“I just would like to warn you. My daughter sometimes acts in… an abnormal way.” Here we go again. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they make another trip south of the border for a horror film from Mexican masters, El libro de piedra (1969, The Book of Stone).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 127 – El libro de piedra (1969, The Book of Stone)
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A governess Julia comes to work in a bourgeois family that lives in an afforested property that they have recently bought. Julia is to take care of a little girl named Silvia, whose unusual demeanor may find its roots in the family garden.IMDb
- Director: Carlos Enrique Taboada
- Writer: Carlos Enrique Taboada (story & adaptation)
- Selected Cast:
- Marga López as Julia Septién
- Joaquín Cordero as Eugenio Ruvalcaba
- Norma Lazareno as Mariana
- Aldo Monti as Carlos
- Lucy Buj as Silvia
- Rafael Llamas as Profesor Esquivias
- Ada Carrasco as Paulina
- Lilia Castillo as Herminia (as Lilia Richars)
- Manuel Dondé as Bruno
- Jorge Mateos as Dr. Molina
- Miguel Gómez Checa as Teniente de policía
- Eduardo MacGregor as Fabián (as Eduardo Mc.Gregor)
- Jorge Pablo Carrillo as Hugo
Once again, Whitney treats her fellow Grue-Crew members to a gem from Mexico. This time, her pick is El libro de piedra (1969, The Book of Stone), a supernatural ghost story made by an award-winning crew and cast. It’s another winning choice suggested to Whitney by her dad. She is intrigued by this gothic horror story that is also a bit of a mystery with a supernatural element. This offering has a fantasy feel and creepy kids to make it even eerier, leading her to question the characters and their surroundings.
Daphne loves creepy kid movies so she’s all about El libro de piedra. She loves the characters in the atmospheric telling of this story, augmented by the music and the colors used. Jeff loves El libro de piedra as well. To him, its haunting feel is reminiscent of an episode of Night Gallery (1969-1973). He’s impressed with the meticulous, well-laid-out story and the actors’ performances. That creepy kid and her “imaginary” friend make everyone uncomfortable.
You won’t want to miss a certain scene that’s a precursor to a legendary shot in Halloween (1978). At the time of this writing, El libro de piedra is available to stream with subtitles on YouTube at EL LIBRO DE PIEDRA PELICULA COMPLETA English subtitles. It’s not a great copy, but it is adequate. Unfortunately, physical media is scarce and pricey. El libro de piedra deserves a quality Blu-ray, as do many good Mexican horror movies.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Chad: William Castle’s Mr. Sardonicus (1961). Who’s up for some risus sardonicus? Or is it hysterical rictus? Either way, it should put a big grin on your face.
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