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Black Pit of Dr. M (Misterios de Ultratumba) (1958)

Gastón Santos , Rafael Bertrand , Fernando Méndez  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Price: $19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Black Pit of Dr. M (Misterios de Ultratumba) + The Curse of the Crying Woman (La Maldición de la Llorona) + The Man and the Monster
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gastón Santos, Rafael Bertrand, Mapita Cortés, Carlos Ancira, Carolina Barret
  • Directors: Fernando Méndez
  • Writers: Ramón Obón
  • Producers: Alfredo Ripstein hijo, César Santos Galindo
  • Format: Black & White, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Casanegra
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GI3KVW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,428 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Pit of Dr. M (Misterios de Ultratumba)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Remastered from original vault elements
  • Commentary by IVTV founder Frank Coleman
  • Biography of director Fernando Mendez
  • Photo Essay
  • Original 1961 English continuity script
  • Trailer
  • Still and poster gallery
  • Cast bios
  • Exclusive collectible card

Editorial Reviews

AKA Misterios de Ultratumba. By day, Dr. Mazali (Rafael Bertrand) runs an insane asylum. By night, he lashes out at the veil between this life and the next, desperate to contact his former partner, Dr. Harrison Aldeman (Jacinto Aldama), who was executed for a crime he did not commit. What follows is madness, tragedy, agonizing violence and the unrelenting horror of infinite damnation.

The Black Pit of Dr. M is a masterpiece of gothic filmmaking punctuated by shocking jolts and beautiful imagery that render it years ahead of its time. It is also a major accomplishment in chilling tone, unsettling atmosphere and wildly inventive storytelling.

CasaNegra is proud to present this much sought-after classic digitally remastered and uncut for the first time on DVD.
Special Features:
• Original Uncut Version
• Completely Re-Mastered Picture & Sound from Newly Restored Vault Elements
• Bilingual Menus in English & Spanish
• Photo Essay: Mexican Monsters Invade the U.S.
• Exclusive Black Pit of Dr. M Rock Video composed by 21st Century Art
• Biography on Director Fernando Mendez By Film Historian David Wilt
• Audio Commentary by IVTV founder Frank Coleman
• Exclusive CasaNegra Loteria Game Card
• Cast Biographies
• Original Theatrical Trailer
• Poster and Stills Gallery

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Gem. September 18, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Back in the 1960s I can remember reading reviews of Mexican horror films in Stephen H. Scheuer's TV KEY MOVIE GUIDE (this was before Leonard Maltin) and they were always given really terrible reviews. They played on our local TV station's SHOCK THEATRE but I never saw one in its entirety. What I do remember about the snippets I saw was the really awful dubbing which really destroyed any sense of fear or dread that the films were trying to inspire. Now 40 years later a handful of these movies have been restored and released on DVD by a small company called Casanegra. They feature the uncut versions in the original Spanish with subtitles and the impact it makes is astonishing but not surprising.

The dubbed soundtracks by American schlockmeister K. Gordon Murray are also available so that you can hear the difference for yourself. But not in the case of this film because the dubbed version has been lost. In addition to the atrocious dubbing Murray also changed the titles to ones which often had little to do with the actual story. This is especially true of THE BLACK PIT OF DR M which in Spanish was called MISTERIOS DE ULTRATUMBA (Mysteries From Beyond The Grave). There is no pit, there are no scenes like the one depicted on the cover artwork but there is a Dr M. He is Dr Masali and it is his attempt to use a dying colleague to find out what lies beyond death that propels this unexpected gem of a movie along.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Masterpiece! Plain and simple..." October 2, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Anyone who prefers an intelligent horror/supernatural film without the excessive modern-day special effects, shocks and gruesome, gory bits should be very pleased with this 1958 B&W classic restored to its original quality on this excellent DVD. The film has a particularly appealing and suitable atmosphere due to its quaint, old Spanish style setting and very good use of light and shadow. The highlight, however, which makes this "a masterpiece, plain and simple" as one critic stated, is the brilliant story-telling. From the very first scene the viewer is pulled into the fascinating and irresistible world of the mysteries of life and death, posing the perpetual question: what lies beyond death? Two asylum doctors make a pact to carry out a scientific experiment to find the answer, and when one of them dies, the surviving doctor waits for a sign from beyond. His quest is to `go to the other side and return without dying', and his deceased partner carries out his wish from the other side, but not quite as expected. In fact, the viewer is caught up in suspense just as much as the doctor, waiting to see how a medium's prophecy of `a closing door' at 9pm on November 15 will fulfil the doctor's quest, and how each person and event prior to this date plays an interactive role. A series of events, destined, foreseen or manoeuvred from `beyond', moves irresistibly forward to its inevitable climax, and I simply had to marvel at this clever plot and effective storytelling. Although the film demands attention to following the story, it is easy and pleasant to do so, with good English subtitles (if you can't understand Spanish) and unpredictable twists and turns which become quite satisfying when everything falls into place at the end. Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous monochrome cinematography December 13, 2006
This film was indeed a surprise. Made around the same time as many of England's Hammer Studio Gothic horror films and AIP's Edgar Allen Poe films, Misterios de Ultratumba borrows from both studios. But make no mistake; the film transcends imitation and achieves classic status in its own right via a distinctive visual and aural atmosphere.

