"O Estranho Mundo de Zé do Caixão" is a collection of three creepy and bizarre horror tales. "O Fabricante de Bonecas" ("The Dollmaker"): In Pirituba, Master Bastos is a respectable doll maker that lives with his four daughters in a remote area manufacturing dolls with impressive eyes. When four criminals break in his house to rob his money and rape his daughters, they learn why the doll's eyes are so realistic. "Tara" ("Perversion"): A poor balloon seller has a crush on a young woman and stalks her. On her wedding day, the woman is stabbed in front of the church by another woman and dies. After her funeral, the man breaks in her crypt and spends the night with her to satisfy his obsession. "Ideologia" ("Ideology"): After a debate on a TV show with the journalist Alfredo about the nonexistence of love, Professor Oaxiac Odez invites Alfredo and his wife Wilma to visit him. Professor Odez offers to prove to Alfredo that the instinct prevails over reason, and brings the couple to the ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Gloriously Demented World of José Mojica Marins
The third "Zé do Caixão"/"Coffin Joe" film by José Mojica Marins, the man who personifies Brazilian Horror cinema (mainly as his alter ego Coffin Joe) is the greatest of the bunch, even though it does not include a story about the eponymous demented gravedigger in eternal search of a woman to bear him an heir. "O Estrano Mundo de Zé do Caixão" aka. "The Strange world of Coffin Joe" (1968) is not really a Coffin Joe film as such, but Marins' delightfully demented take on the popular art-form of Horror anthologies. After a typically weird introduction by the director/writer/star's alter ego Coffin Joe, "O Estrano Mundo de Zé do Caixão" tells three macabre tales, all delightfully demented, perverted and grotesque. It is amazing that a black and white third-world production with an obviously low budget could turn out to actually be one of the most explicit and deranged pre-1970 exploitation productions ever. The three tales in "O Estrano Mundo de Zé do Caixão" include delicate subjects such as rape, cannibalism, desecration of corpses and necrophilia, and their depiction is very explicit for the time to say the least.
After a tale about a shy pervert who is willing to follow the lady of his dreams anywhere, and one about the sinister secret of a doll maker and his nymphomaniac daughters, the film culminates in a story in which José Mojica Marins himself plays another truly morbid role of a demented scientist. I do not wish to go into detail about the three stories presented in "The Strange World of Coffin Joe", but I can assure that they are entirely macabre and demented enough for this film to be a must-see for every lover of Cult Horror and Exploitation cinema. The film has its cheesy moments, of course, and the acting obviously isn't the best, but these things only contribute to the incredible camp charm of the movie. As mentioned before, the topics are incredibly macabre, morbid and perverted their depictions include some very explicit gore (severed limbs, etc.) for the time, as well as quite a bit of female nudity. The latter is of course also very welcome, especially since the female cast consists entirely of ravishing Brazilian beauties.
"O Estrano Mundo de Zé do Caixão" is a film that can be admired for many a reason, but that must be seen for two in particular. One reason is that this is one of the most explicit and deranged 60s exploitation flicks ever. The other is that there is hardly another film that shows such love for the Horror-genre, and such passion behind making a low-budget production (from everybody involved) as does "The Strange World of Coffin Joe". No fellow fan of cult-cinema should consider missing it. José Mojica Marins, we worship thee.
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