6.8/10
470
19 user 21 critic

The Black Pit of Dr. M (1959)

Misterios de ultratumba (original title)
Two doctors make a pact in which they swear that the first to die will return - if possible - to tell the other how to get a glimpse of the afterlife while still alive.

Director:

Fernando Méndez

Writer:

Ramón Obón
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Gastón Santos ... Dr. Eduardo Jiménez
Rafael Bertrand ... Dr. Mazali
Mapita Cortés ... Patricia Aldama
Carlos Ancira Carlos Ancira ... Elmer, the orderly
Carolina Barret Carolina Barret ... La Gitana
Luis Aragón Luis Aragón ... Dr. González
Beatriz Aguirre ... Rosario
Antonio Raxel Antonio Raxel ... Dr. Jacinto Aldama
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
J. Portillo J. Portillo
Abel Salazar
Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young woman inherits a mansion, only to discover that it is haunted by witches and evil spirits.

Director: Rafael Baledón
Stars: Rosita Arenas, Abel Salazar, Rita Macedo
El vampiro (1957)
Mystery | Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A pretty young Mexican girl returns to her hometown to make funeral arrangements for her beloved aunt, who has just died. Soon she begins to hear disturbing stories about the town being ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Méndez
Stars: Abel Salazar, Ariadne Welter, Carmen Montejo
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A husband murders his wife, and years later her ghost emerges from a witch's mirror to take her revenge.

Director: Chano Urueta
Stars: Rosita Arenas, Armando Calvo, Isabela Corona
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Girls that were punished to sat at a boarding school during Spring Break have no idea the school is haunted by the restless spirit of a former student seeking revenge.

Director: Carlos Enrique Taboada
Stars: Marga López, Maricruz Olivier, Alicia Bonet
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A failed pianist sells his soul to the devil in return for his becoming the greatest musician in the world. The catch: every time he plays he turns into a horrible monster.

Director: Rafael Baledón
Stars: Enrique Rambal, Abel Salazar, Martha Roth
The Shout (1978)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A traveller by the name of Crossley forces himself upon a musician and his wife in a lonely part of Devon, and uses the aboriginal magic he has learned to displace his host.

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Stars: Alan Bates, Susannah York, John Hurt
Mystery | Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Graverobbers stumble upon the tomb of a vampire, who turns them into zombies to do his bidding, which is to stalk and capture beautiful women.

Director: Fernando Méndez
Stars: Abel Salazar, Ariadne Welter, Germán Robles
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 19th century Holland, a professor of fine arts and an unlicensed surgeon run a secret lab where the professor's ill daughter receives blood-transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become macabre art.

Director: Giorgio Ferroni
Stars: Pierre Brice, Scilla Gabel, Wolfgang Preiss
Witchcraft (1964)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When her grave is disturbed by modern-day land developers, a 300-year-old witch is accidentally resurrected and terrorizes an English village.

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Jack Hedley, Jill Dixon
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 15th-century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry
Matango (1963)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Shipwrecked survivors slowly transform into mushrooms.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Kubo, Kumi Mizuno, Hiroshi Koizumi
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Assistant district attorney Cleve Marshall falls for the mysterious Thelma Jordon when she seeks help solving robberies of her aunt's estate.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Paul Kelly
Edit

Storyline

Two doctors make a pact in which they swear that the first to die will return - if possible - to tell the other how to get a glimpse of the afterlife while still alive.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE!...The nightmares that fill the world of the psycho! See more »


Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The English dubbed version of this film is believed lost. See more »

User Reviews

 
THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M (Fernando Mendez, 1958) ***
13 October 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

Despite my satisfactory encounter with EL VAMPIRO (1957) a few years back, this is still just my second Mexican horror film of its vintage!

Given a complex and fascinating plot to work with - which has only the briefest concession to camp and, uncharacteristically for a horror film, is teeming with male protagonists (five, while there are only a couple of females of any importance) - a balance is reached between its intended literariness and the trademarks of the genre: foggy atmosphere, evocative décor and a bombastic yet effective score. The presence of Dr. Aldama's ghost is quite subtly but effectively established; besides, both Dr. Masali's expressionistic execution scene and the surreal first encounter between the two young lovers are stylishly realized - while the vicious attack of the manic woman and Elmer's resurrection emerge, perhaps, as the film's horror highlights. Furthermore, we get vividly essayed portrayals by the suave Ramon Bertrand as Dr. Masali and Carlos Ancira as Elmer - the latter, a cross between Dwight Frye and Peter Lorre (and helped by some splendid make-up), could well give the classic monsters a run for their money!

Though Masali and the young doctor (played by Gaston Santos) both vie for the girl's affection, there is very little rivalry between them let alone plots for revenge - as the film stresses Dr. Masali's single-mindedness in his search for knowledge regarding the afterlife. The asylum setting - and especially the imagery of outstretched hands through the bars of the cells - recalls BEDLAM (1946), while the hypnotic effect the music box has on the mad gypsy woman brings back memories of Bunuel's Mexican black comedy THE CRIMINAL LIFE OF ARCHIBALDO DE LA CRUZ (1955); also the scene where Masali/Elmer is discovered strumming on the violin is reminiscent of the Ape Man at the piano in RETURN OF THE APE MAN (1944)! There is one flaw with regards to the plot, however: it's inconceivable that, even if Masali was discovered locked in with the woman's corpse, no one suspected Elmer of having killed her for disfiguring him! Other amusing flubs include the scene in which the 'monster' - engulfed in flames - pauses to open a door before exiting a room screaming, the fact that the gypsy is able to effortlessly hurl a massive cupboard at the asylum orderlies confronting her, and the shot - accompanied by a histrionic single note on the soundtrack - early on where Dr. Aldama's coffin is opened prior to burial, almost as if to assure us that it is he...but, other than that, this particular sequence is comparable to the opening moments of James Whale's FRANKENSTEIN (1931)!

The DVD transfer is imperfect but not intrusively so, apart from some persistent hum on the soundtrack. The supplements are extensively researched and highly interesting (in particular, the Audio Commentary); the still gallery suggests that it's possible that some asylum footage has gone missing as it features a hulking, chained-up character who isn't seen in the actual film! Also, given that THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M wasn't released in the U.S. by the notorious K. Gordon Murray, the information imparted about him here isn't really pertinent to this release - though I didn't mind having it in the least, being all new to me; in fact, the English-dubbed version is, for all intents and purposes, deemed lost - even if Casanegra attempted to make amends by presenting the full-length English translation via a copy of the script (in rather too miniscule a font to be easily legible!) prepared for U.S. consumption.

As with the same director's EL VAMPIRO (which is upcoming on R1 as a 2-Disc Set accompanied by its sequel THE VAMPIRE'S COFFIN [1958]), then, this one emerges as a genuine classic of the horror genre and one that should be much better known. This viewing has kicked off my proposed Halloween marathon in a big way; I'm very much looking forward now to the rest of the Mexican titles which are coming up this week - but it has also made me yearn to check out the other films mentioned in the various supplements and which have yet to see the light of day on DVD...


3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 19 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mysteries from Beyond the Grave See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alameda Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed