In a small town, the creepy and violent gravedigger Zé do Caixão is feared by the locals. Zé do Caixão lives with Lenita, who can not deliver a son to him. Obsessed to have a son, Zé do Caixão harasses Terezinha de Oliveira, who is the fiancée of his friend Antônio de Andrade, and kills Lenita with a spider simulating an accident. Then he drowns Antônio and rapes Terezinha expecting to have a baby with her. Terezinha commits suicide but does not accuse Zé do Caixão in his letter. When Dr. Rodolfo decides to request another autopsy of Antônio, Zé do Caixão burns him to death. The inspector Barretos can not prove that Zé do Caixão is the killer, but on the Day of the Dead, the local gypsy warns him that the dead will take his soul to hell. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The crew refused to shoot a scene because there wasn't enough sunlight. Director 'Jose Mojica Marins' forced them to shoot the scene by pointing a gun at the cameraman. Various crew members have confirmed the story. On one of the rare occasions when he would respond to questions about the incident, Marins claimed that the gun was only a prop. See more »
Zé do Caixão:
What is life? It is the beginning of death. What is death? It is the end of life! What is existence? It is the continuity of blood. What is blood? It is the reason to exist!
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Ladies and gentlemen, I have the honor to present to you the film debut of Ze de Caixao, better known to his small stateside cult as Coffin Joe. Featuring surprisingly vivid gore, bizarre Nietzschian philosophy, and a budget that would make Roger Corman go "I can't work with this", Jose Mojica Marins manages to create an unpolished but memorable cinema experience. He stars as Coffin Joe, an all around jerk who enjoys eating lamb on Good Friday and chopping the hands off folks at the local pub. However, he is going through some personal struggles, as he prowls the city looking for a woman to bear his children. After he kills a girl and than finds out she was pregnant with his child, he really starts to lose it. He curses the heavens and dares them to raise the dead from their graves to enact revenge on him. Bad move. This was the first of the Coffin Joe films, followed by the good but inconsistent "This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse" and Marins' masterpiece, the psychedelic "Awakening of the Beast".
Keep in mind, while some may find the Coffin Joe films fascinating, they are certainly not for everybody. Many will find them slowly paced, boring, and confusing, even if they are fans of Cult / Psychotronic cinema. For the rest of us, he's one of cinema's most fascinating auteurs. With much censorship problems regarding both gore and blasphemous subtexts and budget limitations, its amazing that he managed to get his films made. They are pure guerrilla film-making brilliance. Throughout cinema, there has never been anyone quite like him. He is a mixture between Luis Bunuel, Frederich Neitschze, Alejandro Jodorowsky (who reportedly became inspired to make "The Holy Mountain" because of Marins' "Awakening of the Beast"), and Roger Cormon. Those interested in his films should definitely start here, as it is his most accessible film. With many b-films and cult films, they're actually not bad films, but in reality they are good films with bad production values. Marins supports this theory completely. (7/10)
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