Wednesday, December 08, 2010


I was very much looking forward to this documentary about K. Gordon Murray, the man who, with his dubbing factory, brought Mexican horror into the consciousness of American "monster kids" in the 1960s. Unfortunately, the scheduled premiere of this documentary on TCM this Friday has been canceled.

Here the official press release from Daniel Griffith, the filmmaker who has been working on this project for years:

After several weeks of frantic editorial adjustments based on a few emerging rights issues with some of the clips used within the body of the K. Gordon Murray documentary, I have regretfully decided to postpone the films official premiere. There's not enough time to negotiate the rights, nor find a suitable replacement for these clips.

This news may disappoint film fans who have been eagerly anticipating this documentary since I began production on it three years ago. For those of you who have stuck by the project, I am indebted to your patience. The K. Gordon Murray documentary is, and has always been, a fully independent venture. It is a passion project that has taken more time and detective work than I will ever admit. It has been a long journey and I assure all of you, I did not come to this decision lightly.

I have given Turner Classic Movies the option of airing the revised documentary in the near future, but as of now, the TCM network premiere is officially canceled. The staff at TCM has been very helpful and understanding regarding this decision. This will not effect the network airing of K. Gordon Murray's SANTA CLAUS, which is now slated for December 10th at 2:00 a.m.

But I assure all of you, the complete, unedited documentary will be released this spring, as intended. Look for news in the upcoming months regarding special 'ROADSHOW' screenings of the film in select theaters, as well as official news on its DVD release. Again, thank you for your patience and support. And have a very Murray christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


John Charles posted this rare ad on his Facebook page. I know of only one "The Bloody Vampire" film, so I'm assuming that it's an ad for the Miguel Morayta film, EL VAMPIRO SANGRIENTO (1962), titled in English, THE BLOODY VAMPIRE.

Apparently not having any graphics connected to the Mexican horror film, WKBW crafted its own representation.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nostradamus Trailers

Above are TV trailers for two of the four Nostradamus films starring El Vampiro himself--German Robles--and directed by Frederico Curiel. Robles made these series of films in 1959 for Mexico's America Studios, which according to union rules mandated that films be shot serial-like, in episodes. K. Gordon Murray bought up these films for the United States, as well as the horror films from Abel Salazar, dubbed them, and then released them primarily to television, though a few saw limited theatrical release, sometimes after their television debut!

From the above trailers, it appears that trailers were made for at least two Nostradamus films. Note the lengthy silence that comes at the end, while the scenes still play out visually. This would be the place were a voice-over would announce where and when the film would be shown, if theatrically, or the time it would be shown on television.

Monday, October 18, 2010

David Wilt's Mexican Film Bulletin

David Wilt is The Man when it comes to Mexican films, the supreme authority on all genres in Mexico's filmography. Since 1994 he has been publishing, either in hardcopy or online, THE MEXICAN FILM BULLETIN, which reviews all types of films produced by Mexico, including, obviously, horror and fantasy films. Wilt, known on the Latarnia boards and elsewhere under the name of Dr. Ling, is also the author of the mammoth and indispensable THE MEXICAN FILMOGRAPHY, 1916-2001 (McFarland and Company, 2004) and has written for numerous publications on Mexican films. He was also responsible for the informative liner notes for the Mexican horror DVD series released by CasaNegra.

His newest issue, which could be called a Halloween special with its horror film reviews, is available online as a PDF, and you can download back issues from this page.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

El vampiro/El ataud del vampiro Soundtrack

From Klimt Records comes this LP soundtrack of EL VAMPIRO and its sequel EL ATAUD DEL VAMPIRO. Music by the legendary Gustavo Cesar Carrion, who composed the musical scores to many Mexican horror films.

I have my suspicions as to how official this release is, as the cues are taken directly from the Spanish audio of the films (though they sound very good). Also, why on LP and not on CD?

Anyway, this record seems to be available in the United States, despite Klimt Records being, supposedly, a French label. Yeah, sure.

You can listen to samples here, which includes a cue from another movie, LA MALDICION DE LA LLORONA (CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN), also an Abel Salazar-produced horror film.

Hat tip: Ben Gart

Monday, August 23, 2010

El Vampiro - Image of Inspiration 2

I've no idea what this artwork was intended for, but it's a stunning piece by Sanjulian, the famous Spanish artist who used to do work for James Warren publications like CREEPY and VAMPIRELLA. Dated 1994. Oh, Sanjulian's brother is Maren, the artist responsible for the artwork in my previous post that was sourced from the same photo.

