HIDDEN HORROR: Awakening of the Beast

AWAKENING_OF_THE_BEAST_(2)When it comes to Brazilian filmmaker Jose Mojica Marins or his alter ego as horror icon Coffin Joe, people think of his signature film “At Midnight I’ll Take your Soul.” However, Marins has made other films that are spin-offs of his “Coffin Joe” series, such as 1970’s “Awakening of the Beast.” This film is one of the most unique movies ever and it is quite an underground horror film as well. The best way to think of this film is to imagine “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” mixed with a lot psychedelic elements. Marins basically decided to make a film about the rise of drug culture and its effects on society.

The movie’s made up of several little segments where people take drugs and start tripping, leaving the viewer to see their psychedelic and horrifying visions. In between some of these segments professors discuss their theories about drugs as well as what kind of impact Coffin Joe’s persona and films have had on the public and on the human mind.

This film is almost unclassifiable. You can call it a horror film, a drug/psychedelic film, or you can call it a Coffin Joe film (not really since Coffin Joe doesn’t technically make an appearance). No matter what you choose though, this film it is still horrific enough that it’s not for everyone, even horror fans. If you want a run of the mill horror film you will not find it here as this is meant to be out of the box and pretty different. If you can overlook its abnormalities, you will love this film. It proves that some of the best horror films out there are extremely unknown and underground.

Like with his other projects Jose Mojica Marins writes, directs and acts in this film.This film also serves as an example that Marins or more than a filmmaker but an artist as well. Another interesting aspect of this film is that it’s so impressive and it was done with a tiny budget. As in “This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse,” “Awakening of the Beast” is filmed mostly in black in white except for the acid trip scene which features vivid Technicolor. On another note if you are new to Coffin Joe do not watch this film because. while “Awakening of the Beast” is an incredible film, anyone new to Coffin Joe should watch “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” and then work their way up.

BONUS MUSIC REVIEW- Immortal: “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism”

235Black metal is a sub-genre of heavy metal that originated through bands like Venom, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Mercy fate and so on in the 80’s. However it wasn’t until the second wave of black metal in the late 80’s to 90’s that that the genre was really defined. The second wave of bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Immortal, brought image, grittiness and a DYI approach to the genre that has lasted till this day.

Scandinavian black metal band Immortal released their debut album “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” in 1992, being one of the several black metal bands to use make-up imagery. While other black metal bands have abandoned it, Immortal continues to use it to this day. An interesting aspect of this first album is that Immortal was not just creating music with their instruments and songs, rather they were also making atmosphere. While listening to songs such as “Call of the Wintermoon” or “A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland” you can just imagine snow covered landscapes and forests that the songs reference.

This album has great guitar, vocal, and drum work. Some of the songs have acoustic guitar intros in them as well, adding to the atmosphere, which is a shame since Immortal quit using acoustic intros after this album. If you want a polished hard rock album you will not find it here since “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism” is gritty, with a DYI sound and approach. It takes time for the style to grow on you, but if you are new to extreme metal or black metal give this album a listen. It is an essential black metal album.

-Dakota Bailey

Advertisements

HIDDEN HORROR-This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse

5173MYKDQKLMy first entry for Hidden Horrors You Must See was a review of “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul,” the first film in the “Coffin Joe Trilogy” from Brazilian filmmaker José Mojica Marins. This time let’s take a look at the second film “This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse,” a fantastic film that is just as good as its forerunner.

Taking place directly after the events of “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul,” we find Coffin Joe in a hospital in bad shape. After he is found not guilty of all his crimes and murders he returns to his village with the same goal in mind: have a son and continue his bloodline. Joining him on his quest is his hunchbacked sidekick/henchmen Bruno. The two start kidnapping women in the village and putting them through a series of tests to see which one is best qualified to help continue his bloodline.

Many horror films wish they could match this film in terms of its originality, atmosphere and character development. In fact this title fucking kills the generic horror films of today by containing all of those characteristics just mentioned and using them quite well. The tone of this movie is really blasphemous and dirty. I would describe the movie as if a Slayer or Venom record was made into a movie. You metal heads know what I am talking about.  I mentioned this in the “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” review but it is worth mentioning again: Coffin Joe is a great character and an underrated horror icon.

There are many great and memorable scenes in the film. At one point Coffin Joe is dragged to hell. While the film is shot in black and white it switches to color for this sequence, which is very artsy and not to be forgotten. There is another creepy scene where an army of snakes and tarantulas crawl up the arms of the sleeping women Coffin Joe has kidnapped.

If you love old school horror films, great horror in general, or you liked “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul,” then you will definitely like this one. A great sequel to a great film. Check it out!

-Dakota Bailey

HIDDEN HORROR- At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul

CJ3“At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” is a 1964 Brazilian horror film by Jose Mojica Marins, who is the writer/director and also plays lead role of Coffin Joe. It’s a great atmospheric horror film that is not very well known. It’s also the first film in the Coffin Joe trilogy, which includes “This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse” from 1967 and “The Embodiment Of Evil” from 2008.

The film tells the tale of undertaker Zé do Caixão aka Coffin Joe, who terrorizes a religious village. He is feared by the people because he does not fear God or the Devil, he only cares about the continuity of his blood and having a son.

However his wife is unable to have a child so he tries to steal away his friend’s fiancé. He then murders his own wife with a poisonous tarantula and gets away with it. Coffin Joe’s quest for someone to bear him a son leads to more murders. A gypsy warns him not to defy the supernatural or he will pay, which he eventually does.

This movie is as atmospheric as any Mario Bava film, has a Universal Monster movie kind of vibe and is all around a very fresh, unique and original horror film.

Coffin Joe is a memorable villain and horror icon. He dresses all in black, wears a black top hat, and has very long fingernails. Coffin Joe has made appearances in other films and Jose Mojica Marins has had a prolific career as a filmmaker, but this title is probably his best known work and his masterpiece. This is in my opinion one of the most underrated and unknown horror films and is a must see.

 -Dakota Bailey