Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blu-Ray Review: EMBODIMENT OF EVIL (2008- Brazil) Synapse Blu-Ray/DVD

Without a doubt, Jose Mojica Marins is an important freak cultural icon in Brazil.  He's sort of like what the evil Godzilla is to Japan or the Marquis de Sade is to France.  It's a wonder he hasn't been literally crucified by now! 

D:  Jose Mojica Marins (1.85/2.0 & 5.1 HD audio).  Quick!  Hide your daughters!  Coffin Joe  aka Josefel Zanatas (Jose Mojica Marins) is back on the cobblestone streets after forty years of wasting away in a hellhole Brazilian prison!  You heard right, Brazil's own national treasure and everybody's favorite undertaker ghoul is back in black and, don’t fret, he hasn't even had a manicure in all those decades.

EMBODIMENT OF EVIL begins with Joe unceremoniously bounced from prison through a cruel quirk in the law.  He wastes no time in dusting off his torture chamber and continuing his eternal search for the perfect mate to bear his future spawn.  When it comes to women, Joe is very particular and he spends most of the film's running time luring and abducting naked women, with the aid of his Manson Family style groupies, and putting the drafted candidates through an obstacle course of cringe-worthy, sadistic shock treatments to gauge their emotional, spiritual and genetic breeding value.

Nicely shot and slickly produced (with government funding no less?!), EMBODIMENT OF EVIL features some real life mondo-style torture porn that sets it apart from the SAW sub-genre.  Prepare to experience some extreme body modification procedures up close and personal in crisp HD!  Among Joe's latest catalog of atrocities, we are treated to actual lip suturing, steel hooks through real flesh, self-cannibalism of the buttock, a naked girl sewn up into a real putrefying hog carcass, tarantulas, blood-soaked fornication, perverse rituals and the usual refreshing stab or two at Christianity, government authority and peasant superstition!  Perhaps most unnerving of all are the numerous nubile nudes who constantly ‘make out’ and tongue kiss the geriatric Joe in loving close up!  Ugh!

Coffin Joe even shows signs of cracking up in his old age as he starts hallucinating and seeing the living corpses of his victims from previous films!  A nice solid welcome for Coffin Joe and a really superb blu-ray presentation!  This film is considered the third official installment in the original trilogy that began with AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL (1963) and continued with THIS NIGHT I’LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE (1967).  The earlier films were issued on DVD by Fantomas with reprints of the excellent comic books (still available on Amazon:!  In Portuguese with English subtitles.  (The SD DVD was not reviewed.)   Special nod to K. Roulston.

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