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Embodiment of Evil (2008)
"Encarnação do Demônio" (original title)

 -  Horror  -  8 August 2008 (Brazil)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,049 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 68 critic

The gravedigger Zé do Caixão continues his search for the perfect woman to bear his son.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
José Mojica Marins ...
Jece Valadão ...
Coronel Claudiomiro Pontes
Adriano Stuart ...
Capitão Oswaldo Pontes
Milhem Cortaz ...
Padre Eugênio
Rui Resende ...
Bruno (as Rui Rezende)
José Celso Martinez Corrêa ...
Mistificador
Cristina Aché ...
Lucy Pontes
Helena Ignez ...
Cabíria
Débora Muniz ...
Lucrécia
Thaís Simi ...
Maíra
Cleo de Paris ...
Dra. Hilda (as Cléo De Páris)
Nara Sakarê ...
Elena
Giulio Lopes ...
Mário
Eduardo Chagas ...
Emiliano
Luís Melo ...
Seu Américo
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Storyline

After forty years in prison, the evil gravedigger Josefel Zanatas a.k.a. Zé do Caixão is released by the lawyer Lucy Pontes in accordance with Brazilian Laws. He moves to the slums with his followers that worship him, and he seeks out the perfect woman to bear his children while haunted by the ghosts of his victims. The vigilante brothers Captain Osvaldo Pontes and his brother Coronel Claudiomiro from the Military Police chase Zé do Caixão in the slums to kill him and they find a track of tortured and mutilated bodies. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Master Of Horror Is Back

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 August 2008 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Devil's Reincarnation  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[from trailer]
Coffin Joe: Pictures don't die, captain!
See more »

Connections

Follows At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Unique and Horrific Vision
26 July 2009 | by (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – See all my reviews

I was at the Canadian Premiere of Embodiment of Evil during Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival. The introduction alone was worth the price of admission as the co-screenwriter Dennison Ramalho, dressed in a leather straight-jacket, introduced the director and star, Coffin Joe himself, José Mojica Marins, who was wheeled onstage by three gorgeous, fetish-wearing goths in a shroud covered container that was unveiled to be an open coffin.

Embodiment of Evil is the third in the Coffin Joe trilogy, the first two films being À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma (1964)... aka At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul and Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver (1967)... aka This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse.

Zé do Caixão, the Coffin Joe character is a combination of showy horror host, comic-book magician (specifically Mandrake the Magician) and depraved, sadistic serial torturer and murderer. A gravedigger, he wears a top hat, black cloak and has supernaturally long fingernails. A fierce atheist who denies the existence of both Heaven and Hell, Coffin Joe is obsessed by his search of the perfect woman with whom he can mate and continue his bloodline, preserving his eternal blood in a son. Joe's definition of a perfect woman is one that, like him, has no fear. To identify her, Joe uses the most diabolical tortures possible and those who fail his tests die in the most hideous and painful manner possible.

Fantasia programmed the two previous Coffin Joe films back in 1999 and brought José Mojica Marins from Brazil to present them. While by no means the only people who can take credit, the Fantasia team must share the blame for reintroducing the world to Zé do Caixão.

I am not a fan of torture in horror films. What makes the Coffin Joe films palatable to me is the barely veiled metaphor of Coffin Joe trying to free Brazil from its imprisonment - chained by fear of violence from the military dictatorship and superstitious fear of the Roman Catholic Church. Nothing that Coffin Joe did or could do could ever be as evil or perverse as the way that the Junta and the church conspired to enslave Brazil and Brazilians. Coffin Joe is like a Pied Piper for freedom, offering a path filled with pain and for many, death, but promising at the end of the road a freedom that neither government nor church can take away.

Embodiment of Evil begins with Coffin Joe being released from an insane asylum where he has been confined for the last 40 years after his crimes in the first two films. (Amusingly, his hunchback assistant Bruno has been waiting for him for all these years.) Coffin Joe exits to a world both completely different from the one that he left and eternally the same. There is very much a sense that Coffin Joe is a man from a time that has past while simultaneously a prophet whose time has come.

Coffin Joe's quest is both easier and more difficult than it was in the past. Easier because he now has disciples, the children and grand-children of those who heard his message in the sixties. And a new generation of women unshackled by fear gives Coffin Joe an embarrassment of choice to be his perfect woman.

His quest is more difficult because the barriers of fear and superstition still exist. The metaphor still works: fear of a violent military has been replaced by the fear of a corrupt and violent police. The superstitious fear of the church remains although its grip has weakened. The biggest change is that everyone is haunted by the sins of the past. The new Brazil is built on the bones and blood of the old Brazil and everyone (including Coffin Joe) is haunted by the ghosts of that past.

For Joe, this is a revolting development. As a man whose entire life is built on a denial of the existence of a life after death, ghosts are an abomination. Coffin Joe works even better as a metaphor for the new Brazil, futilely denying its' bloody past, like Lady Macbeth trying desperately to wash away the bloody spot.

Embodiment of Evil, like all the films in the Coffin Joe trilogy, is not a film for the squeamish. The images of pain and torture are all the more horrific since many of them are real. (Apparently for many in the Brazilian fetish community, being tortured by Coffin Joe is a badge of honour.) What can't be denied is that his vision is a unique vision of horror that speaks to those who will listen as clearly today as it did in the sixties.


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