Director(s): Chano Urueta
Available Quality: DivX, iPod
IMDB Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (219 votes)
A husband murders his wife, and years later her ghost emerges from a witchs mirror to take her revenge.
We have taken some photos of "The Witchs Mirror". They represent actual movie quality.
Francisco Rotondi (14 June 2013)
Most Latin American people are familiarized with those Mexican soapoperas that are overflowing with baseless action and pitifulsituations. They're undeniably amusing and it's all right to watch themif you're too bored and you want to have a good laugh. However, it'snot funny anymore when you really trust an old Mexican Gothic horrorfilm and you find one or two similarities between those ridiculous soapoperas and the movie you wanted to see. Firstly, I would like to saythat I do not mean to be rude to anyone with this review. I knowMexican people are very nationalistic and they tend to stand up fortheir films a lot. I understand that and to be honest, I actuallyreally enjoy Mexican horror films too. That's the reason why I wassomehow disenchanted when I found out that "El Espejo de la Bruja" wasnot exactly as good as I was expecting.The film sets in motion with a very well done introduction to the maincharacters, a beautiful woman named Elena and her godmother, Sara (alsoknown asÂ The Witch!). The view is quite stylish and atmospheric. Bothcharacters look darkly beautiful and yet naÃ¯ve somehow. In this openingscene, Elena becomes aware of a very shattering truth about herapproaching fate, through the magic mirror that belongs to hergodmother. Unfortunately, this depressing reality cannot be altered,since all judicious witches know very well that the itinerary of life,is not meant to be disrespected. Broken-hearted and clueless, Elena hasno choice but facing the reality and becoming a victim of her atrociousfate. As it was stated previously, all bright witches know very wellthat fate is not meant to be changed, however, there are no lawsaligned with revenge. In "El Espejo de la Bruja", we see a resentedwoman trying to make justice and claim for the blood of those whoharmed her goddaughter. Sara is the witch and when witches are good,they're very good, but when they're badÂ .It would be unfair to say that "El Espejo de la Bruja" is onlylaughable and overwhelming when it comes to making a reasonablebalance. My only problem is that there was a little bit too much actionfor my taste. During the first half an hour, it is like the audiencehas nothing else to see, but there's still more and more and more. Allof a sudden, a dramatic Gothic horror tale turns into "Re-Animator".The bad thing is that the humorous situations are not exactlyintentional. Armando Calvo's performance is perhaps one of the worst inthis film and his facial expressions are merely side-splitting. Therest of the cast is all right, but the problem is that Mr. Calvo lookedover the top all the time, which is a tragedy, considering that he'sthe leading male character. Then, there are all these scenes in whichwe see Rosa Arenas's character wearing some kind of big bandage thatcovers her entire face, with the two little holes for the eyes. That isperhaps one of the most hysterical images ever and I'm not just talkingabout this particular film. It resembles the invisible man, but wearinga delicate night gown. "El Espejo de la Bruja" is full of action, whichcan be entertaining for moments and overwhelming for others. It has afew good things that make it enjoyable for all horror fans, forexample, the already established but still welcomed clichÃ©s like: owls,dark shadows of Satan, lots of fire, graveyard scenes, phantasmagoricalsilhouettes and of course...black cats!. Overall, an okay flick, but Istill think I'm not the only one who lost interest during the lastminutes, ironically due to the overindulgence of action. If you're inthe mood for a good Mexican Gothic horror film, rent "La Maldicion dela Llorona" instead.
HEFILM (14 June 2013)
There are some nice visual moments in the film involving the mirror,but more often you have to give the filmmakers credit for trying thingsthat don't quite work. Like a "detached" hand that is obviously someone wearing a black cleave so you won't see the black cleave but youdo.Characterizations and the acting and the dubbing are all pretty flatand one dimensional and that's what really sinks it.Still it's fairly lively and though cheaply made decently producedespecially for the time and place where it was made. Never dull, justnever takes off either. Decent photography. Uneven special effects.Could really use more music to add atmosphere.
Hal-900 (07 June 2013)
"The Witch's Mirror" begins with some terrific sequences but itdeteriorates quickly into a huge mess. This is a low budget Mexicanproduction, but lack of money is not what makes the movie a failure.The lackluster script is to blame. The prologue was eerie enough, andfor 30 minutes, I was convinced that it was going to work. However, asthe story progressed, I began to regret renting the film. The mainproblem is that the movie tries to be too many things at once. Itbegins as an occult drama but the story moves away from thesupernatural, and the second half plays like a lame copycat of"Frankenstein" and "Eyes Without A Face." The switch feels ill at easeand it does not work well within the context of what precedes it.Isabela Corona is memorable as the witch though. If you are interestedin Mexican cinema you may want to check it out.
