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