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Malcolm Venville s rare deluxe Mexican wrestling volume, now available in an accessible, popular format. Lucha Libre, or free wrestling, is a cultural phenomenon--renowned not only for the wrestler s high-flying moves, but also for the mythology of their personas. These masked figures (a ritual dating back to Aztec culture) treat their masks--and the identities they embody--as sacred. El Santo, the first luchador pop star, rarely took off his mask even in retirement, and was eventually buried in it. It is such a significant part of the sport (and the performance) that the removal of an opponent s mask in the ring is grounds for disqualification. Malcolm Venville fell in love with the sport after catching a show in Mexico and spent several weeks photographing and interviewing wrestlers outside the ring in a small portrait studio. Alongside each portrait is the wrestler s fighting name and a signature quote from these interviews. Among the subjects are an accountant and a doctor by day--but Super Pinocchio and Astro Boy by night. They offer such gems as: American wrestling is more about the lighting, My character is the fastest in Mexico, but not when I m making love, and I combine wrestling with stripping but wrestling s my passion. The result is an even more hilarious and colorful look at this already entertaining spectacle--part sport, part soap opera--as well as a window into the life of a luchador, a world normally shrouded in mystery.
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