Michael_Elliott (06 June 2013)
Witch's Mirror, The (1962) *** (out of 4) Mexican horror film from director Chano Urueta about a husband whomurders his wife so that he can marry his mistress. Unfortuantly forhim, he kills her in front of a witch's mirror, which allows her spiritto come back for revenge. The first thirty minutes of this film aregreat due to Urueta making the most of his small budget. The openingsequence is brilliant and there's some great atmosphere and artdirection but things start to unravel in the final act. The first halfof the film certainly isn't original but the second half seems like amix between Eyes Without a Face and The Hands of Orlac.
evilskip (05 June 2013)
You really never know what to expect from the Mexican Horror movies fromthe late 50's-early 60's. The rights to most were bought by K GordonMurray.He dubbed the films generally using the same actors and the samestock music and ham handed re-editing cutting out crucial dialogue/scenesetc. Sometimes the dubbed dialogue is absolutely hysterical (and itshouldn't be).Every once in a while a great film sneaksthrough.The Witch's Mirror is much better than most.The storyconcernsa witch's(Sarah) godchild(Helen) who sees her own murder in a mirror. Thekiller is her husband (a doctor/scientist) who is having an affair.As muchas the witch tries to prevent the murder she is unable to do so.Helen ispoisoned leaving him free to marry Deborah.Sarah uses the powers of black magic to communicate withHelenin the grave. Helen is able to use the mirror to terrorize hubby and hisbride.Flowers die instantly in a vase;cold winds blow through the houseandthe piano plays Helen's favorite songs..by itself.Blaming the mirror for the haunting the doctor shatters it with a lit oillamp. Deborah somehow is turned into a screaming fiery torch.She lives butis horribly disfigured.The doctor tries skin grafts from cadavers torestoreher beauty.Then he moves on to living women for his needed tissues.ThenHelen really gets p----d and her revenge is cruel and ruthless.While you feel for Helen you also feel for Deborah who actually didn'tknowthat her new hubby was married before.The cruelties inflicted on her arealmost unwarranted.The husband deserved more punishment than she did.Thenagain having his wife's beauty destroyed ruins his life in a mad pursuittorestore her.The dubbing isn't as inane as often happens in this film. The plot isgoodand the film moves along nicely with no tedious scenes.There also isn'tanyof the usual quick edits in the scenes that jar these films sooften.Studio Azteca is really not used to its full advantage as it has been inother films(The Vampire, The Brainiac etc).That's a minor quibble.Gets abig9+.
bensonmum2 (04 June 2013)
The Witch's Mirror is a veritable cornucopia of horror themes. Over theyears, I've seen a number of very promising films ruined by an overlyambitious screenplay that tries to throw everything but the kitchensink into the plot. Fortunately, The Witch's Mirror defies the odds andmost of varied plot elements work. The movie is sort of a mixture of anItalian Gothic ghost story (like Riccardo Freda's The Ghost) and abrilliant surgeon turned mad scientist film (like Georges Franju's EyesWithout a Face) with a dash of grave robbing and devil worshipping. Thefact that director Chano Urueta was able to combine all of theseelements into an entertaining movie and effectively keep distractiveplot holes to a minimum is amazing. As my examples would seem toindicate, while The Witch's Mirror is a Mexican made film, it has adefinite European feel to it. And like its European counterparts,Urueta was able to effectively fill The Witch's Mirror with atmosphereto burn. If you're looking for that old-school, slow-burn, atmospherictype of horror, you can't go wrong with The Witch's Mirror.
Lee Eisenberg (28 May 2013)
Back in the days when the United States film industry was making anumber of horror movies starring Vincent Price, Mexico made severalsimilar movies. "El espejo de la bruja" (called "The Witch's Mirror" inEnglish) is one of the coolest examples. It portrays a woman seeing herown death in a mirror and dying shortly thereafter. When her husbandremarries, her godmother communicates with her through the grave, andthey both come up with a plan to get revenge on the husband...even ifbad things have to happen to his new wife.Yeah, it sounds pretty outlandish. But these sorts of movies don'tpretend to be anything else! The point is to have fun, and I'm surethat you will. If you aren't totally familiar with Mexico's horrorgenre, Portland's video/DVD store Movie Madness has a whole sectiondevoted to that genre.All in all, this witch will almost certainly have you in its spell.
