It’s Kalimánday! Kalimán goes to the movies

Posted: January 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

It’s hard to overestimate how popular Kalimán is in Latin America, especially Mexico. The best and easiest parallel I can come up is the phenomenon that was The Shadow in the 1930s and ’40s, when the pistol-packing vigilante burst onto the scene and into every form of media. Kalimán moved just as easily across pop culture, capturing imaginations in radio, comics and movies, cementing his spot in the cultural psyche.

But while there have reportedly been thousands of hours of radio shows produced and almost 30 years worth of weekly comics published, so far there have only been a measly two movies made. This, my friends, is what we call bullshit. Still, the movies we do have are pretty great in that special 1970s way, and there have been announcements that a new, updated Kalimán movie is in the works. In the meantime, what we’ve got is well worth revisiting.

Premiering in 1972, “Kalimán, El Hombre Increíble” is a retelling of the first comic book story, ““Los Profanadores de Tumbas” (“The Defilers of the Tombs”) — I promise I’ll stop talking about that first story soon. “Profanadores” was shot on location in Egypt with an international cast, and was reportedly the most expensive Mexican movie ever made for 20 years after its release. Filmmakers followed up on “Profanadores” with 1976’s “Kalimán En El Siniestro Mundo de Humanón” (“Kalimán in The Sinister World of Humanón”), which was also based on an original comic and radio story but didn’t prove as popular the third time around.

“Kalimán, El Hombre Increíble” was a different story, and put asses in the seats of movie theaters for a full year. Starring American (I think) actor Jeff Cooper as Kalimán and Nino del Arco as an appropriately precocious Solín, the movie is everything you could hope for; casual dubbing, unfortunate face-painting, a waka-chow soundtrack and more pure awesome than you can handle. For your viewing pleasure, here is Exhibit K, in which Kalimán chokes a man out by wrapping his own arms around his head, and then scares everyone else away with what I can only describe as his Black Panther Stare. There’s also some dungeon-torture, a little veil dancing and Kalimán without his turban (hint: He’s blond).

I should also mention that all this happens in just eight minutes of a 107-minute long movie.

Later he karate chops the head off a robot-mummy and blows up a pyramid. Ka! Li! Mán!

Loading Facebook Comments ...

One Comment on “It’s Kalimánday! Kalimán goes to the movies”

  1. 1 jonathan briggs said at 9:31 am on January 24th, 2012:

    What this clip needs is some zoom lens action.

Leave a Reply