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Awakening of the Beast (1970)
"O Ritual dos Sádicos" (original title)

6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 801 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 42 critic

Psychiatrist experiments LSD on 4 volunteers, to investigate Coffin Joe's influence over them. Each patient presents a different reaction, involving sex, perversion and sadism.

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Title: Awakening of the Beast (1970)

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Cast

Credited cast:
José Mojica Marins ...
Himself / Zé do Caixão
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ângelo Assunção
Ronaldo Beibe
Andreia Bryan
João Callegaro
Ozualdo Ribeiro Candeias
Maurice Capovila
José Carlos
Maria Cristina
Emília Duarte
Jaciara Ducena
Jairo Ferreira
Jandira Gabriel
Graveto
Sérgio Hingst
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Storyline

During a debate of journalists with the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Sérgio and José Mojica Marins a.k.a. Zé do Caixão, Sr. Sérgio presents several cases of kinky sex and orgy associated to the use of drugs. The journalists defend that the cases are related to perverts and criminals, but Dr. Sérgio blames the influence of drugs for the violence. Then Dr. Sérgio invites four persons from different classes to use LSD and analyze the effect of Zé do Caixão's films in their twisted minds to prove his theory. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

October 1990 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Awakening of the Beast  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director José Mojica Marins, other filmmakers helped him get this into production by donating filmstock. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Zé do Caixão: My world is strange, but it's worthy to all those who want to accept it, and never corrupt as some want to portray it. Because it's made up, my friend, of strange people, though none are stranger than you!
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User Reviews

Confused drug movie
30 November 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dr Sergio leads a panel of doctors including writer and director Jose Mojica Martins in an episode of TV programme "Enlightening the Darkness". They discuss the effects of drug use on Brazilian society and discuss a set of experiments that Dr Sergio carried out with LSD and a group of users from different social classes.

What follows is a film in two parts. The first part follows Dr Sergio telling the panel stories of people using drugs and the effects they have. Essentially this is a series of short scenes where the drug takers turn to violent perverted acts after the drugs. Most of these include sexual violence directed towards women, others include sex scenes that have all the sensitivity and direction of soft core porn. Overall the lesson seems to be that drugs cause these perverted scenes and that drugs are bad. For this half of the film the "story" is disjointed and hard to follow - the discussion isn't set in any context and it just feels like an exploitation film - this is easy to believe as Mojica the director is famous for cheap horrors etc.

The second half sees the discussion become more structure as Dr Sergio describes his experiments on four LSD users. What follows a short set up is a 15 minute series of full colour (the rest is black & white) hallucinations featuring the director's alter ego - the evil Ze do Caixo. These hallucinations are quite disturbing and include a lot of violence toward women carried out by Caixo. Director Mojica comes up with very imaginative visions but they are all too gaudy and trashy horror. Again these feel overdone to shock his audience.

Following the experiments Dr Sergio reveals that instead of LSD he used distilled water and presents evidence to the same that is too easily believed ("it says distilled water!"). The conclusion of the experiments (and the film) is that these images came from the people themselves and not the drugs - therefore drugs are harmless and the people who do bad things as a result are sick anyway and you can't blame the drugs. This is a very weak conclusion given the evidence that has just gone before.

The film is an interesting bit of exploitation from Brazil - worth watching once for the film-student style of direction. However the presentation of perverted images and violence linked so closely to drug use makes the film's pro-drug message totally unbelievable and very hard to shallow (even if you agree with legalising drugs).


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