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El Espejo de la Bruja

The Witch's Mirror

Mexico 1962
produced by
Abel Salazar for Cinematográfica ABSA
directed by Chano Urueta
starring Rosa Arenas, Armando Calvo, Isabela Corona, Dina de Marco, Carlos Nieto, Alfredo Wally Barrón
story by Alfredo Ruanova, screenplay by Alfredo Ruanova, Carlos Enrique Taboada, music by Gustavo César Carrión

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In her magic mirror, Sara (Isabela Corona) sees her goddaughter Elena (Dina De Marco) killed by her husband Eduardo (Armando Calvo) because Eduardo wants her out of the way to marry Deborah (Rosa Arenas). But even though she tries to intervene, Elena's fate is final and she is eventually killed just in the way Sara has seen it in her mirror.

Still, Sara stays in Eduardo's household as a maid, and soon enough he has married Deborah, who knows he was married before but doesn't have the slightest idea that he actually killed his first wife.

At first, Deborah shows understanding for her husband getting nervous about things concerning his first wife, as she thinks he is still griefing, but eventually Elena's presence gets too brooding and Deborah wants to change things ... which is when Elena starts to haunt the house for real. Finally, she and Eduardo find out that the haunting emanates from the magic mirror, and Eduardo smashes it with a burning oil lamp ... but since it's a magic mirror, upon being smashed with the lamp, it causes Deborah to catch fire ...

Deborah doesn't die from the fire, but she is horribly disfigured, and now Eduardo becomes obsessed with restoring her former beauty, and to that end he doesn't even resort from graverobbing, and eventually, when he needs perfect hands for his wife, he even takes them from a live donor ... which is when his assistant Gustavo (Carlos Nieto) totally freaks out and Sara sends him straight to the police.

But Sara isn't done with her revenge yet, she now summons Elena back from the grave and exchanges the hands Eduardo got from the poor girl for Elena's hands.

Soon, Deborah is as beutiful as ever, and she couldn't be any happier, it's only that her hands, Elena's hands, seem to have a few ideas of their own, and they definitely don't like Eduardo ...

Eventually, the Gustavo and  the police are at the door, just when Deborahcant keep her/Elena's hands from stabbing Eduardo to death. Then the hands fall off, as does the skin tissue on her face, and she becomes horribly mutilated Deborah once again.

Elena's hands meanwhile, no longer attached to any body, crawl around a bit and then strangle Gustavo for having helped Eduardo ...


Now that's one original blend: Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940) meets Georges Franju's Eyes without a Face (1959), and the whole thing is told as a ghost story and done in the style of a gothic shocker - and surprisingly enough, the whole thing works like a charm, it's a creepy, delibertately slow-moving piece of horror cinema that tells an unusual, original story in images brooding with atmosphere.



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD