The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THE CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN (1969) *** ½

A sexy Latina named Emily comes to stay with her aunt at her rundown old castle where the creepy sounds of a wailing woman can be heard in the middle of the night.  Pretty soon, a whole bunch of freaky stuff starts happening (like corpses appearing in mirrors) and aunty has to fess up about their unfortunate family curse.  You see, aunty moonlights as an eyeless witch and keeps the remains of her horribly rotted undying mother shackled up down in the cellar and needs to hypnotize Emily into resurrecting the old bag so she can further corrupt the family’s bloodline. 

 

If you only know Mexican horror from the likes of El Santo or the Aztec Mummy movies, you might be pleasantly surprised by this flick.  Whereas those films traded in more on their schlock appeal rather than actual scares, The Curse of the Crying Woman is a genuinely surprising and unsettling flick.  The film is chockfull of atmosphere and plays like a South of the Border version of Black Sunday. 

 

The opening scene is a real attention getter when the eyeless aunty and her scarred club-footed henchman prey upon a stagecoach, knife the driver, sic the dogs on a dude and run over a chick with the coach.  This scene is drenched in lots of dry ice fog and cool looking dead trees and helps set the stage for what’s to come.  We also get a spine tingling Wolf Man inspired scene when the aunt turns into the sightless crone as the moon rises and wolves howl in the background.  The part when she freaks out while thousands of eyes in the sky look down upon her ominously is also quite memorable as well, as is the filmed-in-negative flashback sequence.

 

The Curse of the Crying Woman is simply one of the best things to come out of Mexico since the chimichanga.  It’s got everything from eyeless witches to bloodthirsty dogs to hunchbacked bug-eyed mutants in it and actually has a number of effective jump scares too.  The only thing that knocks it down a notch is the sluggish pacing.  If the flick moved faster than a Mexican heading for the border, it would have gotten a four star rating easy.  That’s okay though because it’s got enough crazy shit in it to make any fan of refried horror films happy.

 

The Curse of the Crying Woman is one of the crown jewels in the annals of Mexican Horror Cinema; good enough to land it at the Number 6 position on The Video Vacuum Top Ten of 1969, sandwiched in between Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch and Jess Franco’s Succubus.

Tags: c, horror
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