Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sins for Sunday

Cult auteur Jose Mojica Marins was rightly acclaimed for creating the first Brazilian horror movie (a DVD boxset of his 1960s and 1970s work is available). Marins’ screen persona, undertaker Ze do Caixao - ‘Coffin Joe’, appeared in At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (aka: A Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma, 1964), and This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse (aka: Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadaver, 1967). 

Now, Encarnacao do Demonio (2008) is a belated trilogy closer, unleashed on DVD as EMBODIMENT OF EVIL, which sees Joe released from an asylum prison after 40 years. Fiercely confrontational, as a Nietzschean heretical atheist, Joe resumes his quest to find the perfect woman suitable for ensuring his ‘immortality’ by giving him a son. Aided by faithful servant Bruno and some recruited henchmen, Joe sets about kidnapping numerous wenches for dungeon atrocities that include branding and flaying (but one poor girl is sewn inside a pig carcass - for a scene that prompted a near-mutiny by Marins’ film crew).  

Anti-hero Joe is opposed by a corrupt police captain, and a vengeful priest. Haughty as ever, he taunts adversaries by sending them a box of severed hands. Coffin Joe enjoys debauched sex with a witch in a rain of blood. His head-trip, on some unknown ‘elixir’, to a brightly sunlit underworld, only results in Joe’s implicit defiance of ‘Death’ herself. This is a remarkable comeback for the elderly Marins, his performance as the madly eccentric gravedigger  is assured, and quite mesmerising, and a measure of his professional and personal commitment to such crazed role-playing here can be found in his absurdly overlong fingernails.   

This review was published in Black Static #12 (August 2009)
In that same issue, I also reviewed:

The Fox Family
The Killing Room
Dead Snow
Let The Right One In
Goth: Love Of Death
House By The Cemetery
Cradle Will Fall

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