HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Walk, The
Mister Deathman
Eye for an Eye
Prisonniere, La
Z for Zachariah
Marty
Walk with Me
JFK
Kirlian Witness, The
Kid for Two Farthings, A
The Freshman
Hear My Song
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
   
 
Newest Articles
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
   
 
  At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul Bad Man Spurner OverdriveBuy this film here.
Year: 1964
Director: José Mojica Marins
Stars: José Mojica Marins, Magda Mei, Nivaldo Lima, Valéria Vasquez, Ilídio Martins Simões, Eucaris Moraes
Genre: Horror, Trash
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Here is Coffin Joe (José Mojica Marins) to tell us all that life is the beginning of death and death the beginning of life and the continuity of blood the reason to exist. After that is cleared up, a witch appears and warns us not to watch this film or else... or else at midnight she will take your soul! Ah, it's too late, you cannot leave now, you must watch the rest of this, which is the tale of Coffin Joe, a gravedigger whose main purpose in life was to intimidate his fellow townsfolk and blaspheme. Such as today, a holy Friday where meat is forbidden: Joe is having none of this and demands his wife find him some lamb to eat...

It all started here for Coffin Joe, or Zé do Caixão as he was known in his native Brazil, although his creator José Mojica Marins had been making films for a few years. This is the one which brought him success and notoriety as he cashed in on new and relaxed censorship laws in his home country, which meant his violence and sacrilege as mapped out in this effort could be seen in any state that didn't choose to ban it. Now he was the talk of the land, and watching this initial instalment today you can only imagine what the general reaction would have been.

There cannot have been much like At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul, or À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma as it was called in Portuguese, around in 1964, as it revels in its main character's evildoing; we are well aware he will be punished for it by the end, but Marins set about the role he co-wrote with inordinate gusto. The Coffin Joe costume was set in stone here: the top hat, the black suit and cape, and the long fingernails, with Marins' visage bearing an unusual resemblance to what British viewers of a certain age will recall as Timothy Claypole from Rentaghost. Joe is far more despicable than Mr Claypole, of course.

Among the antics he gets up to is cheating at cards then cutting off the fingers of his opponent with a broken bottle when he won't hand over the winnings, but his chief mission in life is to continue his bloodline. His wife, Lenita (Valéria Vasquez), cannot bear him children, so he has to work out a method of making babies, sons preferably, that does not involve his missus. Easy enough to do: simply tie her up and set a poisonous tarantula on her, making it look as if she was accidentally bitten by the spider, thereby letting Joe off the hook. Now he can set his sights on Terezinha (Magda Mei), his friend's girlfriend, whether she wants him to or not.

It's interesting that there is no real hero in this film to stand up against Coffin Joe, as he pretty much gets to bully anyone he chooses without fear of retribution until the climax. There's a scene where a potential good guy attempts to stop the campaign of intimidation, but ends up with a crown of thorns from a Christ statuette in his face for his bravery, summing up the film's blasphemy and wickedness in one neat shot. It has to be said, the film is such a low budget and hokey experience that its power to shock has diminished from its original scandalous appearance, but you can still enjoy this as a "man you love to hate" style of over the top terrors. Marins took such obvious glee in being controversial that his enthusiasm is infectious, and by the time the forces of light have banished his darkness, you'll be wanting to see more of this character, which is just as well considering how many returns he made. Music by Salatiel Coelho and Hermínio Gimienez.

[Anchor Bay's Region 2 Coffin Joe box set includes this film and eight others.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2271 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
   

 

Last Updated: