La cabeza viviente (1963)

 |  Horror  |  29 May 1968 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.9/10 from 83 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

A group of archaeologists break into the tomb of an ancient Aztec general, arousing the warrior's head and sending his undead servant out to take revenge on the careless scientists.



, (as A. López Portillo)
0Check in


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Brainiac (1962)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In 1661 Mexico, the Baron Vitelius of Astara is sentenced to be burned alive by the Holy Inquisition of Mexico for witchcraft, necromancy, and other crimes. As he dies, the Baron swears ... See full summary »

Director: Chano Urueta
Stars: Abel Salazar, Ariadna Welter, David Silva
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A cowboy and his sidekick meet a ranching family that is haunted by spirits and vampires.

Director: Fernando Méndez
Stars: Gastón Santos, María Duval, Pedro de Aguillón
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The first major medical sci/fi movie in Mexico, loosely based on the Frankenstein story but injecting gory surgical motifs into it, laying the foundations of the genres that came to ... See full summary »

Director: Chano Urueta
Stars: Miroslava, Carlos Navarro, José María Linares-Rivas
Demonio azul (1965)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A professor challenges a mad scientist who turns himself into a werewolf.

Director: Chano Urueta
Stars: Blue Demon, Jaime Fernández, Cesar Gay
Mystery | Western | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7/10 X  

A disappearing body leads a detective and his sidekick into an encounter with a gill man.

Director: Rafael Baledón
Stars: Gastón Santos, Rayo de Plata, Manola Saavedra
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
Director: Chano Urueta
Stars: Miroslava, Crox Alvarado, Wolf Ruvinskis


Cast overview:
Mauricio Garcés ...
Roberto / Acatl (la cabeza viviente)
Ana Luisa Peluffo ...
Marta / Xochiquétzal
Abel Salazar ...
Inspector Toledo
Germán Robles ...
Prof. Muller
Guillermo Cramer ...
Xiu (the high priest)
Antonio Raxel ...
Prof. Urquizo
Eric del Castillo ...
Detective killed by Xiu
Salvador Lozano ...
Prof. Rivas
Álvaro Matute ...


A group of archaeologists break into the tomb of an ancient Aztec general, arousing the warrior's head and sending his undead servant out to take revenge on the careless scientists. Written by Jeremy Lunt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tomb | head | aztec indian | archeology | See All (4) »


See and Talk to the Living Head in Person!







Release Date:

29 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Living Head  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


References Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (1959) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Mind-numbing, Headless Horror From Churubusco-Azteca
22 May 2000 | by (Wichita, KS USA) – See all my reviews

During the 1960s, auteur K. Gordon Murray bought the American release rights to a number of Mexican-produced horror films (including a couple of El Santo's earlier films), redubbed them in Coral Gables, FL, sold them to American-International Television for TV release.

Charity compels me to say that the results were "unique." Horror cinema has long held a place in the Mexican film industry, with series like the Nostradamus (a vampire, not the famed seer) films and seemingly endless films concerning mummies, werewolves, and their frisky, lethal friends.

Then there is THE LIVING HEAD.

In style and feel, this isn't all that different from these other black-and-white spookers. Sets are adequate but have a stagey feel to them, the set dressing is erratic, and the tension could be cut with a rather dull soup spoon. Still, this is a watchable little production -- much more than Universal-International's living head entry of a few years earlier.

The opening is in the Aztec past, where their chief warrior has just been disgraced (i.e., killed, which is a major no-no). A maiden is held responsible for this and is sealed into his tomb, with the dead man's head and the grim, dedicated head priest.

Centuries later, obviously being blissfully aware of curses and other down sides of their trade, archaeologists enter the tomb and cart off the head. Also taken is the death ring worn by the dead maiden, who's by now a pile of dust.

The priest's body is also carried off. In a darkened storeroom, it comes to life and places itself under the head's orders. The chief scientist's two companions are killed -- their hearts removed from their bodies by the revived mummy's stone knife.

The police arrive, in the person of Abel Salazar (best known for playing vampires and the sorcerer/creature in THE BRAINIAC). In spite of the priest's habit of carelessly leaving the still dripping hearts on the table in front of the head, nobody puts one and one together and tosses the head into the nearest fireplace.

In their defense, I should mention that, when it's not beetling ferociously at the camera, the head has a mask over its face. Nobody thinks to look beneath this mask, behind which the head is probably sticking out its tongue and crossing and criss-crossing its eyes in secret glee at how well things are working out. Jack Nicholson would have done wonders with this role.

The archaeologist's daughter has already put on the death ring, and is getting psychic images of the killings, which does the police no good. Everyone of course pays no attention whatsoever to this potential lead. Women are so hysterical and imaginative!

Maybe it's just me, but with as many odd things as are happening here, I'd have trusted even the flimsiest lead proposed by the family dog, at this point of the game.

The head now commands her (through the ring, which she's already tried to throw away) to kill her father. In the big resolution, love conquers all and the head and the revived priest are thwarted.

Interesting little film, but not worth staying up until dawn to watch. Set the VCR for this one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Living Head esselle_
Discuss La cabeza viviente (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: