Masked Republic Secures Merchandise Rights To License Classic Lucha Libre Films reports that Masked Republic told them a little while back that they have signed a deal with Mexican filmmaker and archivist Viviana García-Besné in order to avail the merchandising rights to license dozens of classic lucha libre films, including some of the earliest films of El Santo and other lucha stars.

Other films included in the list are Santo y Blue Demon vs. Drácula y el Hombre Lobo, Santo vs. La Hija de Frankestein, Blue Demon vs. El Poder Satánico and more.

You can check out the full announcement below:

Masked Republic® Teams With Filmmaker & Archivist Viviana García-Besné In Expansion of Cinelucha® Brand Including Merchandising Rights To Dozens Of Lucha Libre Films Including Classics With El Santo and Blue Demon

Masked Republic, the recognized worldwide leaders in expanding lucha libre and lucha culture outside of Mexico have closed a new deal with Mexican filmmaker and archivist Viviana García-Besné who oversees an extremely popular collection of films rich with Mexican heritage and pop culture relevance that includes the first films of El Santo and the only lucha libre films of the era where women were the protagonists.

García-Besné has dedicated the past decade to save and preserve her family’s film legacy through Permanencia Voluntaria, a repository of over 100 films produced by her grandfather Jorge Garcia Besné and her great uncle’s productions under his Cinematográfia Calderon banner. The films of El Santo and Blue Demon which have been made available in recent years in HD, 2K and 4K formats are are the direct result of her work to not only assure that these classic films are not lost, but that future generations will be able to enjoy them with a picture quality far superior to what was seen in the cinemas of the mid-20th century or weekend afternoons on Spanish U.S. TV networks throughout the 1990s. Restored films have included the first two El Santo films Santo vs. Cerebro del Mal (1959) and Santo vs. Hombres Infernales (1959) plus equally famous and beloved Santo vs. Los Jinetes del Terror (1972) and Las Mujeres Panteras (1967).

The film archive also includes such classics as:
* Las Luchadoras contra La Momia (1964),
* Blue Demon vs. El Poder Satánico (1966)
* Santo en El Tesoro de Drácula (1968)
* Santo en La Venganza de las Mujeres Vampiros (1970)
* Santo vs. La Hija de Frankestein (1971)
* Santo y Blue Demon vs Drácula y el Hombre Lobo (1972)
* Santo y Blue Demon vs. El Doctor Frankenstein (1973)

Additional non-lucha libre related cult classics in the archive include La Mujer Murciélago (1968) and Santa Claus (1959) whose U.S. English dub release by K. Gordon Murray is considered one of the zaniest Christmas films of all time.

“The lucha libre film genre is one of the aspects of lucha libre which makes it so unique. Luchadores would step out of the screen and into the ring or from the ring into movie theaters. The arenas and the films were inextricably tied together in a way that helped create the notion that lucha libre is an intangible part of the cultural heritage of Mexico.” Masked Republic founder and CEO Ruben Zamora said.

“Ever since we launched our Legends of Lucha Libre brand to create officially licensed products for the icons, legends and superstars of lucha libre six years ago, we have been fielding inquiries as to when both fans and retailers would be able to get their hands on officially licensed merchandise from the classic films. Now, by teaming up with Viviana and Permanencia Voluntaria, we are very proud and excited to be able to do just that!” Kevin Kleinrock, Masked Republic President & COO added.

“Masked Republic have proven themselves to understand the lucha libre market outside of Mexico and to be able to reach fans both of lucha libre and of pop culture better than anyone ever has before,” García-Besne said of the new collaboration. “Together we are going to get very creative around the legacy of this film archive and I know we are going to leave people very happily surprised.”

Masked Republic will be handling licensing inquiries directly through the company’s Cinelucha division.