Embodiment of Evil

The final leg of multihyphenate Jose Mojica Marins' trilogy on insane serial killer Coffin Joe, "Embodiment of Evil" is trash horror cinema to the max.

The final leg of multihyphenate Jose Mojica Marins’ trilogy on insane serial killer Coffin Joe, “Embodiment of Evil” is trash horror cinema to the max. A pop-culture icon in Brazil, Coffin Joe has obsessed thesp-writer-producer-helmer Marins for more than 40 years, and the 72-year-old filmmaker piles everything into one last roll of the dice. Grungy-looking, distasteful gorefest, riffing on the whole spectrum of horror movies, is for hardcore genre addicts only and made a questionable entry, to say the least, in a Venice out-of-competition slot.

After 40 years in a hellish lockup where he’s murdered 30 more people, Josefel Zanatas (Marins), aka Coffin Joe, is inexplicably set free in contempo Sao Paulo. Garbed in a cape and top hat, and with grotesquely long fingernails, he hooks up with faithful hunchbacked assistant Bruno (Rui Rezende) and sets out to continue his evil bloodline by finding a “superior woman” — basically an excuse for a series of torture, mutilation and cannibalism scenes with naked cuties. Meanwhile, he’s pursued by vengeful, one-eyed cop Miro (Jece Valadao). Dialogue is of the “I want to hear the music of your death” variety; tech package is so-so.

Embodiment of Evil


  • Production: A Twentieth Century Fox Brazil release of an Olhos de Cao, Gullane Filmes production, in association with Fox Films do Brasil, TeleImage, Locall. Produced by Paulo Sacramento, Fabiano Gullane, Caio Gullane, Debora Ivanov, Gabriel Lacerda. Executive producers, Sacramento, Fabiano Gullane, Caio Gullane. Directed by Jose Mojica Marins. Screenplay, Dennison Ramalho, Marins.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Jose Roberto Eliezer; editor, Paulo Sacramento; music, Andre Abujamra, Marcio Nigro; production designer, Cassio Amarante; art director, Fabio Goldfarb; costume designer, David Parizotti. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (noncompeting), Aug. 29, 2008. Running time: 93 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Jose Mojica Marins, Jece Valadao, Adriano Stuart, Milhem Cortaz, Rui Rezende, Jose Celso Martinez Correa, Cristina Ache, Helena Ignez, Debora Muniz, Thais Simi, Cleo De Paris, Nara Sakare, Giulio Lopes, Eduardo Chagas, Luis Melo, Raymond Castile.
  • Music By: