THE CURSE OF
THE CRYING WOMAN
(1965), B/W, 80 minutes
Presented by Young America Productions
Produced by K. Gordon Murray
Directed by Stim Segar
DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case wrapped in plastic!
This is an outstanding Mexican horror movie, moody and atmospheric and creepy as hell, combining the best cliches of gothic horror with a somewhat perverse sense of sexual decadance and repressed lesbianism, reveling in the dark side of female empowerment and extended families.
The pre-credits teaser opens with a close-up of the grotesque face of a woman (Rita Macedo) with a distorted grimace and bloated, swollen eyes. The murder of the coach riders) is dynamic and gripping.
Rita Macedo, made-up as the Crying Woman, has a face of pained evil that reminds us of Mr. Sardonicus and Dorian Gray, indicative of both madness and posession.
The photography is great, spooky and grim, featuring lots of fun zoom shots which add dramatic emphasis to already-lurid scenes. The “occult montage ” scene is breathtaking in its otherworldy creepiness. There’s some incredible shots of Thelma’s cheesy model house collapsing, and a powerful score by Gustavo Cesar Carrion.
The f/x are excellent (the dungeon set is great, full of cobwebs and torture devices and occult paraphenalia and big gears for the bell). Even the make-up is fantastic. Ms. Macedo’s eyes, when posessed, are so eerie as to be painful.
THE CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN is a winner all the way.
* (updated 02-14-06) Thanks to a terrific new book we just received, “Ghouls, Gimmicks and Gold” by Kevin Heffernan, (2004, Duke University Press), we have been able to update the U.S. television release date for this Murray horror title to 1965. The appendices to this study of the horror film in America, circa 1955-1968, include complete listings of syndication feature film packages from many distributors, including American International Television, who subleased the K. Gordon Murray film catalog under the title THRILLERS FROM ANOTHER WORLD. It seems that 1965 was the watershed year for genre film sold to television, with a veritable flood of titles released by both domestic and foreign distribs.
* (effective 05-01-03) After a very brief window of availability, this long-sought K. Gordon Murray title is once again out of print, due to international copyright issues. Used video tapes of this title may be found on online video dealers and auction sites. Stay tuned for further developments!
* THE CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN is one of several “La Llorona” films made in Mexico, based on popular Spanish folklore.
* Released to US TV in 1965, THE CURSE OF THE CRYING WOMAN was re-released in 1969 on a theatrical co-bill with: THE BRAINIAC!
* The teenage cutie in the stagecoach who is brutally run over in the pre-credits teaser is Julissa del Llano (later billed simply as “Julissa”), who co-starred with Boris Karloff several years later in three of his last horror films, SNAKE PEOPLE, SINISTER INVASION and FEAR CHAMBER.