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Apparently José Mojica Marins felt much pressure from state censorship
to make a non-horrific film. So instead of concentrating on one of his
abilities (horror), he has to make a film revolving around his other
capability surrealism. "Finis Hominis" is probably the weirdest movie
he ever made, and if you've seen much of the man's output, you know
thats saying a lot. I always wondered if the bizarreness of Marins'
films was intentional or just the result of an eccentric mind along the
lines of "Glen or Glenda". For me, "Finis Hominis" certified that
Marins knew what he was doing all along.
Like many other otherworldly films, a description is difficult. Imagine "The Holy Mountain" meets "Nietschze For Dummies" on a budget that Roger Corman would balk at, and you're coming close to picturing this. However, Marins is a true original. Like Jodorowsky, he casts himself as a messiah figure, but it doesn't come across as bloated egoism like it did in "El Topo", because the character of Finis Hominis is meant to sprout Marins' philosophy instead of portraying the director as holier than thou. José Mojica Marins never completely mastered film-making technique (the man has no idea how to keep a good pace), but hes so impassioned and his films achieve what they set out to do (being weird), that he deserves much more recognition. Lying somewhere between Ed Wood and Alejandro Jodorowsky lies Marins. "Finis Hominis" is definitely not the best starting place for the man ("At Midnight I Take Your Soul") or his finest achievement ("Awakening of the Beast"), but its certainly his most surreal and possibly my personal favorite of his output. (7/10)
Jose Mojica Marins has long between in a legend in his native Brazil but his reputation has taken some time to slowly filter down to horror and exploitation fans worldwide. He's best known as his evil alter ego Coffin Joe (Ze do Caixao) via a series of movies beginning with 'At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul' in the 60s, as well as TV and comics. In 'The End Of Man' Marins doesn't play Coffin Joe, instead he's Finis Hominis a mysterious figure who emerges naked from the ocean, then wanders around the streets becoming involved in the lives of various people. He is arrested, escapes, becomes a media sensation and eventually for many a kind of messiah. I watched the movie on a Brazilian DVD with laughably inept subtitles which added another surreal layer to an already out there movie. My favourite bits are where Finis Hominis encounters a group of very irritating hippies who exclaim things like "Finis Hominis, you're the man!", "The birds lives and the children are dressed with the best fabric!", and (my favourite) "Freedom, freedom, and hurrah to free love!". If you've seen any of the Coffin Joe movies you know that Marins is capable of very strange movies on minuscule budgets. 'The End Of Man' is even stranger! I wouldn't say it's the best Marins movie I've seen but it's definitely the oddest. It's even odder than 'Awakening Of The Beast', and that's saying a lot! It's probably not the best place to start if you haven't seen any Coffin Joe before. On the other hand it isn't strictly a Coffin Joe movie so if you like weird and wonderful films that aren't necessarily horror and you get the chance to watch it do so. The more Marins movies I see, the more I am amazed. Coffin Joe deserves to be spoken of in the same breathe as Russ Meyer and Jess Franco, those other two masters of b-grade surrealism. His movies are like Jodorowsky on a Herschell Gordon Lewis budget!
A naked man comes out from the sea of Santos and wanders, affecting the
locals. A crippled woman runs from her wheelchair; an abducted girl and
her mother that is near to be raped are saved by him. In return, she
gives a red Indian clothing and turban to him. When a policeman asks
his name, he entitles himself as Finis Hominis (The End of the Man, in
Latin). The press promotes him as the new Messiah and he saves a girl
covered in blood in a hospital, forcing the doctors to submit her to a
surgery. He rescues an adulteress from her husband; he meets a group of
hippies that show greed, instead of peace and love. Then he saves an
impotent cuckold that has catatonia and will be buried alive. The
police department invites Finis Hominis to give a show to help them to
raise money for their hospital. When Finis Hominis tells that he will
leave the city, a crowd of worshippers follow him to hear his last
"Finis Hominis" is another original and one of the weirdest film by José Mojica Marins introducing the character Finis Hominis, who is the opposite of Zé do Caixão. The story is a sharp critic to the hypocrisy of the society and to the false prophets, with references to the Bible (walking on water; the crippled woman that walks; the raise of the dead; the episode of the adulteress). The conclusion is a great surprise, when Finis Hominis returns home. In the end, the real miracle is the existence of mankind. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Finis Hominis"
After Brazilian critics had told him he was only able to play his evil
alter-ego Zé do Caixao (a.k.a. Coffin Joe), director and actor José Mojica
Marins starred in another of his own films as a Messiah-like figure,
apparently emerging from the sea, bringing kindness to the world around him.
What makes this movie stand out is the fact that Marins is seen walking naked through the streets of his home town, for which he could have been imprisoned at that time, a result of the harsh Brazilian dictatorship. However, state police never arrived on time at the scene to catch him in the act. It shows how far Marins would go to give that special edge to his films.
Although not the best of his films, still a piece of entertaining cult cinema.
The End of Man is one of the strangest of José Mojica Marins movies.
Unlike his usual offerings, this one isn't a horror flick. It's hard to
know exactly how to classify it to be perfectly honest. It starts with
an enigmatic man called Finis Hominis emerging naked from the ocean. He
then travels around interacting with various people. He saves the
vulnerable and powerless against corrupt authority and the amoral. He
exposes widespread hypocrisy. Before long he is considered a messiah
Despite not really being a horror film, The End of Man is typical enough for a Marins picture. It's extremely cheap with the very low production values we have come to associate with the director; while it's as strange and surreal as his other films too. Again, the Brazilian origins ensure that it feels completely different to other films from the time. Overall, it's utterly weird and it sure isn't for everyone. It's even less accessible than Marins other films, so enter at your peril...
A mysterious naked man (played by director José Mojica Marins) emerges
from the sea and proceeds to perform a series of miracles, curing a
crippled woman, rescuing a girl from abduction and her mother from
rapists (the grateful woman rewarding him by dressing him in Indian
robes), protecting an adulteress from an angry mob, saving the life of
a seriously wounded girl, and bringing a man back from the dead. Known
only as Finis Hominis, the man is regarded by many as a Christ-like
messiah, and, when he announces his imminent departure, crowds flock to
hear him talk.
But where does Finis Hominis disappear to after his sermon? All is revealed at the very end of this cult oddity, but getting there is no easy feat, End of Man being one hell of a bizarre experience and a rather tedious one, even by José Mojica Marins' standards (and despite a fair bit of sex and nudity throughout). A scatter-shot narrative, imagery that randomly switches between colour and black & white, low production values, an eccentric choice of music, terrible pacing, and moments of pure insanity make the film hard to endure (if you make it past the orgiastic hippies singing 'Hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-eya-eh!', then you're doing well!).
I do, however, have some admiration for Marins' unwavering cynicism and general disdain for humanity: he takes a swipe at the whole hippie movement by depicting them as phonies who will happily abandon their ideals for money, reveals the morally outraged to be hypocrites, portrays the government as suspicious and manipulative, and, with the film's final twist, shows blind followers of religion to be fools. If anything, Marins is a man who sticks to his guns and doesn't give two hoots what anyone else thinks of him.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Originally planning to watch the last of Anchor Bay's Coffin Joe DVD
boxset for the 2013 Horror Challenge on the IMDb Horror board,I found
myself having to quickly change plans,due to having misplaced the
boxset in the run up to the event! With having finally found the 'safe
place' that I had put the set in,I decided to kick things off by taking
a look at the most un- Horror Coffin Joe Horror film.
Walking out of the ocean completely naked,a strange man called Finis Hominis reveals to the local population that he is a messiah who has come to heal them all.Initially being rather sceptical,the locals start to believe Hominis when he begins helping people to walk again,and also bringing some family members back from the dead.Paying close attention to the growing cult around this messiah,the government begin making plans on how to end Hominis's miracles once and for all.
View on the film:
Made as a response to the Brazilian government's demands that no Horror titles could be made at the time,co-writer/ (along with Rubens Francissco Luchetti)director and lead actor Jose Mojica Marins cunningly makes sure that the film contains a Horror atmosphere by giving the movie an incredibly harsh soundtrack,which despite making the dialogue a bit tough to hear,does give the movie a grinding, warped sense of reality.
Toning down the Horror elements,writers Marins and Luchetti take a darkly comedic,cynical route for the film,thanks to Marins showing the groups of locals,hippies and government officials to be easily manipulated fools,who will believe anything that anyone says.With having gradually revealed their cynical nature in the titles running time,the writers knock the film out with a hilariously sharp final twist,as Joe puts his comedic nail into the coffin.
Now I know José Mojica Marins (a.k.a. Coffin Joe) is pretty much considered a demigod amongst a selected but avidly fanatic group of cult cinema lovers, and I also realize I still have to see more of his work before I can judge properly, but I'm really not the slightest bit impressed so far! I could only appreciate his experimental and genuinely macabre anthology "The Strange World of Coffin Joe", but his supposed masterpiece "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" and particularly this "The End of Man" couldn't fascinate me at all. My fellow reviewers around here whose opinions I usually follow blindly compare Marins' style with the oeuvres of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Luis Buñuel and even Mario Bava. I'm sorry, what?!? He may be a hard-working and versatile filmmaker, but he undeniably lacks the vision and talents of the aforementioned cinematic geniuses. If I had to describe "The End of Man" in just a couple of words, they would be: inventive but dull and totally incapable of dealing with budgetary restrictions. Some directors only just become considered as geniuses when they manage to camouflage their film's lack of funding through ingeniousness and creativity. Marins' doesn't have this quality, or at least not around the time he made this film. "The End of Man" looks even cheaper than it probably cost altogether and Marins doesn't even bother to camouflage it. It's a very disappointing film with only a couple of noteworthy moments.
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