Thursday, February 20, 2020

beard of evil.

Just awoke to the news that José Mojica Marins AKA  Coffin Joe has died.

Which has kinda put the dampers on Mrs Unwell's birthday seeing as he's her real dad.

No seriously.

You should check her nails.

So anyway in tribute - and because loads of folk (well one) emailed to find out what happened to him post À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma I thought it was time to review the fantastically monikered:

Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver (AKA This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse, Tonight I Will Make Your Corpse Turn Red, Tonight I Will Paint in Flesh Colour. 1967).
Dir: Jose Mojica-Marins.
Cast: Jose Mojica-Marins, Tina Wohlers, Nadia Freitas, Antonio Fracari, Jose Lobo, Esmeralda Ruchel, Paula Ramos and Tania Mendonça.

Mad as a bag of spanners undertaker Zé Do Caixão (AKA the late great but still warm seeing as he only died yesterday Coffin Joe) having pissed off everyone is his home town with his constant raping, killings and eating meat on holy days has run away to the local cemetery scarily pursued by ghosts (are you getting all this?) and, after hiding in the crypt of his murdered (by Zé obviously) best friend ends up scared shitless by the spirits of his victims.

The pursuing townsfolk arrive to find him lying in a pool of his own urine, all googly eyed and dribbling like a wean.

But, incredibly, still alive.

But still having to answer for all those killings (and rapes and mutilations) Zé is placed under arrest to await his trial.

Luckily for him (but of no surprise to anyone who's seen the first movie), the authorities have no hard evidence and have to let Zé go free.

Heading back to his (newly acquired) castle with his (recently hired) hunchback assistant Bruno Marrs (Lobo, not the DC Comics character) our undertaker pal quickly resumes his mission to find the perfect woman to give him a child.

But being the wacky outgoing guy that we all know and love, Zé forgoes the normal dating channels (such as the internet, Guardian Soulmates and the like) and decides that it'd be easier to just send Bruno out to kidnap the five best looking ladies in town.

Well, the four best looking and their lopsided mouthed pal.

OK if I'm honest he kidnaps the five actresses least likely to complain about having to show their nipples whilst wearing huge black pants.

"Fuck me it's Fred Titmus!"

Always the gentleman, Zé, taking a leaf from late but not lamented TeeVee show Big Brother waits till they've all calmed down and settled in before explaining his plans - which involves torturing them with big hairy spiders, threatening to let Bruno shag them and finally dropping the ladies into a pit filled with large, possibly phallic snakes.

I say possibly because I'm never too sure about that kind of thing, which is why I stick to films with killings in them.

At the end of all this general badness only one woman is left standing, a wealthy, blonde and scarily buxom widow named Marcia (Freitas) who is more than happy to oblige our hero in his quest for an heir.

Which begs the question why he didn't just ask the ladies politely to begin with?

"We've got some great photo's of you without the
hump showing but the bad news
that we can't get the album shut".

Everything is going swimmingly for Zé and his new squeeze until one day, when our hatted hero is out picking flowers and stuff he bumps into the dark eyed and bullet breasted Laura (Wolhers, star of the underrated Amantes, Amanhã Se Houver Sol) who not only happens to be the daughter of a prominent town dignitary but is as completely fruit loops as Zé is.

Love is indeed in the air.

And from the look of the fog surrounding Zé's home so are a number of eggy farts.

Not too surprisingly her dad and family are furious (tho' not as furious as that fast film with Vin Diesel) so decide to take matters into their own hands hiring some bad men to 'duff Zé up'.

Don't worry tho' because as we all know by this point Zé's nothing if hard as nails and ends up killing them instead.

"Don't forget Zé, Graham and his
team are waiting backstage to help
you with your anger issues should the DNA results
reveal that the beard isn't yours!"

It's only a matter of time before Laura falls pregnant giving Zé an excuse to go into town, get pissed and hand out exploding cigars to everyone but whilst enjoying his new found status as daddy but whilst out enjoying himself he inadvertently discovers that one of the women he's offed earlier was pregnant and not just portly as he'd mistakenly believed.

The thought of killing a child sends Zé into a fit of guilt and rage that not even a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle can cure culminating in dreams of being dragged to Hell by a big, naked black man to witness the horrors that befall cursed souls.

Oh, and a load of buff, thong wearing muscle men with their arses painted red.

Inside Michael Gove's mind.

It's at this point that things start to go from bad to very bad for our coffin carrying chum as Laura loses the baby, causing Zé's somewhat tenuous grip on reality to slip even more whilst the local law enforcement folk start to put two and two together (finally) with regards to all the killings and general badness that's been occurring in the local area since Zé moved in.

There's only one course of action left to the top hatted terror and that's to scarper into the swamp....

But has Zé's luck finally run out?

"Tonight I will make your corpse turn red, but
not before I've turned your
mooth a shitey brown colour!"

The second part of Jose Mojica Marins 'Coffin Joe' trilogy offers more of the same mix of violence, philosophy, nudity and murder but on a much more polished scale.

Like a Marvel Comics re-imagining of the character of Joe, the movie adds a hunchback butler and spooky castle to the mix giving our anti-hero an almost Doctor Doom feel and the plot, whilst an almost carbon copy of the first movie, seems bigger and brasher expanding to a point where the character of Joe moves from being 'just' an evil bogeyman figure to become the whole reason for the films existence.

And the horror genre is all the better for it.

Everything about Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver is so unique and different from anything else being produced at the time, from the juxtaposition of the hand scrawled animated credits flashed over a frantic display of images against the classic gothic look of Coffin Joe himself, it becomes obvious that you're experiencing a film created by a true visionary and a master of storytelling.

And if any director deserved recognition outside his chosen genre then it's Jose Mojica-Marins, that brilliant yet utterly bonkers Brazilian eccentric, loved and hated in equal measures in his homeland where he's viewed as either a god or an living breathing incarnation of his on-screen persona.

The church to this day still vigorously attack his anti-religion stance and his ongoing theme of ethical beliefs and religious principles, and at the centre of this we have Coffin Joe and his quest to cement his ideal of man's place in the hierarchy of heaven and hell, violently confronting and challenging blind conformity and ultimately to prove man's superiority over God himself.


Tho' Marins would quite possibly say I was talking utter bollocks and that he just makes the wee horror films to scare the weans shitless.

If this is the case then fair play to him, but I really do believe that we need directors like Marins working in our beloved genre.

And that the world in general deserves a character such as Coffin Joe, today more than ever.

God bless you sir, you will be missed.

13 March 1936 -
19 February 2020

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