Terror, Sexo Y Brujeria (1968 and 1984)

This is a movie that raises so many questions.

Here’s the first: Why did I list it as being made in 1968 and 1984?

That’s because it was originally Cautivo del Mas Allá (Captives of the Beyond) when it came out in the late 60’s.

In that movie, Rafael Portillo (who made the Aztec Mummy films, as well as the mummy parts of Face of the Screaming Werewolf) told the story of Vicki, who wants to be gorgeous, so a witch gets her to strip for Satan, who gives her the power of being a vedette dancer.

For some reason, Portillo decided to grab all the footage from that movie — which is more a romantic story with supernatural elements — to make a gore movie about Satan. You know, movies like this are exactly why we have a web site.

So let me see if I can make sense of this one.

Vicki (Ana Luisa Peluffo, who was one of the first Mexican actresses to appear nude, she’s also in El Violador Infernal, one of the most mental movies I’ve ever seen) is in love with Ricardo (Gonzalo Aiza, who also produced this movie, and strangely it is the only movie or movies that he ever appeared in*), who only has eyes for Barbara (Barbara Wells, who didn’t do much more than appear in John Candy’s Summer Rental and an episode of Lassie).

That’s when Vicki does what any of us would do. She sells her soul to the devil, who makes her man soft with any woman not named Vicki, which seems like a pretty dark bargain. They aardvark, but then a private dick shows up to say that she’s on the left hand path, which ends up with her stabbing poor Ricardo in the throat.

This is when all the new footage shows up, as there’s a funeral and Ricardo’s brother Carlos tells his brother’s ghost that he will avenge his death, so brother and possesses brother and sleeps with his Satanic sister-in-law, which seems like something people search for in late October on Pornhub. Then, Carlos kills her and has to go to court to argue the occult reasons why this all went down.

For some reason, Ricardo also shows up as a zombie that rips out people’s innards after a firing squad shoots his brother dead — after that court case — and has the sound effect of Vincent Price’s laughter.

This came out as Terror, Sexo y Brujería (Terror, Sex and Witchcraft), which is one of the best titles of all time, in theaters and Narco Satanico on VHS, which is also a great name.

Some of this movie will bore you into submission with long courtroom scenes, but stay with it. There will be moments of Satan in a Ben Cooper mask wandering a cemetery with fog all around him, as well as glowing graves, extreme gore and a mariachi band that has been dubbed to play synth.

Adding to the confusion of this film is that there are times — within minutes — where two different actors play the same character and time moves back and forth until you are confused beyond belief. The editing also has ADD, so there are times when you’ll just get flashes of things that have nothing to do with what is happening on screen or eyes getting superimposed over the footage, as if they forgot a layer or to delete something, but Photoshop and non-linear editing didn’t really exist in 1968 or 1984.

You know how some people get their doctorates by writing their thesis about ways that they plan on bettering the world? Mine is going to concern this film, explaining how two movies, made sixteen years apart, can use the same footage and tell two similar yet wildly different stories that bridge the gap between Mexico’s ripoff cinema of the late 60’s, which was still influenced by Universal movies from three decades before, and the VHS films of the 80’s, which saw Mexican filmmakers create Fulci-esque films with no filter whatsoever.

*This is a complete mystery to me, as well as the awesome The Bloody Pit of Horror site, which discusses whether this role is played by Gonzalo Aiza — as listed sometimes in the credits — or Carluis Saval, the name used on the 1984 version for Carlos, who looks exactly the same as Ricardo. Plus, is the producer Dr. Gonzalo Aiza Avalos the same person? What’s the story with Film-Mex Productions, who bought all this footage and hired the original director to make a remix? Was it all a front for Avalos to make himself or his son or whoever a star? And why is David Reynoso, who plays an attorney in this movie, holding a machine gun on the VHS cover art?

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