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La cabeza viviente (1963)

 |  Horror  |  29 May 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 83 users  
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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)
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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 <>

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Plot Keywords:

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


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Release Date:

29 May 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Living Head  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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References The Mummy (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

THE LIVING HEAD (Chano Urueta, 1963) **
19 January 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another popular Mexi-Horror effort – one of a spate, in fact, that were picked up for U.S. distribution by exploitationer K. Gordon Murray. Though involved in it are some of the top purveyors of this goofy-yet-irresistible form (director Urueta, producer/star Abel Salazar and co-star German Robles – the three had previously collaborated on one of the wackiest horror movies ever, THE BRAINIAC [1962]), this one emerges a disappointment overall!

For starters, it feels like a half-hearted attempt at Mummy lore (with the marauding bandaged one replaced by an Aztec high priest, and the added treat of the titular 'monster'), especially when considering that there had already been three "Aztec Mummy" films (albeit of similarly negligible quality)! Anyway, here we get the usual elements of archeologists falling prey to a curse tied to their latest find (the tomb of various long-dead Aztecs with unpronounceable names!); Robles (as in THE BRAINIAC, made to look older than his years) leads the expedition and the youngest member is played by the same Clark Gable-lookalike from THE WORLD OF THE VAMPIRES (1961; which had immediately preceded this), while Salazar turns up – in a rather thankless role – as the police detective investigating the ensuing 'mysterious' deaths.

The film starts off in the distant past (recreating an ancient burial ritual) – with the ensuing passage of time until the present day represented by a montage lifted wholesale from THE BRAINIAC itself (as are some of the musical cues!); a ring that can glow and hypnotize its owner into doing the villain's evil bidding becomes the object of contention at some point in the proceedings, whereas the disembodied head intermittently renders its helmet transparent (for no other discernible reason than to let us see that the hero is a dead-ringer for its owner, just as Robles' daughter is for the warrior's beloved!). THE LIVING HEAD is by no means terrible but clearly uninspired (to say nothing of singularly unfrightening), and decidedly less fun than one would have hoped for (indeed expected from this particular stable)!

Incidentally, given that I have often been taken to task for ridiculing cheap horror films in my comments, a similarly bemused (or, if you like, cynical) viewpoint was adopted by both "External Reviews" pertaining to THE LIVING HEAD on its IMDb page! In the end, I am glad I did not have to fork out my hard-earned cash for either this one (which I honestly can barely recall after just three days!) or THE WORLD OF THE VAMPIRES and, while I regret the Casanegra company's unceremonious folding, I seriously doubt their financial matters would have been in any way resolved via the potential sales receipts from the DVD editions of these two very minor genre entries...

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