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John’s Horror Corner: Embodiment of Evil (2008; aka Encarnação do Demônio), the schlocky Brazilian horror movie that I can’t believe exists!

September 13, 2019

MY CALL: This was really, really, REALLY disappointing. I like boobs and blood as much as the next guy, and this film has a lot of both… still, I hated this drivel. MORE MOVIES LIKE Embodiment of Evil: I’ve got nothing. Just watch… something else.

Completing what I’ve read to be the third film of a trilogy, director José Mojica Marins (At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse) introduces us to a film that feels every bit as out of place as its main character Coffin Joe.

Released from prison after serving a 40-year sentence, Coffin Joe (aka Zé do Caixão; José Mojica Marins) is dropped into the modern world like some exaggerated cartoon villain. His melodrama and ridiculous attire seem more appropriate for a Hammer Horror period

piece. Now free and sporting ridiculous fingernails so long I question how he’d even dress himself, he seeks a woman to bear his infernal son—which was apparently also his goal in the first two films of this trilogy. His limping hunchback servant Bruno (Rui Resende) welcomes him home to lead several leather-clad servants, sit upon his throne of bones and dwell in his basement sex dungeon.

Obviously, I can’t show most screen grabs from this film because they’re filled with not just gore, but boobs. But I did my best.

From here, it gets dirty. Like… really dirty. I had no idea what I was getting into with this film. I figured this would be a Brazilian take some Italian-style Satanic cult movie with a bunch of gory murders. Instead, this felt closer to an Indonesian snuff film crossed with some schlocky gorefest made with the skill of a subpar film student.

The moment they lay a naked woman down to offer to Joe, I knew what this reminded me of… the old Udo Kier schlock film Blood for Dracula (1974). This is every bit as hokey—but not nearly as good. Joe cuts off a slice of the woman’s butt cheek and feeds it to her. Yup, that’s the kind of film you’re watching. There’s quite a bit of nudity pandering to our lecherous Joe, including a blood-deluged sex scene, a topless crucifixion, very graphic penis-eating crotch cannibalism, and naked dancing witch rituals. Then, Joe is summoned to “blood Hell…” or perhaps it’s inside of a giant uterus. I really don’t know what’s going on here. The ruler of this under-realm is dressed like a dreadlock hairball and smiles goofily like he’s been vaping THC. Seriously, what am I even watching?

The torture scenes were pretty brutal. Poorly directed, but brutal still. The skin hanging and scalp-peeling might have made me wince. I almost thought this would go legit until Joe had his servants kidnapping women and throwing them into a “topless thong prison” like some kind of exploitation film of the 80s. We’re dipping nude women in blood, branding them, and flaying them. At one point a bloody naked woman emerges from the body of a large pig carcass-chrysalis like Luke in the tauntaun guts in The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Really? What is this movie? Why? Why was she sewn inside of a pig cadaver? A naked woman is strapped down and killed by having a rat put inside her… well, you can guess how they put it inside her! I feel like this movie could have been titled “Naked Brazilian Holocaust” and released in the early 80s. Despite the enthusiastic use of blood, it felt like totally phony attempts at death scenes. I often found myself simultaneously wowed (even laughing) by the nonsense on screen and still waiting for it all to end.

Special effects of Joe’s past victims are crude—perhaps the quality of a talented high school play. And the use of stock footage from the first two films of this awful trilogy seems every bit as lousy for its time as the current footage.

WTF is happening now? Joe has been killed by the crazy nipple-electrocuting “revenge priest” (Milhem Cortaz)—yup, that’s a thing in this film. Of course, a young woman (who is apparently smitten by this fuzzy, taloned Hobbit of a necromancer) approaches his dead body, strips naked, and mounts him—mounts his dead body to give him his Hellchild. Go home, Movie! You’re drunk!

With so many Hellspawn films beginning with a Hellchild—The Omen (1976) films and Rosemary’s Baby (1968) among others—does this make Coffin Joe the worst of all Hellspawn progenitors since it took him three full movies across 40 years just to get someone pregnant? Worst villain ever. And one of the worst films ever as well.

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