THE WITCH’S MIRROR (1960)
(a.k.a. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA)
Article #962 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-2-2003
Posting Date: 3-31-2004
Directed by Chano Urueta
Featuring Rosa Arenas, Armando Calvo, Isabela Corona
A witch, unable to save her ward from being murdered by her husband, vows to exact vengeance for the murder.
You know, sometimes you have to just sit back and marvel. Starting with a concept from SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (a witch with a magic mirror), we then find ourselves thrown into the standard husband-trying-to-murder-his-wife plot, followed in quick succession by the plots of NIGHTMARE CASTLE (woman haunted by the ghost of husband’s first wife) and EYES WITHOUT A FACE (scientist tries to restore the face of his loved one), followed by hints of a dizzying array of movies such as THE BODY SNATCHER, THE PREMATURE BURIAL, a distaff version of THE HANDS OF ORLAC, and finally (this one I saw coming though it takes a long time for it to manifest itself) THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS. It’s almost as if they threw a bunch of movies in a blender and tried to see what would come out. Furthermore, the bandages on the scarred lady make her look like the lumpy Frankenstein monster in DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN, though admittedly, that one postdates this one. This, combined with the standard K. Gordon Murray dubbing process, makes for a truly surreal movie-watching experience. After a while, you just can’t tear your eyes away because you’re wondering what other movies it will remind you of. It’s all part of the fun of dipping into the wide wonderful world of Mexican horror, where logic as we understand it is truly thrown to the winds. Bizarre, hallucinatory, jaw-dropping, and in its own weird way, essential.