Misterios de Ultratumba (The Black Pit of Dr.M / Mysteries from Beyond the Grave, 1958)

UK Powerhouse Films - Indicator and Alameda Films 2023 Blu-ray edition - Part of the Mexico
Macabre 1959-1963 limited four films box edition - region all


Misterios de Ultratumba is a minor Masterpiece of horror. It's both atmospherically beautiful
and even poetic in it's question what lies beyond death, is there a life, an existence after death ?
Director Fernando Mendez (of El Vampiro and El Ataud del Vampiro, 1957) gives us a fascinating
B movie melodrama horror and a film that has some nice Pulse to it. Almost like an Edgar G. Ulmer,
the Hollywood B movie master, pulse. The film is delightfully overstrung and crazy .... and beautiful.
Made in a serious way and not meant as a comedy (i think) and with some very intense moments.

Two doctors working at an insane asylum, Dr. Mazali (a very fine Rafael Bertrand) and Dr. Aldama
(Antonio Raksel) make a deal that when one of them dies he will return to tell the other if there's
some existence, life, after death and if one's soul can return to the living. Doctor Aldama dies and
Mazali arranges a seance to get Aldama to tell about it, which he does and his message is that a
return is possible but that the prize will be high .... and, that Dr. Mazali will know for himself within
three months.

The daughter of Dr. Aldama, Patricia (Mapita Cortés) is told by her father's spirit to visit his old
colleague Dr. Masali in the hospital, The Mercedes Asylum, where he works, and things start to
go really bad, ending in Masali being condemned to death.
A sad/fun scene is where Dr. Mazali, who has fallen in love with young Mapita, plays the violin
for her. He gives his all but she's bored as hell and longs for younger men, much preferring the
caresses from the handsome intern, Eduardo (Gaston Santos) (well, that's life old goats, don't go
after young girls when you're middle-aged or worse - millionaires can skip this advice).

The film is presented in 4:3 fullscreen original ratio, black & white, spanish or english audio
LPCM mono with english subtitles. Region all bluray. Extras:
Audio commentary by Abraham Castillo Flores, Preserving a Legacy: Daniel Birman Ripstein
about his grand father Alfredo Ripstein (19 minutes, in spanish with english subs, 2023),
Eduardo de la Vega Alfaro: Black Pit of Dr. Méndez (26 minutes, in spanish with english subs,
2023), Theatrical trailer, Image gallery


Back in 2006 or about so, there were some beautiful and very ambitious DVD edition releases
of méxican horror genre films from US Panik House Casa Negra. As i wrote then: A dream for all
"westerners" that had longed for to be able to watch these gems, these horror gems from the
golden horror era of méxican film. To be able to see them in crisp restored quality and with
english subtitles for all of us with bad spanish speaking skills. This great film company gave
us the opportunity to finally get to see these exciting films in high quality .... but, as with other
fine film/DVD companies releasing niche films, too few of us bought these releases and they
closed down. Maybe people downloaded the films on the net, or maybe old méxican movies
in black & white are a too esoteric subject to be a commercial success, but thanks to you,
Casa Negra and other similar companies for your love of films.

Thanks also to UK Powerhouse Films Ltd. and Alameda Films for continuing the release of
these wonderful méxican genre films in the Blu-ray and (possibly also) 4K UHD medium

The old Casa Negra DVD release had the same specs and as extras: an audio commentary by
Frank Coleman, a text essay about director Fernando Méndez, a text essay with pictures
"Méxican Monsters invades the US: A Tribute to K. Gordon Murray", a biography of Gaston
Santos, a music video "The Black Pit of Dr. M", 1961 continuity script, original trailer, gallery

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