Written by: Carroll Jenkins on March 10th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Brazil, 2008
Director: José Mojica Marins
Writers: José Mojica Marins, Dennison Ramalho
Cast: José Mojica Marins, Jece Valadão, Adriano Stuart, Milhem Cortaz, Rui Resende, José Celso Martinez Corrêa, Cristina Aché, Helena Ignez, Débora Muniz, Thaís Simi, Cleo de Paris, Nara Sakarê, Giulio Lopes, Eduardo Chagas, Luís Melo
BluRay released: March 29th, 2011
Approximate running times: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Surround Portuguese, DTS-HD Dolby Digital Stereo Portuguese
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: Coffin Joe is released after 40 years in prison (even during his incarceration he managed to kill 30 people). Now he’s on the loose to resume his quest for the perfect progeny (wasn’t much opportunity for that in stir). But it is the ghosts of earlier victims that haunt him, and the relatives of victims that hunt him.
This is a pretty sick flick. The extreme torture scenes are not only disgusting, but totally gratuitous as well. The film would work much better with the two main torture sequences and the ‘spectacle of life’ cannibalism scenes eliminated, but they’re probably the main draw at the box office. Director and star José Mojica Marins may be a writer, poet, artist, and leftist revolutionary, but he’s also an atheist with paganistic leanings and bows at the altar of Mammon.
Is it art or is it trash? Yes, it is. There is some hamfisted preaching against the Brazilian government, military rule, a docile and subservient population, and against religion in general and Catholicism in particular. The abundant nudity is all drenched in blood and the mindless devotion displayed by his minions is the ultimate in depravity.
The best sequences are Coffin Joe’s nightmares that reflect the madness of his character. There are several nods to Carnival Of Souls including the look of the female apparitions and the finale set in a deserted amusement park. These nightmares are accompanied by B&W flashback scenes that feature a Coffin Joe fan who doubles in these recreations of scenes from the first two movies. He does a very fine job indeed. These segments would indicate a sense of regret and atonement if Joe didn’t then proceed to torture dozens of people with wild abandon.
As a standalone film, Embodiment Of Evil is no great shakes, but combined with the fascinating and gripping documentary the experience is well worthwhile. Just fast forward through the Bloodsucking Freaks stuff.
Embodiment Of Evil comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors look nicely saturated and vibrant. Black levels look consistently strong throughout. Details look sharp, there are no problems with compression or DNR. When compared to the transfer used for Anchor Bay UK’s release of Embodiment of Evil. This new transfer from Synapse Film’s is superior in every way. This is another solid transfer from Synapse Films that takes full advantage of the BluRay format.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 Surround mix in Portuguese and a DTS-HD Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Portuguese. The differences between the two audio mixes are not that pronounced. They both sounds clear and balanced throughout. Range wise both audio mixes does a very good maintaining the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles. That are error free and easy to follow.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 40 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Portuguese with English subtitles), a fourteen minute segment from the film’s premier at the Fantasia Film Festival and a ‘Making of’ featurette (31 minutes 45 seconds – 4:3 letterboxed widescreen, in Portuguese with English subtitles), that includes behind the scenes footage and comments from the cast & crew. Overall another exceptional BluRay release from Synapse Films.
Note: Also included with this combo release is a DVD copy that has all the contents that are included on the BluRay counterpart.