Friday, August 20, 2010

El Vampiro - Image of Inspiration

Images of German Robles in his "el vampiro" role have been employed by artists around the world. Here is the cover by Maren of DOSSIER NERGO, no. 162, which borrows Robles' image. DOSSIER NEGRO was the longest running adult horror comic magazine in Spain, first premiering in 1968.

The original image:

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Atmosphere, Atmosphere, Atmosphere!

One of the most delightful films in Mexican fantastique is the 1962 SANTO CONTRA LAS MUJERES VAMPIRO (SANTO VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN). This seventh film in the Santo series stands out because it's drenched in atmosphere, as the above rare still shows. Atmosphere is one of the key components of a classic horror film. Cobwebs, mists, dank cellars, ancient walls slimy with musty dew--the horror film fan breathes in such atmosphere and knows he or she is home.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Club de los Vampiros i Monstruos Presents Tongolele

You may know her from LA MUERTE VIVIENTE (American title: ISLE OF THE SNAKE PEOPLE), one of the four Mexican films starring Boris Karloff. Tongolele (birth name: Yolanda Ivonne Montes Farrington). She did some fine dancing with snakes in that film. Tongolele was a renowned performer and star in Mexico for many years before working on LA MUERTE VIVIENTE, so her appearance in it was a major plus to Mexican and Latin audiences. Surprisingly, not born anywhere in or near Mexico, but in Spokane, Washington.

Tonight, Club de los Vampiros i Monstruos presents ... Tongolele, whose hips have a dangerous language of their own.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Early Gore Grue

Whenever I watch EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (THE WITCH'S MIRROR, 1960), I'm struck by the allowance of gruesome flesh and blood in the film. The effect of severed hands is simply done, yet the outcome is no less shocking.

These screen captures are taken from the very commendable DVD release from CasaNegra, a company that's not around anymore, unfortunately. Used and mint copies available from

Friday, July 09, 2010

Meet Harry

"Meet Harry. Occupation: grave robber. He digs people the most."

The classic FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine would frequently have photos from Mexican horror films in its pages. And once in a while an article on Mexican horror.

The above page appeared in the first issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS, February 1958. The photo is from the 1956 classic lucha-libre monster film, LADRON DE CADAVERES (THE GRAVE ROBBER). And that's Wolf Ruvinskis under the make-up.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

El Vampiro Y El Sexo Really Found -- Really!

Over at the Latarnia Forums, Mexican film authority David Wilt (Dr. Ling) confirmed that EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO, the coveted nude version of SANTO Y EL TESORO DE DRACULA, has been found, this based on information (and clips) from the documentary PERDIDA. The documentary deals with the film producers from the Calderon family. In it, the director, Viviana Garcia Besne, discovers the film in a locked warehouse fault, and copies with French and also English subtitles.

A couple of years ago rumors abounded that the now defunct BCI was going to bring out this film on DVD in the United States, but it was never clear what exactly the company hoped to get its hands on, as other rumors suggested the film was lost or the print destroyed in a fire.

Unfortunately, as of now, there doesn't seem to be any impetus to release this film on DVD, so it sits there in a Mexican vault, possibly waiting until some company with big pockets will make an offer that can't be refused.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mexican Horror Movies - Mondo Macabro Featurette

Mondo Macabro's special featurette that appeared on the company's releases of EL VAMPIRO (Pal DVD) and ALUCARDA.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three (Closing-very brief):

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lionsgate Continues Non-Subtitled Santo Films

For a while now, Lionsgate has been issuing a 2-film series of DVDs--Nuestro Cine Clasico--specifically to the Latin market in the United States with, unfortunately, no English subtitles for Anglos who do not understand Spanish. For American Santo fans, this is particularly annoying, as the company has released some noteworthy Santo titles in this series that remain inaccessible language-wise. Nevertheless, many fans may want to pick up these titles, as some of the prints used are of very good quality, the best we have seen.

Recently, I bought the double-bill of SANTO VS. LAS LOBAS and SANTO VS. EL ESPECTRO DEL EXTRANGULADOR. While the color in the first film has lost its impact, the second film is transferred from a glorious and wonderful looking black and white print, as these screen captures show:

LAS LOBAS doesn't measure up print-wise, but the film is one of Santo's best, a genuine horror film.

Other Santo films in the Nuestro Cine Clasico series:

(Note: Lionsgate released a b/w version of LOS MONSTRUOS, though the film is in color.) sells all of the above films:

Santo contra Blue Demon en la Atlantida/Santo y Blue Demon contra los monstruos

Santo en el museo de cera/Santo y Blue Demon en el mundo de los muertos

Santo en anonimo mortal/Santo y el aguila real

Santo vs. las lobas/Santo vs. el espectro del estrangulador