The Witch’s Mirror is why I love 1960’s Mexican horror. Some movies of that era only hint at witchcraft and the occult and this one goes full in, showing rituals and all manner of Satanic mayhem. Ah, Mexico. Long may your movies live on.
It’s directed by Chano Urueta, who also made the confoundingly wonderous El Baron del Terror and the Blue Demon films.
If you’re going to steal, I always say to steal big. Chanto takes from so many sources here — Edgar Allan Poe, Hitchcock’s Rebecca, Eyes Without a Face — while somehow synthesizing them into his own out there narrative.
Deborah (Rosita Arenas, Xochitl from the Aztec Mummy movies) is the new wife of Dr. Eduardo Ramos (Armando Calvo), but she has no idea that years ago, he poisoned his first wife, Elena (Dina de Marco).
The thing is, Elena may be dead, but her spirit will not rest. She calls out to her aunt, a witch named Sara (Isabela Corona), whose spells and incantations place Deborah directly in the path of revenge, starting with her face being burned in a fire.
Luckily — or maybe not — Dr. Ramos ends up being somewhat of a mad scientist, so he starts stealing dead bodies to take their skin and attempt to give his new bride her beauty back.
Somehow, in all of this, the witch comes off the best of all of them. This movie is nightmarish in ways that movies made outside of Mexico just can’t pull off, because I get the idea that the filmmakers have one foot in believing that everything in this movie is possible.