out of Five
Running time: 90
Distinctive horror flick that doesn't skimp on the gore and nudity and features an amusingly rubbish central character, but it gets very repetitive and runs out of steam about halfway through.
What's it all about?
Brazilian horror maestro Jose Mojica Marins returns with Embodiment of Evil, the third and final instalment of the Coffin Joe trilogy that he began in 1964 with At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul and continued in 1967 with This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse. Marins himself stars as sadistic undertaker Josefel Zanatas (aka Coffin Joe), who's released from prison after 40 years and immediately recommences his search for the woman who can give him a perfect son, regardless of the fact that that was what got him arrested in the first place.
Reuniting with his faithful servant Bruno (Rui Rezende), Coffin Joe soon finds himself surrounded by leather-clad acolytes (Nara Sakare and Thais Simi) prepared to administer to his every whim, although this never seems to involve trimming his freakishly long fingernails. Meanwhile, as Joe's search continues, he finds himself tormented by the ghosts of his past victims.
Marins certainly doesn't skimp on the blood, gore and frequent nudity or, more accurately, toplessness; at one point he even gleefully combines the two, as Joe and one of the potential brides have sex while buckets of blood cascade all over them. It's not a particularly scary performance though, just a rather shouty one.
There are several inventive touches, particularly the way in which the film incorporates flashback scenes from the previous two films – Joe is haunted by black and white ghosts. Similarly, the opening scenes are a darkly comic treat, with Joe stomping around, tutting at homeless people and cursing the world while everyone treats him as some sort of cape-clad nutter.
The main problem with the film is that gets extremely repetitive after a while and drags considerably in the middle section as a result. It's also way too loud.
If you've spent the last 42 years waiting for the follow-up to This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse, you almost certainly won't be disappointed by Embodiment of Evil and it delivers just enough gore and nudity to keep genre fans happy.
Embodiment of Evil (18)