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  This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse Drag Me To Hell
Year: 1967
Director: José Mojica Marins
Stars: José Mojica Marins, Tina Wohlers, Nadia Freitas, Antonio Fracari, Jose Lobo, Esmeralda Ruchel, Paula Ramos, Tania Mendonça
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Coffin Joe (José Mojica Marins), incredibly, has survived his scathing bout of madness and after spending some time in hospital still has the use of his eyes as well. His past crimes are forgotten because nobody has enough evidence to try him, so once again he begins his quest to find the perfect woman to bear his perfect son. He returns to his village and almost at once turns hero when he saves a little boy from being crushed under the wheels of a runaway motorcycle; he admonishes the rider, asking him if he does not know how precious children are? As for young women, Joe is not quite so careful, and starts to kidnap his pick of them off the streets...

This Night I Willl Possess Your Corpse was the second of the Zé do Caixão, or Coffin Joe as he was known in English, series, created by that one man, Brazilian horror industry Jose Mojica Marins. The previous instalment, At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul, was a sizeable hit in its native land, or at least it afforded Marins some measure of notoriety, so he came back with something bigger and brasher to follow it up, and for some this is his best work. Of course, although it had an increased running time to pack in more depravity, it did not necessarily mean that it was an improvement, so really it was about the same level of entertainment value as its predecessor.

It's just that there was more of it. Not a bad thing, on this evidence, but you do pretty much get the idea after the first hour, and most of it does grow repetitive. However, Marins did have an ace up his sleeve in the form of a fifteen minute colour sequence at around that hour mark, so we can see where his profits had gone. Before we reach that highlight, there's the plot to wade through, a narrative that once again has you pondering that if Coffin Joe were to use the lonelyhearts column in his local newspaper he might have been a happier man - certainly the townsfolk would have welcomed a more conventional search for love.

Well, it's not realy love he's looking for but a female to breed with, so despite the fact that his only assistance comes from a limping hunchback called Bruno (Jose Lobo with the least convincing hump you'll ever witness) Joe does round up about five or six ladies to be his slaves. First, he has to whittle them down to the final "winner", as if this was one of those extreme Japanese gameshows like Endurance, so he lets a few dozen tarantulas loose into the girls' bedroom to find out which of them is not bothered by spiders. Only one of them isn't, Marcia (Nadia Freitas), so the rest get put in a pit full of poisonous snakes while Joe goes about his insemination business in the chamber above.

The women vow revenge from beyond the grave, and the signs that Joe might have a conscience arrive when we reach that colour sequence, and quite a marvel it is too. With enough bright hues to make Mario Bava jealous, and a leaf taken out of Jean Cocteau's book when hands and other body parts (including, er, arses) emerge from the walls, this is the villain's descent into the Hell he rejects. Unlike many visions of the Underworld, it's not fiery there but cold, with a near-constant snowfall even though it's in a system of caves and tunnels under the ground. With characteristic audacity, Marins casts himself as Satan, a sight which horrifies Joe, but so strong is this segment that it really should have been placed at the end, for there's another half hour to go, and back in black and white too. Yet it's worth sitting through the rants to get to the insanity and see a singular creative vision working wonders on a tiny budget. Music by Herminio Giménez.

[Anchor Bay's Region 2 DVD box set has this and eight other Coffin Joe features included.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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