Written by: Carroll Jenkins on July 23rd, 2009
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
DVD released: July 27th, 2009
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Portuguese
DVD Release: Anchor Bay UK
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL
Retail Price: £17.99
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.
The DVD looks fine, though there does seem to be some motion blur (it’s a check disc, though). English subtitles are included. In a rare instance, the excellent documentary is more interesting that the feature.
This is not a puff or promotion piece and barely features Marins. It contains lots of behind the scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew. The nude woman in a pig carcass scene is revealed to have almost stopped production. In fact, this final entry in the trilogy was written in the 60’s and attempted many times but never completed due to unspecified production problems and that almost happened here. There are many interesting stories related in a compelling manner, none the least of which is the death of second billed Jece Valadão during filming.
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.