Archive for abel salazar

La maldición de la Llorona – THE CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Mexico, movies, Trailer with tags , , , , , , on December 22, 2009 by goregirl

I thought the name Abel Salazar seemed familiar. He played the wacky Baron Vitelius in the 1962 film ‘Brainiac‘, which I reviewed back in September. It was released one year before ‘Curse of The Crying Woman’. Both films were made in Mexico, but that is about the only parallels I could draw. ‘Curse of The Crying Woman’ is a considerably more ambitious film in both plot and visuals. It is a dark gothic tale with a gooey folklore centre that is oh, so delicious!

Amelia accepts an invitation to visit with her Aunt Selma, whom she hasn’t seen in many years. Along with husband Jaime, they travel to her villa in the woods. Strange things begin to occur almost instantly upon entering her aunt’s home. Amelia is feeling uneasy, and realizes that her aunt is not the same woman she once knew. Aunt Selma shares with her the horrific story of the curse of the crying woman. She reveals to Amelia the hidden agenda behind her invitation. Amelia is to be the final sacrifice that will resurrect the powerful cursed woman. Only this woman can grant Selma the omnipotence she desires.

The opening scene of the film is great. We see Selma, possessed by the cursed woman, standing on the side of the road with some large dogs. Also standing nearby is Juan, her badly scarred and limping servant. Mist settles down around the bare trees and the silence is broken by the sound of a stagecoach. They cause the stagecoach to stop, and kill all three passengers and the driver. It’s a mighty opening scene full of mood and style. ‘The Curse Of The Crying Woman’ is filmed in beautiful black and white and has more mood and style than you can shake a candelabra at! The sets and props used throughout the film are perfect. Selma’s Mexican villa is extraordinary. It’s almost like a cave inside with its massive ceilings and adobe walls. I’ve never seen so many staircases! Wandering around this place is like playing a game of snakes and ladders! The most peculiar prop is the massive cast iron bell. It is the type of thing that would normally hang in a bell tower in a church. Every home should have one!

A quirky cast of characters nicely compliments the strange folklore storyline. It is the character of Selma that is the real showstopper. A striking older woman who exudes charm and elegance, but yet a cold aloofness. Her actions are calculated and precise and she handles her horrific tasks calmly with a steady sense of purpose. She may be crazy as a loon but the woman knows what she wants! We don’t really learn much about Juan, other than he is a faithful servant to his mistress. It is he who does much of her dirty work. The guy is strong as an ox but is burdened with a badly scarred face and one nasty limp. He is forced to go up and down the homes numerous staircases, and it is almost painful watching him get around. But like Selma, he is a man with purpose. There is also a third person living in the house with Juan and Selma. They keep him locked up and give him a good whipping when he needs it. You’ll learn more about him when you watch the film. He doesn’t have much to say, but he definitely has a bone to pick with Juan and Selma. Finally we have Amelia and Jaime our newly married couple. The lovely Amelia spends most of the film being horrified and husband Jaime is the voice of reason in a most unreasonable situation.

I was really impressed with Selma’s makeup in the film. When she is possessed, her eyes go black, which is pretty cool. But they do an effect with the skin around the eyes that makes her look bug-like, or alien-like. The final result is fantastic! I thought Juan and locked up mystery man’s makeup also looked good. There are neat effects with a mirror that work well. A terrific flashback sequence relating to the curse had a wonderfully dream-like vibe that is masterfully done. Overall, the effects in the film are very good, but their limited budget does show through in a couple scenes. Most notable is a scene near the end when the house is falling apart. They cut back and forth to the action inside the house and then outside it, to show the extent of the damage. It looked kind of cheesy, but even this scene is not completely without its charms.

It’s a rich but simple folklore yarn of witchcraft, curses and evil. With wonderful sets, interesting characters, and creative effects, the sinister mood will keep you mesmerized. If you love the black and white gothic horror of the 1960’s than you have to seek out this little gem from Mexico. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Rafael Baledón

Starring: Rosa Arenas, Abel Salazar, Rita Macedo, Carlos López Moctezuma, Enrique Lucero, Mario Sevilla

El Barón Del Terror – BRAINIAC – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Mexico, movies with tags , on September 22, 2009 by goregirl

brainiac still el baron del terror‘Brainiac’ markets itself as “The most bizarre horror movie. Ever.” I am sad to report that ‘Brainiac’ was NOT the most bizarre horror movie I have ever seen. Not by a long shot. There is no disputing the weirdness factor though, which can be attributed almost solely to the Baron and his transformation into the horrible, forked-tongued, face-pulsing, brain-eating monster.

The Holy Inquisition of Mexico condemns Baron Vitelius to be burned alive for his crimes. Before he dies, he names each inquisitor and warns them that in 300 years he will avenge his death by eliminating their descendents.

The premise seemed so familiar, I wasn’t sure if I had seen it or not. In the 50’s and 60’s there were more than a few flicks with executions, where the accused comes back to reek his/her revenge. Once I seen a picture of that goofy monster, I knew I had most definitely NOT seen it. The film was made in 1962 in Mexico on a micro budget and it shows.
still from brainiac el baron del terrorThere is no actual scenery, other than the interior of a few rooms. Backdrops are just photo’s. It couldn’t possibly look more fake! There is one shot of an inanimate comet that is downright hilarious! Another awesome effect used often in the film is a flashlight (or possibly a table lamp) used to shine on the Baron’s eyes. You see, the Baron has the power to transfix beautiful women with his eyes. Curvy Mexican women in pencil skirts become seduced by his gaze. They kiss him passionately, sometimes in view of their significant other, or in one case, dear old dad. The father’s reaction is classic! I included a picture, but it really doesn’t do it justice! Without a doubt, the monster is the cheesiest and strangest component. I would be curious to know where the motivation to create this creature came from. I am guessing that Tequilia was involved. Sadly I couldn’t find a good picture, but he is
still from brainiac el baron del terror 2
quite hairy with long pointy ears, and a long pointy nose, a long forked tongue, long fangs and tentacle-like appendenges for hands. His face pulses and he is capable of sucking the brains clean out of people’s heads. In fact, the Baron keeps a fancy dish full of brains hidden away for when he needs a snack. A few times throughout the film he sneaks off to go have a nibble. These scenes are quite funny. The actor who played the Baron is also a producer for the film. It is obvious the man was having fun with the role. I think my favorite scene was the opening one, where the inquisition’s sentence is being handed down to the Baron. He has a hearty laugh at their findings and immediately after, becomes dead serious. The man steals the show, but the whole damn thing is all about him anyway. This is NOT a good film, but it made me laugh. There’s really not much more I can say about ‘Brainiac’. It is a film that shamelessly self-promotes itself as “The most bizarre horror movie. Ever.” ‘El Barón Del Terror’ is a film that knows it is bad but embraces that badness and runs with it. Many people will not appreciate this film on any level. But, if you’re a fan of low budget monster flicks from the 50’s and 60’s and don’t mind it cheesy and wacky, give this one a whirl. Recommended with warning.

Dungeon Rating: 3/5

Directed By: Chano Urueta

Starring: Abel Salazar, David Silva, Germán Robles, Luis Aragón, René Cardona, Rubén Rojo and Carlos Nieto