Many people stray away from foreign films because they can’t stand poor dubbing. While it won’t necessarily keep me away from a good flick, it can certainly change the cinematic experience. I have come to prefer watching a movie in its original language with subtitles. For me, it enhances the story by hearing how a character was supposed to sound by hearing their true emotional responses, not just a studio voice actor reading off a cue card. Mexican horror is ripe for the picking as many of these classics have never been seen the way they were meant to be seen until recent years. Casa Negra cornered this particular niche of the DVD market for a short time before poor sales forced them to close their doors. The DVDs are now out-of-print and, unless you are real lucky, the prices have sky rocketed. Fortunately, I was able to get a few these early on. Today, we journey back to 1961 for one of the few they released on DVD, The Curse of the Crying Woman.
From the opening scene, the atmosphere just oozes right off the TV screen. A carriage is traveling through a strange forest late at night. Two men and one woman are talking as one of the men states he feels something is not right. He is right indeed as the carriage is stopped by a creepy looking man who quickly kills the driver. Watching from a distance is a strange woman with dark black eyes, holding back several huge dogs. The hounds are let loose and attack the men while the girl passes out and is eventually run over by the carriage. The story follows a couple who visit their Aunt Selma (Rita Macedo) at her creepy mansion. It seems Aunt Selma is a witch who wants to use her niece Rosita to raise a long-dead sorceress known as “la llorona”…the crying woman. All the usual visual trappings of an old dark house are plentiful, from secret passages to crazy prisoners to trap doors to witches.
The Curse of the Crying Woman is a real gem and the print is amazingly crisp. Do yourself a huge favor and track this one down. Check out the trailer on YouTube (which does not do the picture justice) and check out Amazon for either a new or used copy. Very highly recommended!