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Ladrón de Cadáveres

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ladrón de cadáveres
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFernando Mendez
Produced bySergio Kogan
Screenplay byFernando Méndez
Alejandro Verbitzky
StarringColumba Domínguez
Crox Alvarado
Wolf Ruvinskis
Carlos Riquelme
Eduardo Alcaraz
Arturo Martínez
Guillermo Hernández
Yerye Beirute
Alberto Catalá
Alejandro Cruz
Music byFederico Ruiz
CinematographyVíctor Herrera
Edited byJorge Bustos
Internacional Cinematográfica
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • 26 September 1957 (1957-09-26) (Mexico)
Running time
80 minutes

Ladrón de Cadáveres (lit. Corpse Thief; known in the United States as The Body Snatchers or The Body Snatcher), is a 1957 Mexican horror film directed by Fernando Mendez who also co-wrote the film with Alejandro Verbitzky.


In Mexico, Police Captain Carlos Robles (Crox Alvarado) has no leads to solving a series of grisly murders of several of Mexico's top athletes. Unknown to the Comandante, scientist Don Panchito is responsible for the murders and has been murdering the athletic community in order to provide test subjects for his experiments; Panchito's procedure involves removing the victim's brain and replacing it with that of an animal's in an effort to find a way to conquer death.

Desperate to solve the murders, Robles enlists the help of wrestler Guillermo Santana (Wolf Ruvinskis) who acts as bait in order to catch the murderer. However, the trap goes awry and Santana is captured and murdered by Panchito who then removes his brain and replaces it with the brain of a gorilla. Unlike many of Panchito's other victims, Santana survives the procedure but as a result is transformed into a grotesque and bestial state that seems to have taken on several characteristics of that of an ape. Covering his now horrifying vestige with a mask, Panchito sends Santana into the wrestling ring. However, during the fight Santana's animal side takes over and overrides Panchito's programming, ripping off his mask and exposing his hideously deformed face. Santana finds Panchito and slaughters him and then kidnaps Lucía, the woman he loved while he was human and flees on the rooftops with the police in pursuit, setting Lucía down, Santana moves to attack the police but is gunned down by Robles and falls the rooftop to his death.




The story for Ladrón de Cadáveres was partially inspired by Universal's Frankenstein[1] which was a commercial and critical success. Hoping to replicate this success, Mexican directors responded by releasing their own variations of Universal Studios famous monster movies, but differed enough to avoid any copyright lawsuits.[2][3]


The film was released in Mexico on September 26, 1957 and was later released in other countries several years later in Japan in 1958, and in West Germany and Austria in 1958 and 1959 respectively.[4] The film later released on DVD by Ground Zero on July 12, 2005.[5][6]


On his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings, Dave Sindelar gave the film a positive review, calling it "one of the best of the Mexican horror movies".[7]


Before the film's release in 1956, Mexican cinema was experiencing a decline and most critics dismissed the cinematic films of Mexico. Upon the release of two films directed by Fernando Mendez, the first being Ladrón de cadáveres which was released in 1956 and El vampiro in 1957. Both films were successful critically and financially and helped bring in the golden age of horror and fantasy films in Mexican cinema.[2][3]


  1. ^ Wheeler Winston Dixon (24 August 2010). A History of Horror. Rutgers University Press. pp. 114–. ISBN 978-0-8135-5039-8.
  2. ^ a b Steven Jay Schneider; Tony Williams (1 January 2005). Horror International. Wayne State University Press. pp. 38–. ISBN 0-8143-3101-7.
  3. ^ a b Victoria Ruétalo; Dolores Tierney (7 May 2009). Latsploitation, Exploitation Cinemas, and Latin America. Routledge. pp. 94–. ISBN 978-1-135-84877-4.
  4. ^ "The Body Snatcher (1957) - IMDb". Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  5. ^ " Ladron de Cadaveres: Fernando Mendez: Movies & TV". Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Ladron de Cadaveres (1956) - Releases - AllMovie". Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  7. ^ Sindelar, Dave. "Ladron de cadaveres (1957)". Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 2 May 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 March 2021, at 18:54
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