El Idolo Viviente (1957)

Rene Cardona directed the original version of this film before it was retitled as The Living Idol and had scenes added by Albert Lewin, who was once a producer at Paramount. It’s a very Val Lewton-esque film and could very easily convince you that it’s an all-American movie outside of the casting.

There is one American star and that’s Steve Forrest, who was Hondo on S.W.A.T. but you and I know him much better as Greg Savitt in Mommie Dearest. Paris-born Liliane Montevecchi is also on hand and her career — particularly a 1982 Tony Award for Best Actress in Nine — only went up from here.

James Robert Justice is also in this. His IMDB bio claims that he was a “Ph.D., a journalist, a naturalist, an expert falconer, a racing car driver, JRJ was certainly a man of many talents.” You could say that. He’s also Lord Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a movie based on an Ian Fleming book, which is interesting as he and Justice worked together as reporters for the UK branch of Reuters.

You’ll also see the “granny of Mexican cinema,” Sara Carcia, and Eduardo Noriega, who was in Zorro the Gay Blade.

This isn’t the best Mexican horror I’ve seen, but it’s still entertaining.

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