: B-movies, serials, and so on. This year, they’ve gone with a homage to Mexican luchador films. Specifically, 1962’s Santo Versus the Vampire Women, starring famed masked wrestler Rudolfo Huerta.

In the show (as well as the movie), a family falls under a mysterious prophecy, the upshot of which is that recently re-awakened vampiresses are determined to capture them. The father calls San–er, Fantasmo, who tries to protect the father and his daughter, but ultimately they get captured when the vampires team up with a mad scientist. The scientist has built a giant robot (in a nod to 1958’s The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy) and uses it to capture Fantasmo and the daughter. Fortunately, Fantasmo is able to save the day, vanquish the vampires, and head off into the bright new dawn …just before the zombies show up.

The humor is pretty good overall, and brisk. A couple of jokes ran overly long, but they were the exception. As usual with RBtE productions, live sound effects were produced onstage (this reporter still wants one of those glass smasher things). The humor is generally suitable for all ages, even if some of the references may go sailing over younger heads.

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