Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul

Coffin JoeCoffin Joe - Isn't there a song about him?
A Brazilian horror movie by José Mojica Marins, aka Coffin Joe, 'At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul' sees the multi-talented director stalk around in top hat and cape, bullying people, killing others, eating meat on Good Friday, and otherwise seeking his perfect bride. Because he is free from superstitions, the devoutly atheistic gravedigger believes he is stronger than everyone else. I suppose there must be some reason, because it looks pretty ridiculous to see the gangly freak beating up burly locals while other similarly burly locals look on terrified. Look at him, his eyes go bloodshot when he's angry! Holy shit, he has a whip! Hell, he wears a top hat!!!!!!!!
The thing is that for all that he is a sadistic bully, Coffin Joe's Nietzschean bluster is refreshingly endearing. Compared with all those lily-livered Church-goers you almost like the guy, well, if you get past all that torture stuff. However, just when we begin to think this minor B-movie has been brave enough to portray a character most Hollywood flicks would run a mile from, Coffin Joe starts railing against the God he claims not to believe in. 'Show me you exist!' he says to cry. A case of the lady protesting too much, methinks, especially when after all his bluster, God, or at least the spirit world, does indeed show him, giving him a much needed come-uppence. You have to wonder though where that supernatural world was when he did his devilment in the first place, but then isn't that always the question?
Sociopathic Ubermensch as spoiled kid - you have to love him!

With its graveyards, cackling gypsy women, faux rebellion (that dress sense!) and gleeful violence, this comes across as nothing so much as a teenage, geeky outsider's vengeful wet dream. Even the transitions from scene to scene, all rolling eyes and wipes, remind me of De Palma picking the wings off flies. Fun though. Like when he poked out the doctor's eyes....yeeeuuuk!

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