I was surprised to learn that "The Witch's Mirror" came out a year BEFORE director Chano Urueta and producer Abel Salazar released their more-well-known cult horror film "The Brainiac" (1961), as this earlier effort by the same team strikes me as a much more polished, effective and professionally made piece of work. "The Brainiac" had almost seemed the result of a Mexican Ed Wood making his first film while on acid, whereas "The Witch's Mirror" turns out to be a bona fide find; one of the best horror films I've seen in a while. The picture can be seen as two distinct stories, actually, cleaving fairly evenly down the middle. The first half tells of the revenge that a witch, Sara (who reminded me of Dr. Joyce Brothers, of all people!), takes on the man who poisoned her goddaughter, as well as on this man's replacement bride. This first half has a positively Gothic feel and could easily take place anytime during the last 200 years. The second half of the film veers off suddenly into "Frankenstein" and "Eyes Without a Face" territory, with a more modern-day vibe. The film offers up some strikingly composed shots, beautiful B&W photography, some eerie moments and, most surprising, some shocking gross-out elements. The FX are, for the most part, very well done (those crawling hands excepted, perhaps), and the picture winds up most satisfyingly indeed. I'm not sure that Debra's (wife #2's) ultimate fate is deserved, but whatcha gonna do? This IS a horror picture, after all, and quite an excellent one at that. My thanks to Casa Negra for rescuing it from relative oblivion. All horror buffs, I feel, should pounce on this one.
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