rkolesza (28 May 2013)
A great Horror entry made in Mexico at a time when their film industrywas still robust and interesting. The theme of The Witch's Mirror canequally fall into the genre of supernatural just as much as horror.Either way it's a Macabre film, very well shot in black and white anddirector Chano Urueta makes excellent use of some great special effectsfor the time. Isabel Carona plays the witch who uses her magic mirrorto cast revenge on Armando Calvo, who is really great as the sinister,twisted mad-scientist of sorts. Most of the film takes place in whatappears to be a old Mexican castle although the outside of it is nevershown but it's very Gothic and atmospheric with brooding shadows aroundevery corner. The Witch's Mirror is definitely Classic Mexican Cinemaand sadly many of these films produced from this era have goneun-noticed for far too long. If you plan on seeing it I recommend youmake some popcorn, turn off the lights and enjoy this fun littlepicture from the days when Mexican cinema was still golden.
MARIO GAUCI (19 May 2013)
This is another Mexican horror classic being given a new lease of lifevia Casanegra's superb SE DVD.The plot is a mishmash of various well-proved elements (with even a nodto Poe) - a young wife is forced to live in the shadow of her husband'sformer bride (largely through the machinations of the latter's devotedhousekeeper) as in REBECCA (1940); when the wife is horribly scarred ina fire, her doctor husband resorts to body snatching for skin graftexperiments as in EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1959); the hands he gives her(unbeknownst to him, they belong to the revenge-seeking first wife hepoisoned!) take on a life of their own as in MAD LOVE (1935), etc. -but which works reasonably well in the context of its essential"witchcraft vs. mad science" theme (to quote the DVD sleeve notes).The first half is a bit slow, but the cheaply-realized yet often poeticvisuals - borrowed from Cocteau and Dreyer! - keep one riveted; thelatter stages are more frenetic, with several of the charactersresorting to histrionics and a fair splattering of gore (leading up toa particularly busy and highly satisfying climax). The acting from allthe major players is above-average for this type of film but, best ofall perhaps, is Isabela Corona as the outwardly reserved but sinisterand powerful witch; the two younger women also make an impression -Dina De Marco as the murdered wife who keeps turning up as a ghost tohaunt her husband and her rival; Rosita Arenas as the innocent youngbride who becomes the unfortunate victim in both the doctor and thewitch's scheme of things (particularly effective when essaying thepathetic qualities of the bandaged-up, desperate and lonesome woman).As was the case with THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M (1958), theGothic/supernatural atmosphere deployed with the barest of resourcesthrough camera-work, lighting, sets and props is trulyincredible...though the special effects (which get quite a heavyworkout here), ultimately, leave a lot to be desired! I've purposelyrefrained from describing individual sequences (as I often tend to do)so as not to deny first-time viewers - as I was myself - the pleasureof discovering its considerable felicities on their own! The supplements are similar to those of BLACK PIT: the Audio Commentary(by the same Frank Coleman) is just as interesting, but he seems to beenjoying himself a good deal here as he approaches the film withtongue-in-cheek - while retaining a justified reverence for hissubject. One disappointing aspect of these DVD editions, however, isthat the English-dubbed version of the films aren't included as theywere released back in the day (for instance, in the Commentary it'smentioned that the narrated prologue accompanied by sketches in theMexican original was dropped for the export version - but the DVDincludes it, presumably with the 'new' lines recently looped in!).
ferbs54 (19 May 2013)
I was surprised to learn that "The Witch's Mirror" came out a yearBEFORE director Chano Urueta and producer Abel Salazar released theirmore-well-known cult horror film "The Brainiac" (1961), as this earliereffort by the same team strikes me as a much more polished, effectiveand professionally made piece of work. "The Brainiac" had almost seemedthe 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 ofthe best horror films I've seen in a while. The picture can be seen astwo distinct stories, actually, cleaving fairly evenly down the middle.The first half tells of the revenge that a witch, Sara (who reminded meof Dr. Joyce Brothers, of all people!), takes on the man who poisonedher goddaughter, as well as on this man's replacement bride. This firsthalf has a positively Gothic feel and could easily take place anytimeduring the last 200 years. The second half of the film veers offsuddenly into "Frankenstein" and "Eyes Without a Face" territory, witha more modern-day vibe. The film offers up some strikingly composedshots, beautiful B&W photography, some eerie moments and, mostsurprising, some shocking gross-out elements. The FX are, for the mostpart, very well done (those crawling hands excepted, perhaps), and thepicture 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 ahorror picture, after all, and quite an excellent one at that. Mythanks to Casa Negra for rescuing it from relative oblivion. All horrorbuffs, I feel, should pounce on this one.
