Friday, April 14, 2017

Embodiment of Evil

Director - Jose Mojica Marins (At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul)
Starring - Jose Mojica Marins, Jece Valadao (Razor in the Flesh), and Adriano Stuart (The Besieged House)
Release Date - 2008
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "The master of horror is back"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     There is a lot of confusion about the Coffin Joe films.  Most believe that there is several Coffin Joe films.  These people are correct but most of these have nothing to do with one another with the exception of At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul, This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse, and Embodiment of Evil.  These three films make up the Coffin Joe trilogy while the others vary in what they are.  The only true follow up to At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul and This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse is the 2008 film Embodiment of Evil.  This is the only Coffin Joe film available on blu and the final film in the dvd box set from Synapse Films.

     The film picks up forty years after gravedigger Ze do Caixao has been arrested and sent to prison.  He is finally released and is soon reunited with his follow Bruno who takes him to their secret dungeon with his followers.  His followers abduct and torture women in order to find one suitable enough to give birth to Coffin Joe's son.  Soon, the local authorities find a trail of bodies and hunt Joe down while he tries to impregnate a gypsy.

     I was weary about this installment in the Coffin Joe series.  How would the character hold up after a forty year hiatus?  Would the same theatrics and story be just as entertaining in color and placed in a more modern setting?  The answer is no.  It wasn't.  The acting in this one is better than the original films in some ways and worse in others.  The supporting cast in this one is a huge improvement over the other films.  Most of the cast has experience in front of the camera and it shows greatly.  Sadly, Jose Mojica Marins has lost his spark and excitement for the role and it shows.  Age has taken its toll and Marins is unable to bring that energy and passion that made Coffin Joe stand out all those years before.  It was the characters charisma and arrogance that made these films so damn enjoyable.  The story for this one is the original story tossed in a modern horror setting.  The search for a woman to deliver his son has been the basis for most Coffin Joe tales but Embodiment of Evil takes it into the era of torture porn and torture dungeons.  This, oddly enough, works for the film but turns stale very quickly due to the flat characters and the slow paced Coffin Joe.  Finally, this one is the goriest of all the Coffin Joe films.  The film has tons of great gore and amazing practical effects.  Sadly, a good portion of the kills are done off camera but they more than make up for it with some great gore.  Overall. Embodiment of Evil could have went the distance if it was made earlier in Jose Marins' career.  He lacked the charm and charisma that made those films so much fun and lacked characters to pick up the slack.  The story was solid and the effects were top notch but the overall presentation was lacking.  Skip it.


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