Unrated - Cinema of the Extreme

Director/actor José Mojica Marins third film to feature the long clawed, top hated magician from Hell, Ze do Caixao (aka Coffin Joe). The 93-minute film begins with a series of bizarre vignettes involving the injection and smoking of narcotics and described by a psychiatrist to a panel of fellow academics. The scenes include close-ups of needles penetrating feet, an attractive actress given drugs in order to succumb to the groping of a sleazy TV producer, a weird, pot-smoking session that results in the teenagers whistling the Colonel Bogey March theme from “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, and a robed, hippy Moses with engraved tablets shoving his gnarled staff into a woman’s vagina.
      Marins appears as a professor compiling a book on the power of the human mind and conducts an experiment concerning the effects of LSD on four junkies. This involves a series of hallucinations, the strangest of which is a surreal sequence in which blurred faces turn out to be backsides with faces painted on them. The professor’s injections of LSD are eventually revealed to be nothing more than distilled water, the participants’ warped visions, self-induced by the hypnotic influence of Coffin Joe.
      This wacky 1968 feature treads a fine line between taste and excess, which resulted it being banned in its native Brazil until 1986.
       Mondo Macabro’s DVD is a full screen presentation that includes a documentary on Coffin Joe, production notes and optional English subtitles to accompany the Portuguese soundtrack.

Carl T. Ford

AWAKENING OF THE BEAST (aka O Despartar de Besta)

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