An effectively creepy and atmospheric tale of the supernatural
In my mind, Mexican horror films consistent of laughably campy schlock such as "The Brainiac" or "Doctor of Doom" (both of which are two of my favorite b-movies). That is why I was very surprised by "The Black Pit of Dr. M". Sure it has the low-budget limitations, but manages to be an effectively creepy and atmospheric tale of the supernatural. It reminded me a bit of the works of Mario Bava at moments, yet it predates "Black Sunday" by two years. One of the aspects I enjoyed about the film were the sets. They're all obviously created indoors on a studio back lot. But they manage to add a sense of dreamlike surrealism. The film is alien despite some obvious American influences. The otherworldly feeling I get from watching foreign b-films is probably what I enjoy the most about them.
The film is certainly not without flaws. I found the love story to be uninteresting and bit unbelievable. The scenes between Patricia and Dr. M's intern seemed to stop the film in its otherwise good pacing. The middle section of the film is weak and bogs it down. It is made up for however by an unrelenting beginning (the scene with the female inmate is a classic) and a truly fascinating ending. Plus, the shot of Dr. M's hand shooting up out of the dirt over his grave is a classic which has been imitated. (7/10)
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