IMDb > Awakening of the Beast (1970)

Awakening of the Beast (1970) More at IMDbPro »O Ritual dos Sádicos (original title)

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Release Date:
October 1990 (Brazil) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
(5 articles)
The Aesthetics of Garbage, Part 2
 (From MUBI. 27 February 2012, 8:40 PM, PST)

Win Tickets to Film Society of Lincoln Center's Coffin Joe Triple Feature
 (From Dread Central. 9 January 2010, 10:52 PM, PST)

The Coffin Joe Collection (DVD Review)
 (From Fangoria. 21 August 2009, 9:07 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Coffin Joe's world might be multi-coloured, but it's also very confusing and rather boring. See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
José Mojica Marins 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rubens F. Lucchetti 
José Mojica Marins  story

Produced by
Giorgio Attili .... producer
José Mojica Marins .... producer
George Michel Serkeis .... producer
Goffredo Telles Neto .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Giorgio Attili 
Film Editing by
Luiz Elias 
Art Direction by
Nico Rosso 
Makeup Department
Graveto .... makeup artist
Production Management
Mario Lima .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mario Lima .... assistant director
Sound Department
Júlio Perez Caballar .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Harrys .... electrician
Milagres .... still photographer
Nene .... electrician
Virgílio Roveda .... assistant camera
Willian .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Hélio .... assistant editor
Other crew
Luis C. Reis .... production assistant
Jorson Silva .... production assistant
Márcio Silva .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"O Ritual dos Sádicos" - Brazil (original title)
See more »
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Brazil:18 | Brazil:(Banned) (1969-1982) | Canada:13+ (Québec) | Netherlands:16 | Netherlands:16 (2008) (DVD) | UK:R

Did You Know?

According to director José Mojica Marins, other filmmakers helped him get this into production by donating filmstock.See more »
[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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Coffin Joe's world might be multi-coloured, but it's also very confusing and rather boring., 7 June 2015
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England

Up until Awakening Of The Beast, the films of José Mojica Marins had been weird, yet still vaguely accessible, but this one was completely baffling—a surreal, drug-fuelled experience full of bizarre imagery that rapidly outstayed its welcome.

The film opens with a panel of experts, led by Dr. Sérgio, discussing cases of drug use, the first of which involves a woman injecting drugs into her foot (a horrible scene for anyone with a phobia of needles), before stripping in front of a group of leering men and squatting over a chamber pot; it's a scene that sets the tone for the rest of the film by being totally incomprehensible. After this, things only get even more baffling.

The next case sees a young woman taken to a room full of hippy men who are playing musical instruments and smoking weed; the girl takes a puff from a joint, climbs through a window, stands on a table, and—one-by-one—lets each man put his head up her skirt. One of them removes her panties, and then they all laugh and begin to repeatedly chant 'babaloo-aye!', after which the girl exclaims 'my world is multi coloured'. The men all hold up their index finger, start whistling, and poke her in the nether regions. Then a man dressed as Moses appears and sticks his wooden staff between her legs, killing her in the process. Confused? You will be!

Several more cases of drug use are discussed, all of which are thoroughly bizarre and involve women getting nekkid, after which Dr. Sérgio describes an experiment he has carried out on four drug addicts in order to study the effects of LSD. While focusing on a poster of Brazilian horror icon Zé do Caixão (AKA Coffin Joe), the subjects slip into a gaudy, nightmarish hallucinatory world—the film's only colour sequence—where Zé conjures up some freakish imagery, including a spider with a woman's head, people in weird masks, a strange creature in a bush that breathes smoke, a human staircase, and buttocks with faces painted on them (I kid you not!). This psychedelic scene goes on and on and on and on, and proves surprisingly boring.

Finally, the film returns to the panel of experts, as Dr. Sérgio explains to his colleagues that he didn't give his human guinea pigs LSD: the injections were of distilled water, and the hallucinations were self-induced, thereby proving the theory that drugs are an excuse to release the instinct in a human being, and that if someone commits a crime whilst under the influence it is because their mind was already sick. In short, the drugs aren't bad… it's the people who are bad. It's an abstruse message befitting of a film that is completely bewildering all the way through.

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