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At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964)

À Meia Noite Levarei Sua Alma (original title)
A gravedigger prowls the city in search of a female to bear him a son.

Writers:

José Mojica Marins (story), José Mojica Marins (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
José Mojica Marins José Mojica Marins ... Zé do Caixão
Magda Mei Magda Mei ... Terezinha
Nivaldo Lima Nivaldo Lima ... Antônio
Valéria Vasquez Valéria Vasquez ... Lenita (as Valeria Vasquez)
Ilídio Martins Simões Ilídio Martins Simões ... Dr. Rodolfo (as Ilídio Martins)
Arildo Iruam Arildo Iruam
Genésio de Carvalho Genésio de Carvalho ... (as Genê Carvalho)
Vânia Rangel Vânia Rangel
Graveto Graveto
Robinson Aielo Robinson Aielo
Avelino Morais Avelino Morais
Luana Luana
Leandro Vieira Leandro Vieira
Antônio Marins Antônio Marins ... S. Francisco
Mário Lima Mário Lima
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Storyline

In a small town, the creepy and violent gravedigger Zé do Caixão is feared by the locals. Zé do Caixão lives with Lenita, who can not deliver a son to him. Obsessed to have a son, Zé do Caixão harasses Terezinha de Oliveira, who is the fiancée of his friend Antônio de Andrade, and kills Lenita with a spider simulating an accident. Then he drowns Antônio and rapes Terezinha expecting to have a baby with her. Terezinha commits suicide but does not accuse Zé do Caixão in his letter. When Dr. Rodolfo decides to request another autopsy of Antônio, Zé do Caixão burns him to death. The inspector Barretos can not prove that Zé do Caixão is the killer, but on the Day of the Dead, the local gypsy warns him that the dead will take his soul to hell. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

first part | son | rape | death | letter | See All (52) »

Genres:

Horror

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Brazil]

Country:

Brazil

Language:

Portuguese

Release Date:

9 November 1964 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul See more »

Filming Locations:

São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the name was not used in the English language subtitles, the character of Ze do Caixao became known in English as "Coffin Joe". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Zé do Caixão: What is life? It is the beginning of death. What is death? It is the end of life! What is existence? It is the continuity of blood. What is blood? It is the reason to exist!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Coffin Joe's Vision's of Terror (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
At Midnight I Will Take Your Nailclippers.
31 May 2015 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul marks the debut of Brazilian director José Mojica Marins' cult character Zé do Caixão (AKA Coffin Joe), a sadistic undertaker who will go to any lengths to find a woman to bear his son (it's not easy to find a willing mate when you're a leering, sadistic creep in dire need of a stylist—those nails, that hat, the cape: they've just got to go!). To understand the film's importance in the annals of horror, one must put it into context: when it was originally released in 1964, the amoral nature of Marins' bizarre creation would have been extremely shocking to its native, largely Catholic audience—a truly disturbing villain who pushed the boundaries of taste.

However, in today's cinematic climate, where blasphemy is no longer such a taboo, and violence has been pushed to extremes, At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul no longer possesses such an impact…

As played by Marins, Zé comes across like a camp cape-swishing pantomime villain, more likely to elicit laughter than fear. His wanton behaviour is almost comical, as he proceeds to do whatever the hell he likes, raping and killing at will, the locals cowering in fear rather than forming a lynch mob and dealing with the fiend en masse, as they could so easily do. The film also features such trite spooky elements as a wizened old gypsy hag who warns Zé of his impending doom, a stuffed owl screeching from a tree, a raging thunderstorm, a foggy graveyard, and a ghost surrounded by badly animated glitter. One or two moments still hint at the power the film would have had on its original release—the brutal beating of Zé's friend's fiancée, Terenzinha, is surprisingly vicious, and the savage mutilation of a man's hand with a broken bottle was clearly explicit for the era—but there's almost nothing here to cause concern for modern day horror fans, making this one of interest only to cult movie addicts interested in seeing outdated oddities for the sake of completion.

5/10 for making me laugh a bit.


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