Zombie_CPA (05 May 2013)
This movie exemplified the best of the era. It was visually stunningfrom the cemetery, to the house, to the disfigured wife.The story also sucks you in from the start. It is about a man whomurders his wife and her ghost seeks revenge with the help hergodmother witch. This movie reminds me of several great movies of theera including Eyes Without A Face and Black Sunday. In my opinion, itexceeds both of them.The acting was first rate and the directing wonderful. This is a gemfrom Mexico and it is nice that it finally comes to DVD.A must see for fans of 1960's atmospheric horror.
Scarecrow-88 (04 May 2013)
A powerful witch, Sara(Isabela Corona)who devotes her entire being toSatan, has the unique ability of seeing the fate of others through amirror. In the opening narration, it is explained that a veritable fewhave this gift of seeing not only the future but other supernaturalthings. Sara vows vengeance towards the husband, Eduardo(ArmandoCalvo), who poisons her god daughter, Elena(Dina de Marco). You see,Eduardo has a lover, Deborah(Rosa Arenas)and wishes to remove Elenafrom his life for good. What he doesn't suspect is his housekeeper, whohas earned his trust and loyalty, being a witch who wishes to make hislife miserable..Sara! In secret, Sara plots patiently, contacting,through the mirror, the soul of Elena as they plot their revenge. Theother target is obviously Deborah, even more so when she becomes thenew woman of the house wishing for Elena's entire memory(..includingthe favorite flowers of Elena's)erased so that she doesn't standreminded of her adulteries. But, Elena doesn't want her memory erasedand spooky happenings plague Deborah as Eduardo is away. When Eduardo,suffering from the guilt of the murder, begins seeing what Deborah hasexperienced, that's when the real ghoulish music from director ChanoUreta is woven. We see Elena's ghost appear from the mirror, flowersDeborah had replaced Elena's with wither and burn, the house pianoplaying Elena's favorite tune by itself, the flame blazing the wood inthe fireplace goes out unexpectedly, there's an ominous loud groan, &the front door exploding open with furious wind and leaves intruding.Wishing to put an end to the hocus pocus, Eduardo slings a kerosenelamp at the mirror of Elena's room as both he and Deborah see herspirit coming towards them. What Eduardo doesn't expect is that hiswife's body will instantly set on fire horribly scarring her.Then, the film takes on an even more twisted path. Eduardo becomesquite mad as he uses the skin from dead stolen corpses thanks to hispaid assistant, Gustavo(Carlos Nieto)experimenting on a way to repairDeborah's face so that she can embrace her beauty once again(..clearlyinspired by Franju's Eyes Without a Face). We know he's on a crazedjourney with no return when, in the flick's darkest moment, Eduardoamputates the lovely hands of a woman who was buried alive after havingbeen presumed dead when in actuality she had a case of catalepsy. Yet,what he doesn't see coming is a classic case of the ole"switcheroo"..Sara cremates the amputated hands and replaces them withthe hands of Elena!! So, Deborah has the hands of Elena which sets inmotion the revenge Sara sought with many prayers to her lord Lucifer.This is my favorite of the few Casa Negra releases I've seen. It'sdefinitely warped, with quite a few tacky, but inspired, specialeffects(..due to a low budget, director Ureta had his hands tied, butdoes what he can). The story itself keeps reinventing itself..certainlyhas a "kitchen sink" screenplay, that's for sure. I didn't particularlymind this myself since it all leads to Sara and Elena getting theirrevenge while Deborah and Eduardo suffer for the crimes they committed.What I found very fascinating, and thought it was successful, was thatwe side with the Satanic witch, because Eduardo is the one who commitsthe true ghoulish acts not to mention that Deborah is selfish andself-centered. I think my favorite scene exposes Deborah for who shereally is. We see Eduardo grafting skin to Deborah's face and await thefinal result..whether it's a success or failure. Deborah finds outabout how Eduardo secures the skin applied to her face and the handsthat replaced her charred ones. She is quite upset..that is until shesees that Eduardo's work was a success then all is forgiven. One mightmake a statement, and deservedly so, that all the characters in thisflick are so corrupt there is no one to root for. The ones beingtormented committed terrible acts to Elena, who is the true victim.Even so, Sara is a witch who worships Satan and behind the horrors thatoccur in the act of seeking retribution for a murder she couldn't stop.But, I think that is actually beneficial that the film doesn't choosesides exactly, although the film clearly backs Sara and her nefariousway(..you can lie to me if you wish, but sure you were rooting for thewitch). Heck, the audacity to this, making the witch the heroine Imean, deserves mention. This is quite a nasty piece of work, but loadedwith atmospheric flourish and a stew of demented ideas(I must admit,though, it's certainly a patchwork of borrowed ideas).
Review total: 12, showing from 1 to 12