LA DUQUESA DIABOLICA (1964)
aka The Diabolic Duchess
Article 5387 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Arturo Martinez
Featuring Sergio Barrios, Rene Cardona, Roberto Canedo
What it is: Swashbuckling drama
In days of yore, an evil duchess escapes from prison by drinking a potion that allows her to fake her own death. She teams up with the doctor who prepared the potion and poses as her twin sister. She has a plot do drive a wedge between a father and a son.
After all of the cheap-looking horror movies I’ve seen that came from Mexico, I’m a little surprised that this one, which looks like it has higher production values all around and is in color, has languished in obscurity; in fact, it doesn’t have any votes on IMDB, and it doesn’t appear to be that hard to find. The costumes are great and colorful, and the sword fights actually look pretty good. I suspect its obscurity has something to do with its failure to exploit its more fun qualities. IMDB classifies it as horror and fantasy as well as adventure and drama, but the horror is practically nonexistent, and the only fantastic content is the presence of a few potions. It also doesn’t help that there are a lot of static talking scenes to slow things down. I wish I could say more about this, but I was unable to find a copy of this with English subtitles, and that means I can’t give a real evaluation. However, I do get the feeling that overall, the movie isn’t particularly engaging overall, despite its production values.