Santo Contra El Cerebro del Mal (Santo vs. the Evil Brain) is the second of two Mexico-Cuba co-productions released—but the first to be completed—after Castro came to power in Cuba, and the filmmakers were forced to flee the country prematurely (with the unprocessed 35mm negative being smuggled out inside a coffin). The aborted shooting schedule meant that sequences had to be “lifted” from each film to fill holes in the other, by necessity. Both of these two films, which represent the very first time that the famous El Santo character appeared on the big screen, have not been available in any acceptable quality prints since initial release. In 2017, the Permanencia Voluntaria archive’s Viviana Garcia Besné in Tepoztlán, Mexico, working in collaboration with Nicolas Winding Refn and the Academy Film Archive, set out to completely restore the films from their rapidly-deteriorating original camera negatives.
Viviana A Garcia Besne, Permanencia Voluntaria Archivo Cinematografico, and Peter Conheim will introduce the film.