Written by: Carroll Jenkins on August 14th, 2009
Theatrical Release Dates: Brazil, 1971 (End Of Man), Brazil, 1976 (Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures), Brazil, 1977 (Hellish Flesh), Brazil, 1978 (Hallucinations Of A Deranged Mind), Brazil, 2001 (Strange World Of Jose Mojica Marins)
Director: José Mojica Marins
Writers: José Mojica Marins, Rubens Francisco Luchetti (End Of Man / Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures / Hellish Flesh / Hallucinations Of A Deranged Mind)
Cast: José Mojica Marins, Teresa Sodré, Roque Rodrigues, Rosângela Maldonado, Mario Lima, Andreia Bryan (End Of Man), Maria Aparecida, Marlene Caminhoto, José Claudino, Margareth Delta, Edward Freund, Sílvia Gless, Benedito Lara, Rosângela Maldonado, José Mojica Marins, Daniel Perez, Zulmira Pinheiro, Satã, George Michel Serkeis, Teresa Sodré (Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures), Cristina Andréia, Lirio Bertelli, Virgínia Camargo, Michel Cohen, Oswaldo De Souza, Luely Figueiró, José Mojica Marins, Merisol Marins, France Mary, Jorge Peres, João Paulo Ramalho, Helena Ramos, Mauro Russo (Hellish Flesh), José Mojica Marins, Jorge Peres, Magna Miller, Jaime Cortez (Hallucinations Of A Deranged Mind),José Mojica Marins (Strange World Of Jose Mojica Marins)
DVD released: July 27th, 2009
Approximate running times: 79 minutes (End Of Man), 79 minutes (Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures), 81 minutes (Hellish Flesh), 83 minutes (Hallucinations Of A Deranged Mind), 70 minutes (Strange World Of Jose Mojica Marins)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame (All Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Portuguese (All Films)
Subtitles: English – Burned In
DVD Release: Anchor Bay UK
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: £39.99 (End Of Man / Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures / Hellish Flesh / Hallucinations Of A Deranged Mind / Strange World Of Jose Mojica Marins are only available as part of Anchor Bay UK’s Coffin Joe Collection)
Marins family lived in a theater that his father managed. He breathed the cinema 24 hours a day, but was deeply shocked at age 3 or 4 by images from a movie on venereal disease. At age six, a beloved storyteller died, revived at his wake (from catalepsy), was divorced, denounced, ostracized, committed, then died. Both events had a profound effect on his cinematic vision: a proliference of grotesque images and the condemnation of superstitious hypocrisy. Marins took up amateur photography first with super 8, then 16mm. The character of Coffin Joe appeared in a dream, and he completed the film during a 96 hour speed trip (amphetamines).
The Coffin Joe films were banned in some districts, and a different ending was forced upon the sequel, but Awakening Of The Beast contained such intense scenes of drug addiction, sexual perversion, and violence it was banned republic-wide for 20 years. With his capital tied up and sitting on a shelf, Marins’ subsequent releases are low budget and timid.
Though lacking in both focus and passion, these four features that span the decade of the seventies have their moments. They are mostly in color, with some tinted sequences looking like throwbacks to the silent era. End Of Man starts with Marins in the buff, perhaps signifying his vulnerability as an artist. He becomes a messiah raising the dead and preaching from the mountain top. Strange Hostel features sinful characters checking into a motel and engaging in their preferred vices until the bills come due. Hellish Flesh features graphic footage of Marin’s eye operation, and Hallucinations is basically that bane of no budget entertainment; the clip compilation. The documentary is also rather clip heavy, but well done and contains some rather startling revelations.
The films were produced on cheap color stock and probably not well cared for. Essentially, these three discs represent the ‘extras’, with the first two discs providing the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the set. Eventually Marins’ work was rediscovered and celebrated (much the same as Buster Keaton’s), but not really for these films.
These final three discs might be dubbed ‘The Rest of Coffin Joe’. But never fear, there are surprises in store for the persistent viewer, both from the features and the documentary. You might want a cup of coffee, though.
Note: The Anchor Bay UK Coffin Joe Collection contains the following films, At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, The Strange World Of Coffin Joe, Awakening Of The Beast, End Of Man, Strange Hostel Of Naked Pleasures, Hellish Flesh, Hallucinations Of A Deranged Mind and The Strange World Of Mojica Marins.