Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with a look at four unjustly neglected horror films from Mexico.
SHE WOLF (1964) – AKA La Loba, this film features a female lycanthrope in all her violent glory. Generally a very good film, with La Loba making several kills in the opening minutes of the story. The special effects for its time and budget are very nice and the unique way the She Wolf leaps around like she’s practically flying is visually appealing and memorable. Think of the way Wonder Woman leaped around on the tv show, but even better.
And the movie takes the common sense approach of having La Loba sprout full- body hair when she transforms, none of this cheap “just the head and hands get furry” look. The transformation rips our female lycanthrope’s clothing to pieces, too, but her hair, already long in her human form, becomes even longer in her lupine form and discreetly covers the parts of her body that might cause a problem for the prudish.
RESURRECTION OF THE LIVING SKELETON (1959) – AKA The Return of the Monster. This supernatural story set in the Mexican West is an enjoyable horror/ western hybrid. Dr Kraken is kidnapping and experimenting on the local ladies in an attempt to restore flesh, blood and organs to the woman he loves – in this case a talking skeleton with glowing eyes (think of the movie poster for Evil Dead II).
A by- product of his efforts results in her son periodically turning into a monster with a massively enlarged cranium (“Beware the Steroid Monster”), caveman eyebrows and enormous teeth. The costumed hero of the movie is the Scarlet Fox, NOT a wrestler for a change, but a western hero in a red Zorro outfit with a huge skull pattern on the chest.
THE WITCH (1954) – AKA La Bruja. No traditional witch in this flick. The title refers to a horribly ugly woman transformed by a mad scientist into an irresistably beautiful woman and then sent out to avenge him on a Mexican corporation that stole his invention and caused his daughter’s death.
The beauty kills the designated victims by feigning interest in them, then killing them when she’s alone with them.
Think of PRC’s Devil Bat, Mad Monster, or The Flying Serpent but with a hot woman as the “monster.”
BEYOND INSANE (1936) AKA El Super Loco. The title describes the movie’s mad scientist, whose monster is like a cool hybrid of Mr Hyde, Dorian Gray and the Id Monster.
Dr Dienys believes he can live forever by purging negative emotions, then implanting them in his imprisoned monster, who grows uglier and bigger each time its used as a “receptacle”, inevitably breaking loose to wreak havoc.
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