Saturday, December 11, 2010

MISTERIOS DE ULTRATUMBA - Gustavo César Carrión - "Mysteries from Beyond the Grave" (1959)

"Ultratumba," What a great word, and what a great movie! Also known as "The Black Pit Of Dr. M," this film moves along at a good pace, looks fantastic, and throws you a bunch of curve balls while in the process!

Yep! You got that straight!! On the right we have Dr. M, who is Rafael Bertrand as a certain Dr. Mazali, a man Hell-bent on immortality, who has made a pact with his pal, Dr. Aldama, that whichever one of them dies first, and they figure out how to get back from the other side, they will let the other one know how it works, and here, he explains the whole concept to his assistant, Luis Aragón as Dr. Gonzalez, after the death of Dr. Aldama!

Pretty super cool club for 1959! Very surreal to the point that you don't know whether it's a dream sequence or not!

It's not a coincidence that those four glass objects are placed in the shot so perfectly, giving new meaning to the words shot glass!

Dr. M is in the crazy people business, and runs his own sanitarium out in the country! Carolina Barret is La Gitana, an extremely violent gypsy woman, who is nuttier than the X-Mas fruitcake your Aunt Alice gave you!!

I'm sure that the subtle and soothing lighting by cinematographer Víctor Herrera, makes the patients feel that much more relaxed and comfortable!!

I admit I don't know everything, but this is the first Mexican guy I have ever heard of called Elmer!! Angel Jose Chuy Francisco Ramón Javier Rafael Juan yes, Elmer, No!

Dr. M gets the bright idea to bring La Gitana out of her cell by using the comforting sounds of a music box, but you know what Jim Morrison said about "When the music's over..."

The music for "Misterios De Ultratumba" was composed by the esteemed Gustavo César Carrión, who we have featured here many times before, because his tremendous body of work of 321 films, includes such classics as "Las Vampiras," "El Mundo De Las Vampiros," "El Baron Del Terror" and "El Ataúd Del Vampiro" just to name a couple!

La Gitana goes completely nutzoid, it was a short journey for her, and not only destroys the Doc's office, but ends up throwing acid in Elmer's face, which horribly disfigures him! Dr. Gonzalez can only watch on in horror and disbelief!

Hey, let me out Doc, I'm just as normal as her!

Maybe you should just put it back where you found it!

Strolling through the agave, Dr. M explains to Dr. Aldama's daughter how things work in the real world! Mapita Cortés has the role of Patricia Aldama. Mapita was of Puerto Rican descent and passed away at the age of 66 in 2006!

Forget immortality, check out that fine ass! I've got this thing about graveyards on the side of hills, I don't want to visit them when it's raining!

In his spare time, Dr. M likes to fiddle around on the violin!

Is this not just a great shot? Simple but effective, just like the courtyard outside Dr. M's pad that is used here so brilliantly!

Que Paso?

These two killer shots of La Gitana and the newly disfigured Elmer look every bit as good as some classic Universal films!

Elmer, the disorderly orderly has got his own story, and was played by Carlos Ancira. Carlos was in "Santo And The Vengeance Of The Mummy," "Santo And Blue Demon Against The Monsters," "The Hell Of Frankenstein" and "The Living Coffin" just to name a few of the 66 appearances he made before checking out at age 57!

See, now it's all starting to make sense!!

Here's a shot that looks like it's straight out of a René Magritte painting! Give some credit for the look of this film to director Fernando Méndez, who besides directing both "Los Hermanos Diablo" and "Los Diablos Del Terror," also directed "La Locura Del Rock And Roll" in 1957, a movie that featured the amazing esoteric composer and musician Juan García Esquivel in a very rare appearance, in a movie almost impossible to find!

Yes, it is confusing, but, you'll see, that in the end, just like in real life, nothing works out right, so don't go looking for any free rides!

"Misterios De Ultraumba" is, without a doubt, a twisted little tale that deserves to be seen, and might just be one of the most interesting movies I've seen this year!!


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TABONGA! said...

I love Elmer's Xmas bow tie!

René Claude said...

Ho ! Its a "gothic" movie. The contrasts b/w are nice.

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