Originally intended as the first of an "Anthology Of Fear" series of films, THE DOOR & THE BUTCHER'S WIFE was the only one lensed and although it's not bad, it's also not hard to see why there were no further entries.
In THE DOOR, the guests at a hip housewarming party open a closet and find a corridor with a shadowy naked man who tries to get out when the door is opened but goes back where he came from when it's closed. Except for one couple that leaves, the party-goers don't seem overly concerned as they continue to eat, drink, and ponder the nature of the beast in a surreal scene not unlike those found in Luis Buñuel's THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL. Things get stranger still when the younger guests, tired of dancing to music by "The Jokers", use the door for a party game.
THE BUTCHER'S WIFE is set during the Mexican Revolution and is a bit more lavish with a train robbery, Villa's men fighting the Federales, and the decimation of a small town to keep things moving. Revolutionaries rob the train to buy much needed arms but when the go-between carrying the money is murdered by a village butcher and his greedy wife, she makes off with the gold while he's left with a guilty conscience that, with the help of some mescal, threatens to destroy him.
Both stories have great promise but the intriguing premises dead-end with denouements that are too open-ended to be satisfying. The first of the half-told tales is similar to what U.S. audiences were getting from national TV at the time, most notably in series like THE TWILIGHT ZONE and the second one's a bizarre blend of BONANZA and Edgar Alan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart". The proposed "Anthology Of Fear" series ended with the first installment most likely because it offered nothing new, as well-made as it was. "Guest star" Katy Jurado, 44 at the time, was quite striking as the buxom butcher's wife and, with her long black hair and off-the-shoulder peasant blouse, was reminiscent of Bette Davis as Rosa Moline in BEYOND THE FOREST. One of the directors of this segment, Chano Urueta, also played an old priest who holds a key to the mystery.
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