The thing which sets Ultratumba apart is the stunning black and white photography. At a time when most studios and directors were using color for horror films, this film looks more like classic Universal Golden Age horror in lumninous silver hues. The other major asset is the soundtrack, which is in perfect counterpoint to the atmospheric scenes. It maintains a distinctive Latin Gothic feel while using contemporary rythyms to punch up the action at appropriate moments.

Kudos to La Casa Negra for releasing this and other Golden Age Mexican horror films on DVD. THis has to be one of the finest film to DVD transfers of a monochrome horror film I've ever seen. At times it feels like you can almost put your fingers into the dark, brooding mist of the doctor's creepy hacienda. daylight scenes are not neglected either. In particular, watch the scene of the Doctor and his lady friend walking along the beach. The daylight scene was shot with a deep red filter, making the cobalt Mexican sky nearly black. The actor's pallor takes on an a subtle, eerie glow which looks more like a dream than stark daylight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start with Mexican horror movies March 8, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If your collection already has all of the Universal classic horrors, etc. I recommend that you branch out to Mexican horror films of the 1950s. This is a good place to start. It is not expensive and it will give you a taste of the quality level of the Mexican horror movies of that era. "The Black Pit of Dr. M" has several things going for it.

It has a good bunch of special features that will help you get a feeling of what to expect from Mexican horror movies.

The sets are good and reminiscent of the effective sets found in the Universal horror films 20 years earlier.

It is atmospheric and sets an effective mood.

The story is a good "mad doctor" tale with experiments gone bad and characters returning from the dead.

The print quality is good. They seem to have spent time and produced a good quality product.

In America we are used to badly dubbed, cut up Mexican horror movies that came to us in the 1950s and 60s. This is an uncut, quality copy of what the Mexican film makers wanted the public to see. It is impressive and I hope that it leads to an extensive restoration of Mexican horror films so that we can see and appreciate an entire genre that was poorly presented to us half a century ago.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Black Pit of Dr. M (Misterios de Ultratumba)
Ok Spanish-language, Mexican-made late 50's horror film. A doctor in charge of an insane asylum tries to discover what lies beyond death. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Celia DLF
4.0 out of 5 stars Mexi-Carnage With a Dash of Red Hot-Chilly!
I first saw this atmospheric "madhouse" chiller on WGN Chicago Ch. 9 back in the mid-sixties.
It was dubbed into the typically mish-mash style given to cheap foreign films... Read more
Published on January 16, 2010 by Jack Shatter
4.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Scariest B/W Genre Films
If you have not seen "The Black Pit of Doctor M", you are in for a chilling treat. From 1958, this Spanish horror gem has all the atmosphere of something dark, something brooding,... Read more
Published on December 23, 2007 by M. Chase
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great job by Casa Negra
As I stated in my review for El Vampiro (The Vampire) & El Ataud del Vampiro (The Vampire's Coffin) - 2 Disc Special Edition, I'm a newcomer to these Mexican horror films of the... Read more
Published on March 31, 2007 by A. Gammill
5.0 out of 5 stars A MEXICAN GOTHIC
"The Black Pit of Dr. M" is one of those titles that fairly screams drive-in cheapie, but I suppose the distributors felt that "Mysteries from the Beyond," a literal translation of... Read more
Published on March 20, 2007 by Andrew Mangravite
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie is great , extras only OK.
Great movie and it looks great. But the dvd is a dissapointment because , unlike the other discs in this series,

Casanegra has failed to provide the english sound track... Read more
Published on February 17, 2007 by A. C. Cronvich
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT HORROR FILM.....
An insane asylum, a rampaging madwoman, a ghost, a love triangle, a man scarred by acid (who goes insane and also runs amok) and a doctor seeking supernatural knowledge of the... Read more
Published on September 2, 2006 by Mark Norvell
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