Black Pit of Doctor M – original title Misterios de ultratumba “Mysteries from Beyond the Grave” – is a 1958 Mexican supernatural horror film directed by Fernando Méndez (El Vampiro) from a screenplay by Ramón Obón. The movie stars Gastón Santos, Rafael Bertrand, Mapita Cortés and Carlos Ancira.
Two doctors, Doctor Masali (Rafael Bernard) and Doctor Aldama (Antonio Raxel) agree to a macabre mutual pact: The first to die will return to tell the other about the mysteries beyond the grave. Aldama dies, and at a séance, he informs his former colleague that if he really wants to carry out the pact, his chance will come in a couple of weeks. Forebodingly, Aldama’s spirit also ominously warns that Masali will have to pay a terrible price…
“Aside from its acid-scarred madman, The Black Pit of Doctor M is a more reserved gothic horror film compared to The Brainiac‘s brain-sucking alien or German Robles’ impressive cloaked vampiric aristocrat in the El Vampiro films. The black and white photography is wonderfully moody, cloaking Mazil’s asylum in deep shadows. The studio-bound exteriors are reminiscent of old Hollywood horror films…” DVD Beaver
“Mendez stirs the conventions of melodrama, mad scientist movies and funereal lyricism (especially in the impressive return from the grave sequence) into a confusing mixture which is too heterogeneous to be effective.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
” … another highly conservative Mexican horror film about the bloody havoc that will befall any transgressor who defies the laws of man and the Church. The film has soap opera pacing, a ghost story framework, a demented, melted-faced maniac running around — a little bit of everything. Ramón Obón’s script is short on logic but packed with macabre ideas. The reasonably elaborate production generates a spooky atmosphere of high-contrast horror…” DVD Savant
” … excellent gothic chiller … the main appeals are darkly beautiful sets, chiaroscuro cinematography, and a pervading atmosphere of suspicion … An unusually complex and ironic plot pulls several characters together in a strangely convincing way. Only a weak love interest for the heroine and a few heavy-handed shock moments detract from the quality.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
” … a masterpiece of gothic filmmaking that deserves far more attention and praise than it has received.” Bloody Disgusting