Blue Demon contra el poder satánico (1966) is a beautiful Blue Demon film, directed by Chano Urueta, because its appearance seems to belie any commercial genesis as simply a wrestling picture. Arañas infernales (1968), directed by Federico Curiel, is the more traditional tale wherein superhero and legendary luchador, Blue Demon, has to save the world from an alien invasion who take the form of human and spider.Urueta doesn't need a traditional narrative for El poder satánico, but it has one. Viewing it as a collage piece is a better experience, made up of song-and-dance sequences, seduction sequences, Satanic sequences, wrestling matches, and Blue Demon sequences. El poder satánico resides in a character portrayed by charismatic and legendary actor, Jaime Fernández. From his jail cell, he smiles and is later buried by the hands of justice in a nondescript plot in the cemetery. Cut to modern times, as the hands of thievery are digging his grave whereupon the true poder satánico reveals itself and Fernández's character rises. It's not long before he dons a cape and finds a cobwebbed mansion with Gothic trimmings, but he doesn't behave in the traditional way a caped figure in a Gothic residence should behave. A young couple is walking in arms in a forest, clearly infatuated with each other, when Fernández's character encounters them. With the tight close-up upon the eyes, el poder satánico works its magic. The young man is killed (upon whose coffin Blue Demon sheds tears, giving him a personal stake in the administration of justice); and the young woman is captured by the power. Back at the Gothic residence, with his captive under his spell, Fernández's character seduces the woman twice and then leads her to a chamber, a homemade crematorium where she is burned alive. The satanic smile from Fernández's character returns.In Arañas infernales, Curiel allows the aliens to invade right at the beginning and unlike Urueta, lets Blue Demon beat up bad guys and save the world. Blue Demon serves up justice, initially, in his athletic, fist-pummeling style. Beset by an alien immobilization attack, Blue Demon and his associates are seized, whereupon two alien henchmen in human form, donning black capes which are glittered with a spiderweb design, move into dispatch the group. Blue Demon sheds his cape and gives the two a beatdown. As most residing on Earth are apt to do, the aliens have clearly underestimated Blue Demon's power. Their strategy changes with some experimentation until deciding upon imbuing a wrestler with superhuman strength to enter the ring and take down our hero. This alien incarnation looks the part, glittery headband, shiny armbands and belt, and flowing cape; and appears credible in combat: as when he initially enters the wrestling arena, three wrestlers are sparring and a promoter is present. The alien wrestler asks to get into the promotion and challenges all three wrestlers as an audition. It's an impressive display, and soon Blue Demon is pencilled as his opponent. During their match, the likes of which pay-per-view has never seen, Blue Demon takes to this chump. Slowly, Blue Demon in a strategic move, works over his right arm. The human hand of the alien incarnation, as he is losing the match, begins to grow hair on his right hand. Blue Demon suppresses him with his athletic ability, and the alien incarnation shows its true form: his right hand takes the form of a spider. He enters the ring, and the crowd rushes for the exits, screaming. Blue Demon, the courageous hero, doesn't waver but is ready to serve up the final stage of his ass-whipping.Virtually all Blue Demon action sequences within El poder satánico take place within the ring. Blue Demon's battle against Fernández comes in the form of academic study: Blue Demon is seen primarily behind his desk with a large, ancient tome in his hands. Urueta's compositions of Blue Demon at study are either haphazard (showing a careless attitude towards the production) or playfully brilliant: striking images, giving the superhero an Edgar Allen Poe-ish air who faces dark demons from legend. The actual wrestling sequences within both films actually reappear in both. El poder satánico features one match, two out of three falls, with Blue Demon winning two, but it's the same sequence shot in two different ways (perhaps this is lifeless carelessness from Urueta, but the end result is a disorienting, deja-vu effect). Santo makes a cameo appearance in El poder satánico, shaking Blue Demon's hand in the dressing room; and the viewer also gets to witness a Santo wrestling match, re-used from a Santo film from the period. Blue Demon is not the vehicle who drives the narrative of El poder satánico, but like all the sequences, he is driven by the images, as a powerful inclusion: a aong-and-dance sequence allows Fernández to seduce the singer, giving an opportunity for Gothic and satanic seduction which fuels Blue Demon who eventually has to end the evil character. Undeniably, Blue Demon is the vehicle and true savior within Arañas infernales (literal English title, Hellish Spiders), and the film could have benefitted from more indulgent, atmospheric, and/or surrealistic sequences (like its fantastic final ten minutes). Arañas infernales boasts a tried-and-true formula, has an absence of cinema's greatest superhero, El Enmascarado de Plata, El Santo, and benefits from showing Blue Demon as a great cinema superhero, himself, in his solo battle against the alien-cum-spiders. Long live Blue Demon.