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TSZDT: The Top 25 Mexican Horror Films

TSZDT: The Top 25 Mexican Horror Films

Current Version: May 2019 (5th edition)

The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films: Introduction | #1-#100 | #101-#200 | #201-#300 | #301-#400 | #401-#500 | #501-#600 | #601-#700 | #701-#800 | #801-#900 | #901-#1000 | Full List | Sources | The 21st Century’s Most Acclaimed Horror Films | Top 50 Directors

The main TSZDT list has 6 Mexican horror films. Out of the 7,195 nominations, 106 Mexican films have received at least one vote. Find this list on IMDb and iCM.

El vampiro

1. El vampiro

Fernando Méndez

1957 / Mexico / 95m / BW / Vampire | IMDb
Abel Salazar, Ariadna Welter, Carmen Montejo, José Luis Jiménez, Mercedes Soler, Alicia Montoya, José Chávez, Julio Daneri, Amado Zumaya, Germán Robles

“The movie is enveloped in an all pervading atmosphere of gothic fantasy: cobwebs glisten in artificial moonlight and luminescent mist enshrouds the dilapidated hacienda which is ensconced in permanent shadows. The film has a surprisingly expensive look to it. Although the turn toward horror and fantasy in fifties Mexican cinema was largely inspired by the decline of the industry, the superior production values of it’s heyday in the forties are still very much in evidence in “El Vampiro”. The film is loaded with exceptional moments of directorial brilliance and great imagination – and the camera often moves with a Bava or Argento-like mind of it’s own.” – Blackgloves, Horrorview

El barón del terror

2. El barón del terror

Chano Urueta

1962 / Mexico / 77m / BW / Supernatural | IMDb
Abel Salazar, Ariadna Welter, David Silva, Germán Robles, Luis Aragón, Mauricio Garcés, Ofelia Guilmáin, René Cardona, Rubén Rojo, Carlos Nieto

“Brainiac is delirious, sordid monster fun for ‘undiscriminating audiences.’ Its only practical function is to be able to say “I saw The Brainiac last night,” just to see which of your friends wants to hear more and which suddenly hurry away whenever you approach. Then again, it’s no trashier than any number of gory and cheap American movies of the 1950s… Viewers undeterred by those considerations will be floored by Urueta’s use of tacky, overly bright rear-projected stills to represent all exteriors not shot on interior sets. Like the best of American Z-filmmaking, Brainiac seems to take place in some unused broom closet of the imagination.” – Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

El espejo de la bruja

3. El espejo de la bruja

Chano Urueta

1962 / Mexico / 75m / Col / Witchcraft | IMDb
Rosa Arenas, Armando Calvo, Isabela Corona, Dina de Marco, Carlos Nieto, Alfredo Wally Barrón

“The general mood and the visual style of “The Witch’s Mirror” is probably influenced by the old Universal horror-films and legendary tales by the ones like Edgar Allan Poe, and its gothic-mood has many similarities to the films by Mario Bava from the same era. The very imaginative and clever visual tricks in the film are not necessarily that hard to achieve and are occasionally dated, but they do work very well for the movie and for the black & white cinematography. Flowers are withered for no reason, the piano is playing the favourite tune of the late Elena by itself, the wind is blowing and the mood is restless and spooky. Some optical tricks (like superimposing) are surprisingly good, and filmmakers have used their best imagination to create the illusion with the mirror, the essential object in the film. The movie has almost as much fantasy elements as it has horror, and together they create a pretty effective little flick.” – Jari Kovalainen, DVD Compare

La maldición de la Llorona

4. La maldición de la Llorona

Rafael Baledón

1963 / Mexico / 80m / Col / Supernatural | IMDb
Rosa Arenas, Abel Salazar, Rita Macedo, Carlos López Moctezuma, Enrique Lucero, Mario Sevilla, Julissa, Roy Fletcher, Arturo Corona

“The film lasts a mere eighty minutes and, with the possible exception of a fight scene between two men that feels more at home in one of the popular lucha libre films of the time, not a moment is wasted. Though there is nothing original at all about it (in addition to its murderous title character, it has a crippled manservant and a madman in the attic), the film is so tightly constructed, the narrative moved along so propulsively, and the experience of watching it so consistently and thrillingly strange, that it rises above the also-rans to become a minor classic of its genre.” – Matt Bailey, Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Hasta el viento tiene miedo

