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Lorena Velázquez: queen of the fantastic and more...

Flashback. November 19, 2011. Hotel Hyatt or maybe Elcano in Acapulco. It is 11 a.m., Víctor Sotomayor, director of the FICA (Festival Internacional de Cine de Acapulco), urgently asked me to keep actress Lorena Velázquez company, who will receive, as part of the 7th festival, the Silver Jaguar for her career. “There she comes”, he says in a rush. “Talk to her, please. Just for a little while”. Of course, I accept: my curiosity outweighs my shyness. After a small introduction, I stay with Lorena on a small terrace, the ocean is in the background, and they bring drinks immediately. “You look like a writer”, she says. I laugh and tell her that I try. She, with that sympathy, charisma, and great beauty, at 74 years of age, begins to tell me endless anecdotes, in a conversation that will last several hours and will be joined by colleagues such as Carlos Bonfil and Raúl Criollo.

Raúl Criollo. Lorena Velázquez, Rafael Aviña, Carlos Bonfil


A week ago, María de la Concepción Lorena del Villar y Dondé (1937-2024) —sister of the also beautiful and sympathetic Tere Velázquez—passed away. She was a great personality within this critically slammed and now cult film industry. She managed the ups and downs of the changing Mexican film industry between the 1950s and the 1970s.

Lorena was also known as “La reina del fantástico” for her participation in Serie B sci-fi and wrestling films, with emblematic titles such as the delirious La nave de los monstruos, in the role of the Venusian Beta who, along with Gamma (Ana Bertha Lepe), falls in love with the earthling Laureano (Eulalio González Piporro). In Santo vs las mujeres vampiro (1962), she is the sensual Zorina, a bloodthirsty queen of vampires who faces the "Enmascarado de plata," supported by the priestess Tundra (Ofelia Montesco) while looking for her replacement. And in the saga that began with Las luchadoras contra el médico asesino ( 1962), she plays Gloria Venus, who along with Golden Rubí (Elizabeth Campbell) —both pankration stars— helps the police, with her pronounced curves and strength in the ring, to unmask the elusive doctor played by Roberto Cañedo, whom Lorena disfigures by throwing acid to his face and fights the real wrestler Chabela Romero.

Previously, the actress tried her luck in other genres. Since her debut, it was clear that this slim young woman, with a height of 1.75 m and a beautiful face, would draw the attention of producers and spectators. Soon, her career would take off, always in that entertainment cinema she never disowned. She began, when she was 13, in theater alongside Ignacio López Tarso and Isabela Corona while studying ballet. At the age of 18, she joined the cast of what would be her debut film Caras nuevas (1955), a musical comedy to show off the then couple of dancers Alfonso Arau and Sergio Corona, made to launch future stars, among them: Sonia FurióElvira Quintana and Lorena Velázquez herself, who appears wearing a tiny skirt and dark openwork stockings, in her role as a cigarette girl and waitress in a theatrical stage.

Lorena Velázquez

Lorena's bearing did not go unnoticed. In 1955, she played small roles in Bataclán mexicanoMi influyente mujer and ¡Viva la juventud! with Adalberto Martínez "Resortes," before the nose job. In 1956, she made three more films. In La Diana Cazadora, she plays Ana Luisa Peluffo's cousin, and in Los tres bohemios, where she plays a waitress, Luis Aguilar and Agustín Lara try to court her. In La vida de Agustín Lara (1958), she has a bigger role playing María Islas, that is, María Félix to whom Lara (Germán Robles) composes "María bonita" in Acapulco. Then, she took part in several films in the following decade, like A tiro limpioLa ley del más rápidoEl pumaMartín Santos El Llanero, and appearances with comedians of the moment such as ClavillazoResortesViruta, and Capulina and Germán Valdés "Tin Tan" with whom she films La odalisca número 13 (very beautiful, she's the harem's favorite), Tin Tan y las modelosPilotos de la muerteLoco por ellas and Tintansón Crusoe in which she plays a sensual mermaid. The Mexico-U.S. co-production, La ciudad sagrada/ The Mighty Jungle and the Mexican-Spanish: El rapto de las Sabinas.

In Juventud rebelde/Jóvenes y rebeldes (1961), Resortes tries to convey his traumatic experiences as an ex-convict. Lorena, a beautiful and wealthy young woman and law student at UNAM, makes him believe she is in love with him to analyze him as an object of study. Later, she is kidnapped by criminals played by Fernando Luján and David Silva, who propose that they leave together, “You'll have to kill me first,” she answers, to which he replies “Then, no. I don't like cold women.” In Lío de faldas, she is a sexy astrologer, and in Ya somos hombres, a liberated young woman.

Of course, in her filmography that exceeds 80 titles and includes films of the new millennium such as Cartas a ElenaAmor de mis amores, and Más sabe el diablo por viejo, the always sensual, attractive, and charismatic Lorena Velázquez will be remembered as the absolute diva of that genre of extreme delirium. That genre with wrestling and fantastic horror films with unmissable titles such as the aforementioned: Santo vs las mujeres vampiroAtacan las brujas, as a seductive sorceress, or Santo contra los zombies (1961), in which the masked man confronted the living dead clad in ridiculous tights who robbed the Plateros jewelry store on Madero Street in the Historic Center. "And this is the one who's going to help us?" says doubtful detective Lorena Velázquez when she meets El Santo in the arena, in a sexy polka-dotted duel with fellow young cop Irma Serrano. The final dialogue in the voice of Dagoberto Rodriguez as Chief Almada is anthological: "Santo is a legend, a chimera. The incarnation of the most beautiful thing: good and justice. That is El Santo, El 'Enmascarado de Plata'". Rest in peace La reina del fantástico.