When a team of Mexican anthropologists on a field trip to Haiti return with a voodoo idol you just know trouble is sure to follow. In this case they were told they were bringing a curse upon themselves, but scientists never do listen. Sure enough it’s not long before death is stalking both them and their families. The chosen instruments of the voodoo priest’s revenge are murderous dolls the size of children.
The Curse of the Doll People (Muñecos infernales) is a terrific 1961 Mexican horror film. It’s a fairly stock-standard horror movie plot but the key to making a successful horror movie has always been to concentrate on atmosphere rather than plotting. This movie scores highly in that area. It’s the doll people themselves who are the highlight of the movie. They really are genuinely very very creepy and delightfully sinister. The make-up effects are exceptionally well done.
The acting is quite decent, with Elvira Quintana being particularly effective as a female scientist who combines a belief in science with a healthy respect for the powers of the occult. She proves to be a worthy adversary for the diabolical voodoo priest.
This is a well-made and highly effective horror movie. Benito Alazraki’s direction is very competent, and when you have black magic, zombies, killer dolls and evil priests with hypnotic powers you really have everything you could possibly ask for in a horror flick. I loved it.
This movie is included in BCI’s Crypt of Terror: Horror from South of the Border, volume 2 boxed set. It’s dubbed, unrestored, fullscreen and quite grainy. It’s a pity, because it’s a great little movie that deserves a decent restoration and a quality DVD release. Even in the unsatisfactory state of BCI’s release it’s still a movie very much worth seeing.