5. Hasta el viento tiene miedo

Carlos Enrique Taboada

1968 / Mexico / 88m / Col / Mystery | IMDb
Marga López, Maricruz Olivier, Alicia Bonet, Norma Lazareno, Renata Seydel, Elizabeth Dupeyrón, Rita Sabre Marroquín, Irma Castillón, Rafael Llamas

“Shown on Mexican television every Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos… it is also widely considered the best Mexican film of the horror genre. Mexican movie studios did produce a number of horror movies during the 1950’s-1960’s (Mexican Cinema’s Golden Age), but they were largely mediocre movies featuring masked wrestlers. What sets Hasta el Viento Tiene Miedo apart from the latter is Taboada’s introduction of 19th century literary gothic motifs in a contemporary setting… Hasta el Viento Tiene Miedo is the first in a horror trilogy by Taboada and while Veneno Para las Hadas (Poison for the Fairies) received awards and was more critically acclaimed it’s the former that remains his most popular film.” – Cinema Nostalgia

Come Out and Play

6. Come Out and Play


2012 / Mexico / 105m / Col / Evil Children | IMDb
Vinessa Shaw, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Gerardo Taracena, Alejandro Alvarez


7. Macario

Roberto Gavaldón

1960 / Mexico / 91m / BW / Fantasy | IMDb
Ignacio López Tarso, Pina Pellicer, Enrique Lucero, Mario Alberto Rodríguez, José Gálvez, José Luis Jiménez, Eduardo Fajardo, Consuelo Frank, José Dupeyrón, Celia Tejeda

Más negro que la noche

8. Más negro que la noche

Carlos Enrique Taboada

1975 / Mexico / 96m / Col / Haunted House | IMDb
Claudia Islas, Susana Dosamantes, Helena Rojo, Lucía Méndez, Julián Pastor, Alicia Palacios, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Tamara Garina, Enrique Pontón

“The story in “Más negro que la noche” may be simplistic, even clichéd; however, Taboada’s film seems to be constructed with one single idea in mind: atmosphere. Atmosphere is the key word in “Más negro que la noche”, which showcases a masterful use of lighting and camera-work to create an effectively ominous atmosphere of dread that begins to surround the four main characters. Stylish and elegant, Taboada’s borrowing of Giallo elements does not limit merely to plot devices, but also to the striking visual style… which shows a more than obvious influence from Mario Bava. In the film, Taboada once again excels in his visual narrative, which is fluid and dynamic, developing the story at a nice pace.” – J. Luis Rivera, W-Cinema

Veneno para las hadas

9. Veneno para las hadas

Carlos Enrique Taboada

1984 / Mexico / 90m / Col / Drama | IMDb
Ana Patricia Rojo, Elsa María Gutiérrez, Leonor Llausás, Carmen Stein, María Santander, Ernesto Schwartz, Rocío Lazcano, Blanca Lidia Muñoz, Sergio Bustamante

“The most notorious feature in “Veneno para las hadas” is certainly the fact that director Carlos Enrique Taboada shots his film entirely from the children’s point of view… This style, while certainly a bit gimmicky, allows a greater emphasis on the two main characters, and actually reflects the reality of their lives in relation with the adult world… The cinematography, by Lupe García, is kind of average but Taboada manages to put it to a very good use in creating haunting Gothic images that once again show a strong influence from Italian filmmakers. In this twisted ode to childhood, Taboada succeeds in crafting a fairy tale for adults that’s all the more disturbing in its bleak realism.” – J. Luis Rivera, W-Cinema

El hombre y el monstruo

10. El hombre y el monstruo

Rafael Baledón

1959 / Mexico / 78m / BW / Werewolf | IMDb
Enrique Rambal, Abel Salazar, Martha Roth, Ofelia Guilmáin, Ana Laura Baledon, José Chávez, Maricarmen Vela, Carlos Suárez, Anita Blanch

El ángel exterminador

11. El ángel exterminador

Luis Buñuel

1962 / Mexico / 95m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Silvia Pinal, Enrique Rambal, Claudio Brook, José Baviera, Augusto Benedico, Antonio Bravo, Jacqueline Andere, César del Campo, Rosa Elena Durgel, Lucy Gallardo

Cementerio del terror

12. Cementerio del terror

Rubén Galindo Jr.

