José Mojica Marins ... Zé do Caixão
Jece Valadão ... Coronel Claudiomiro Pontes
Adriano Stuart ... Capitão Oswaldo Pontes
Milhem Cortaz ... Padre Eugênio
Country: Brazil Runtime: 94 min Original title:Encarnação do Demônio AKA:Devil's Reincarnation
This is the final film in the Coffin Joe trilogy, which started with At Midnight I’ll take Your Soul in 1963 and followed with This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse in 1967. Brazilian filmmaker José Mojica Marins writes, directs, and plays the iconic protagonist, Josefel Zanatas aka Zé do Caixão (which is a translation of Coffin Joe). The forty year span between the second and third film really distort the heart of the series, and its main character. Josefel is no longer in his prime and his nonchalant hedonism seems ridiculous today. We are dealing with a character in his 70s. In this film he seems to want to start a cult when in reality he should be playing shuffleboard in a retirement home.
Josefel has just been released from prison and he still wants the same thing he has always wanted: to find a perfect woman to bear him a son to continue his bloodline. A lot has changed while he was locked up. People don’t scare so easily, and for god’s sake you can’t wear your top hat and cape and give people the evil eye and expect them to shit their pants. This old man is asking for a beating if you asked me. In the earlier black and white films he came across as very menacing and fantastic. I was hoping the director would tailor the film to the character’s age and current time period and find subtle ways to portray the true madness and horror of the Coffin Joe we all (well, most of us) love. Instead we get a comical performance as we see Josefel make a fool of himself. The sad thing is that he still thinks he’s some great prophetic demon lord.
Josefel’s hunchback assistant, Bruno, leads him into a slum where he will now live. Surprisingly, he has rounded up a few idiots that want to dedicate their lives to Josefel and his philosophy. Why does he need a cult now? What the hell will be the purpose of this cult? He may tell you that it will be a community of people that wish to live free of moral restraints and have orgies and step on the backs of the weak. It’s not surprising that something like this could really happen in real life, especially if you have a charismatic leader. I don’t know, but Josefel Zanatas has always struck me as a one man show. He wants to do whatever the fuck he wants and find a whore to bear him a son. This has been the only single thing he has ever really cared for; not becoming a leader to a bunch of dorks.
In this film, thanks to a larger budget, there are many great gore scenes where men and women are being tortured. On one occasion Josefel is taken to purgatory where he sees people being tortured. I don’t know the meaning of this, but he carries on a nonsensical conversation with his guide, an old man in animal furs. If you thought that Josefel’s tongue had dried up in prison you are dead wrong. Every other sentence is more of that occult philosophical crap that only makes sense to him. I must admit I really loved his crazy talk in the first two films but I guess it led to nowhere and meant nothing in the end. So, Coffin Joe spends his time torturing people and looking for his soul mate.
Hot on his trail is a police officer and a vigilante monk. The monk carries around a cross staff with a blade end and wants to condemn Coffin Joe to eternal suffering in hell for killing his father. The third act leads us to an abandoned horror fun house. Josefel has eluded the authorities for this long, but tonight he will pay. And I don’t know how this dude is so hard to catch, really? Anyway, I don’t want to give away the ending because I know there are some of you that want to see this for themselves. I was horribly disappointed with this film. It only gets one coffin because of the sweet gore and many boobs. I hope devoted fans of the classic previous films may now go into this with low expectations and therefore maybe not get their hearts stomped on.