Movie Review : This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse (1967)
* This review was written by Leza Cantoral of CLASH Media. Leza is the author of Cartoons in the Suicide Forest and the Editor in Chief of CLASH Books. She is the host of the Get Lit With Leza podcast where she talks to cool ass writers. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you want a little context before diving in, read her review of the first Coffin Joe movie here *
Coffin Joe’s quest for the perfect womanly vessel to bear his heir continues in Part 2 of the Coffin Joe trilogy of terror by director José Mojica Marins. Coffin Joe will not settle for anything less than the perfect woman. He wants a materialistic, Godless, punctual, fearless woman who is not scared of swarms of tarantulas… for starters. He puts his captives, I mean, err, candidates, through a series of sadistic and rigorous torments, I mean, tests. This is like The Bachelor, but with spiders and boa constrictors and much talk of the glories of Satan.
Behold as hundreds of tarantulas swarm over the semi clad bodies of voluptuous slumbering women. Tarantulas on butts, tarantulas on heaving bosoms, tarantulas crawling on crotches, you get the idea. Coffin Joe peers through a hole in the wall like a Satanic Brazilian Norman Bates. It is horrifying, it is creepily erotic, it is weirdly artistic. I am not a fan of tarantulas, so I admit I would not pass his womb fitness tests.
The lucky lady who is the least petrified gets invited to his bedroom to bang while she is surrounded by the other women getting strangled by snakes and other delightful torments. This movie makes 50 Shades of Grey look like Twilight & it makes Twilight look like You’ve Got Mail.
Fun fact: the woman getting strangled by the boa constrictor really was getting strangled and no one realized because they thought she was just acting. Fortunately, she was saved just in time before losing her breath altogether, avoiding tragedy and what I imagine would have been quite a troublesome lawsuit for the production.
Watch if you like spiders, Brazilian hotties, sex in graveyards, sadism, histrionic Satanic speeches, men in long flowing capes & top hats, and well …Hell!
Yes, he finally awakens to a technicolor vision of Hell full of the torments of the damned. It is a psychedelic feast for the eyes. In a Wizard of Oz style color shift, Coffin Joe’s black and white world becomes a brilliant color one. Except, instead of being in some fantastical wonderland, he is in his worst nightmare. He is in Hell! The classic grace of black and white becomes a bleeding rainbow of writhing bodies in a Hell of flames and ice, of screams, tortures, and eternal wailing. Mario Bava gothic becomes acid reflux Ken Russell meets mad, jibbering, ecstatic, neon Pasolini.
This film is spooky, disturbing, sexy, surreal, and unabashedly Bizarro. Coffin Joe transcends his mortal self and becomes something more, something beyond human as he battles the judgements of Heaven and Hell and his fellow man. His only god is himself.
Despite being rife with sadism and cartoonish misogyny, the film is weirdly endearing. Maybe because it is so unabashedly weird. Marins throws himself into his performance once again, as a man tormented and hounded by his own demons, in a setting that is extravagantly, deliciously gothic. You will probably feel like you took the wrong mushroom dosage as you watch the escalating weirdness and hellish visions.
Let the visions soak up your brain. We all go a little mad sometimes. Don’t fight it. Let it wash over you like an acid soaked rum bath, and enjoy this Brazilian camp horror classic. It is aging very very well, like a deep red wine made from the blood of godless virgins.