La maldición de la Llorona (1963)

An older Mexican horror film that actually played in the U.S. — American-International Pictures offered it for syndication in 1965 — The Curse of the Crying Woman is another film that attempts to translate the legend of La Llorona, the crying woman, and does the best job of any I’ve seen.

The film starts with full realization of the weirdness and wildness within, as a carriage ride is interrupted and all three passengers are hunted down by a mysterious woman in a long black dress served by her three monstrous dogs and an even more frightening henchman. In case you wondered, “Did Black Sunday play in Mexico?” this scene will definitely answer affirmatively.

That’s when the film introduces us to Amelia, our heroine, who has come to stay at the home of her Aunt Selma, a place covered with cobwebs, where the cries of a woman can be heard at night and bodies of generations of relations decompose in the basement. One particularly relative was a powerful witch who will come back to power and take Selma to an afterlife filled with black masses and blood drinking, a fact that she excitedly relates to a shocked Amelia.

From there, the film descends into wild scenes of Selma transforming into the Crying Woman, an eyeless creature surrounded by thousands of eyes, as well as a black mass filmed in negative and dead bodies coming back to life. It’s a movie that transcends its inspiration and delivers its own artful — and scary — take on a legendary story.

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