Monday, November 26, 2007


A Mexican DVD company, Alterfilms, has been releasing Mexican horror and lucha libre films for a few years now under the "Vive Mexico" banner. Subtitled "Cine en 35mm," the prints are in far better quality than we've seen before, although, judging by a sampling, these are not sourced from pristine negatives, but rather from prints that show occassional nicks and lines. Besides their fine quality, the initial releases in this series had English subtitles, a policy that, unfortunately, seems not to have been in effect for too long. Below is a list of horror, fantasy, horror-comedy, lucha libre films that Alterfilms has released so far, from the most recent to the earliest:

Las Lobas del Ring
El Castillo de los Monstruos
Santo Vs. el Espectro del Estrangulador
Santo y el Aguila Real
El profeta Mimí
Santo vs Los Asesinos de otros mundos
Asesinos de la Lucha Libre
La casa de los espantos
Santo contra Blue Demon en la Atlántida
Anónimo mortal
Santo y Blue Demon en el mundo de los muertos
Santo vs las lobas

Doña Macabra (English subtitles)
Dos fantasmas y una muchacha (English subtitles)
Macario (English subtitles)
Santo en el Museo de Cera(English subtitles)
Santo y Blue Demon contra los Monstruos (English subtitles)

Where does one purchase these DVDs? Ebay is one place, and also the Alterfilms website, though I have no idea what the shipping cost from Mexico will be.

Here's a nice image of the Frankenstein Monster from Santo en el Museo de Cera:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Return of CasaNegra

Possibly. Not a done deal yet, but according to posts by Mike Liuzza, honcho of CasaNegra and Panik House, the two names and their acquisitions are in the process of being sold to yet unnamed company, individual or group of individuals. This info appeared at the Cinehound forum, where Liuzza, as "brains99," revealed to posters who he is and a bit of his background. (Work for the Mr. Skin website, formation of Panik House and CasaNegra, etc.) As far as CasaNegra and its on-hold Mexican horror titles, World of the Vampires and The Living Head, are concerned and any future Mexican horror releases, the money quotes are: "I intend to keep helping the new owners locate and acquire films though. That's all I can reveal about it at this time. What I can tell you is Chained Heat, Red Heat and Jungle Warriors WILL be released at some point in 2008, as well as World of the Vampires and The Living Head. Any future titles for both labels beyond that will be up to the new owners, if in fact everything goes as planned. We should know soon."

Thanks to David Wilt for the alert, which initially appeared on the DVD Maniacs forum.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

East West's Mexican Horror and Fantasy Line

Are they legit? Who knows, but East West DVD has been releasing a bunch of Mexican films, including a few in the horror/fantasy/lucha libra genres. These are poverty-row budget DVDs that, if you can find them in your neighborhood ethnic DVD store, sell from $1 to $2. Covers are exploitatively interesting, making these DVDs collectable items despite their rather middling pictorial quality. Pictured above is the cover of Carlos Enrique Taboada's sublime masterpiece, El libro de piedra. Below is the cover to the second Kaliman film, which is subtitled in English! (The transfer must have been taken from a previous, more expensive release of this title on DVD from another company, Vanguard International Cinema. The source for El libro de piedra is probably a Tekila Films DVD issued in 2005.)

Blazed at the bottom of each cover is the website of East West, but, of course, when one goes to the website one finds that it is "under construction." Good luck in finding out anything about this company and the extent of their holdings--as well as the legitimacy of their ownership of these holdings.

Anyway, one way or another, old-time Mexican horror and fantasy lives on!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Deimos' South of the Border Horror Collection

Deimos is introducing a new Mexican horror series in its Crypt of Terror line. All films will be in Spanish audio with English subtitles, except Don't Panic, which will be offered up in an English version and a Spanish, with English subtitles, version. Streeting in December is Volume 1 of HORROR FROM SOUTH OF THE BORDER. Here are the contents of this set:

Vacation of Terror (Vacaciones de terror) A family buys a summer house in the Mexican countryside. but this dream home is not what it seems. The youngest daughter finds a diabolical doll, possessed by a witch, who takes control of her and supernaturally attempts to kill the rest of the family. Not Rated - 90 minutes - 1989

Vacation of Terror 2 (Vacaciones de Terror 2) The diabolical doll and Pedro Fernández return for this sequel to the original film. Julio is invited to a birthday party for a little girl on Halloween in a closed movie studio. At the party, he notices she has a doll that resembles the one that his little sister had. This is one party you'll be dying to leave! Not Rated - 90 minutes - 1989

Hell's Trap (Trampa Infernal) A group of hunters are searching for a bear. But what they find is a maniacal Vietnam vet defending his land by planting deadly booby traps for the group. The hunters become the hunted. NR - 90 minutes - 1990

Cemetery of Terror (Cementerio Del Terror) A group of medical students steal the deceased boy of Satanic serial killer Devlon from the morgue to play a Halloween prank. The students perform a Black Mass in an attempt to raise Devlon from the dead with the help of his Satanic book. When nothing happens, but a bad rainstorm, the students flee to a nearby empty house to party. Little do they know the mass worked and Devlon is looking to crash their party. A group of young trick-or-treaters also arrive at the house, but there are no treats at this house. Not Rated. 88 Min - 1985

Grave Robbers (Ladrones de Tumbas) Four teenagers on a camping trip decide to rob a nearby graveyard. They stumble across an ornate grave and tomb housing the corpse of an executed Satanist from the days of the Inquisition. The tomb was used for Satanic rituals and inquisition torture and it's full of gold and jewelry. Our teens believe they have struck it rich or so they think. Soon the deceased Satanist zombie, armed with a massive battle-axe, rises from the grave to claim his treasure. Not Rated - 87 Minutes - 1990

The Demon Rat (La Rata Malidita) In the near future, environmental pollution has increased to the point that people must wear dark glasses and breathing masks just to walk the streets. However, science teacher Axel and his colleague Irina discover an even darker side of the crisis: toxic chemicals dumped by Irina's estranged husband Roberto have resulted in the creation of monstruously mutated animals and insects. And one of these, a man-sized mutant rat, has taken up residence in Irina's house! A tense, four-way showdown between Roberto, Axel, Irina, and the man-rat concludes with only two survivors. Not Rated - 90 Minutes - 1991 Produced by Raúl Galindo - Directed by Rubén Galindo Jr. - Screenplay by Raúl Galindo Jr., José Mobellán - Story by Rubén Galindo Jr. In Spanish with English Subtitles

Don't Panic (Dimensiones Ocultas) (ENGLISH VERSION) On his 17th birthday, Michael is given a Ouija board as a gift from his best friend Tony. During their first attempt to use the board, they unlock an evil force within the board, an evil spirit named Virgil. Soon, there is a wave of violent deaths around town and Michael appears to be the suspect having been a witness to the killings via premonitions. Not Rated - 90 Minutes - 1989 - Color Disc 4 Side B Don't Panic (Dimensiones Ocultas) (SPANISH VERSION)