1985 / Mexico / 88m / Col / Zombie | IMDb
Hugo Stiglitz, José Gómez Parcero, Bety Robles, Leo Villanueva, Raúl Meraz, René Cardona III, Servando Manzetti, Andrés García Jr., María Rebeca

“A strange sort of cross between John Carpenter’s Halloween (what with the unstoppable killing machine and the obsessed doctor on his trail) and Bob Clarke’s Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (with the dopey teens, the black mass, and the zombies), Ruben Galindo Jr.’s Cemetery Of Terror is a reasonably well paced horror film with some nice atmosphere, some cool locations, and towards the end of the movie, some nice zombie action. It’s also very much a product of the eighties and as such, it’s pretty dated… Stiglitz is fun in the lead role and while he’ll never be considered a great actor by any stretch he does a good job playing the obsessed doctor and seems to have no problem hamming it up when the script requires it. The rest of the cast is pretty awful, but it adds to the fun of the film” – Ian Jane, DVD Talk

El libro de piedra

13. El libro de piedra

Carlos Enrique Taboada

1969 / Mexico / 99m / Col / Thriller | IMDb
Marga López, Joaquín Cordero, Norma Lazareno, Aldo Monti, Lucy Buj, Rafael Llamas, Ada Carrasco, Lilia Castillo, Manuel Dondé, Jorge Mateos

“The Book of Stone carries the echoes of an MR James story with its premise of ancient evil and suggested rather than depicted horror… Bit by bit the story unravels, piling on one little disturbing incident after another, till it places itself firmly in the realm of the supernatural. [The statue] ‘Hugo’ is revealed to have a sinister history and will resist all attempts made to uproot him from his pedestal. Even here, there is far more reliance on the play of light and shadow (cinematographer Ignacio Torres), and juxtaposition of circumstance than any elaborate flashy effect.” – Suresh S, Un-kvlt Site

El grito de la muerte

14. El grito de la muerte

Fernando Méndez

1959 / Mexico / 72m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Gastón Santos, María Duval, Pedro de Aguillón, Carlos Ancira, Carolina Barret, Antonio Raxel, Hortensia Santoveña, Quintín Bulnes

Satanico Pandemonium: La Sexorcista

15. Satanico Pandemonium: La Sexorcista

Gilberto Martínez Solares

1975 / Mexico / 89m / Col / Exploitation | IMDb
Enrique Rocha, Cecilia Pezet, Delia Magaña, Clemencia Colin, Sandra Torres, Adarene San Martin, Patricia Alban, Yayoi Tokawa, Amparo Fustenberg, Paula Aack

El fantasma del convento

16. El fantasma del convento

Fernando de Fuentes

1934 / Mexico / 85m / BW / Haunted House | IMDb
Enrique del Campo, Marta Roel, Carlos Villatoro, Paco Martínez, Victorio Blanco, Francisco Lugo, Beltrán de Heredia, Agustín González, José Ignacio Rocha

“As so many other horror films are, El fantasma del convento is essentially a morality tale. Adulterous couple Cristina (Roel) and Alfonso (del Campo) become lost one night while attempting to find a good make out spot. Enter a bizarre guide of sorts – is it ever wise to follow a stranger in a horror film? – who leads the pair to a foreboding monastery… don’t let a little predictability deter you from seeing this beautifully shot and eerie film. For those of you who are fans of Matthew Lewis’ 1796 horror novel, The Monk, you will certainly see the book’s influence in the film.” – Geoff Fogleman, Bloody Disgusting

Muñecos infernales

17. Muñecos infernales

Benito Alazraki

1961 / Mexico / 81m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Elvira Quintana, Ramón Gay, Roberto G. Rivera, Quintín Bulnes, Nora Veryán, Luis Aragón, Alfonso Arnold, Jorge Mondragón, Salvador Lozano, Margarita Villegas

“The diminutive death-dealers carve an astonishingly creepy presence here; and are among the most unforgettable of the Mexi-horror canon. Played by either midgets or small children, the performers all wear what look like wax masks. These facial appliances never move when they breathe, so there’s a realism that adds to the eeriness of these calculating doll monsters creeping towards their victims with poisonous needles ready to pierce your flesh… Aside from some goofy moments here and there, Alazraki’s picture does a surprisingly good job of building suspense; and delivering frighteningly spooky creatures in the form of the macabre countenance of the killer dolls. If you haven’t seen it, fans of the genre are in for a treat” – Brian Bankston, Cool Ass Cinema

El hombre sin rostro

18. El hombre sin rostro

Juan Bustillo Oro

1950 / Mexico / 91m / BW / Mystery | IMDb
Arturo de Córdova, Carmen Molina, Miguel Ángel Ferriz, Queta Lavat, Chela Campos, Fernando Galiana, Armando Sáenz, Ramón Sánchez, Kika Meyer, Wolf Ruvinskis

Santo en El tesoro de Drácula

19. Santo en El tesoro de Drácula

René Cardona

1969 / Mexico / 81m / Col / Vampire | IMDb
Santo, Aldo Monti, Noelia Noel, Roberto G. Rivera, Carlos Agostí, Alberto Rojas, Pili González, Jorge Mondragón, Gina Morett, Fernando Mendoza

“While EL VAMPIRO Y EL SEXO is certainly entertaining, it suffers from a pronounced lack of Santo, who appears in less than ten minutes of the first half of the movie. The reason is clear: Santo (the real Santo) refused to appear in any erotic scenes… If it were just a few topless women, that would be unusually frank enough for a Santo adventure, but the erotic content also includes full nudity and much breast kissing by Dracula (I think we found his fetish). Strangely, despite the sexual material, director Rene Cardona (NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES) refrains from showing even a drop of blood.” – Marty McKee, Johnny LaRue’s Crane Shot

El esqueleto de la señora Morales

20. El esqueleto de la señora Morales

Rogelio A. González

1960 / Mexico / 92m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Arturo de Córdova, Amparo Rivelles, Elda Peralta, Guillermo Orea, Rosenda Monteros, Luis Aragón, Mercedes Pascual, Antonio Bravo, Angelines Fernández, Armando Arriola

“Mexican cinema embraces black comedy in this engaging domestic thriller about a sincere husband who becomes an unrepentant murderer. Luis Alcoriza, the writer of most of Luis Buñuel’s Mexican films, lightens the macabre subject with a comic tone similar to that of the then-current Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV show. A mocking critique of false piety, The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales thumbs its nose at the conventions of ‘respectable’ Mexican film fare… Good performances add to the air of perversity.” – Glenn Erickson, DVD Talk

Perdita Durango

21. Perdita Durango

Álex de la Iglesia

1997 / Mexico / 126m / Col / Black Comedy | IMDb
Rosie Perez, Javier Bardem, Harley Cross, Aimee Graham, James Gandolfini, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Demian Bichir, Carlos Bardem, Santiago Segura, Harry Porter

Los Parecidos

22. Los Parecidos

Isaac Ezban

2015 / Mexico / 89m / Col / Science Fiction | IMDb
Luis Alberti, Carmen Beato, Fernando Becerril, Humberto Busto, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Alberto Estrella, Pablo Guisa Koestinger, María Elena Olivares, Catalina Salas, Gustavo Sánchez Parra

Tenemos la carne

23. Tenemos la carne

Emiliano Rocha Minter

2016 / Mexico / 79m / Col / Surrealism | IMDb
Noé Hernández, María Evoli, Diego Gamaliel, Gabino Rodríguez, María Cid

Santo contra los zombies

24. Santo contra los zombies

Benito Alazraki

1962 / Mexico / 85m / BW / Zombie | IMDb
Santo, Armando Silvestre, Jaime Fernández, Dagoberto Rodríguez, Irma Serrano, Carlos Agostí, Ramón Bugarini, Fernando Osés, Eduardo Bonada, Eduardo Silvestre

Ladrón de cadáveres

25. Ladrón de cadáveres

Fernando Méndez

1957 / Mexico / 80m / BW / Science Fiction | IMDb
Columba Domínguez, Crox Alvarado, Wolf Ruvinskis, Carlos Riquelme, Arturo Martínez, Eduardo Alcaraz, Guillermo Hernández, Yerye Beirute, Alberto Catalá, Lee Morgan

“Subdued lighting renders Wolf Ruvinskis’ monstrous appearance all the more horrifying, as does the actor’s depiction of Guillermo Santata as a boyish, dashing sort with a flirtatious streak. His transformation to a rampaging creature drives the film to a precipitous finale—but it is his abrupt and jarring lapse from heroism to victimization, early on in the proceedings, that renders the film a study in terror. Méndez’ use of the wrestling-ring demimonde—seedy and energetic, with an assortment of colorful eccentrics—provides a vivid backdrop.” – Michael H. Price, Forgotten Horrors Vol. 7