Here at Balladeer’s Blog we wring down the curtain on Halloween 2017 by revisiting our old friend Jose “Mojica” Marins, Brazil’s notorious King of Horror.
Marins’ most famous character is Ze do Caixao aka Coffin Joe, a figure who belongs alongside Dracula, Freddy Krueger, La Llorona and other horror icons from around the world.
Noteworthy movies include :
At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (1963) – Brazil’s first-ever home-grown horror film was also the very first appearance of Coffin Joe, an undertaker who relishes exploiting and mocking the religious beliefs of the community.
The transgressive, hypnotic figure lords it over those he considers to be ignorant peasants and lesser beings. Ze’s reign of terror sees him inflict physical and psychological torture on his victims, including gouging their eyes out with his incredibly long fingernails.
The vile but charismatic monster is searching for a superior woman to mate with while killing off male rivals as well as women who don’t meet his expectations.
This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse (1967) – In this sequel Coffin Joe is even more powerful and depraved as he subjects Sao Paulo to another reign of terror. Ze is still searching for the perfect woman to bear his child and inflicting all manner of torture on his victims but this time around the viewer is treated to even more of the villain’s bizarre philosophy, which seems to be composed of equal parts Nietzsche and de Sade with a healthy sprinkling of Aleister Crowley tossed in.
This film is black & white like the original but features the acclaimed color portion featuring a trip to a Hell ruled by Coffin Joe himself. Continue reading
ALL HALLOWS (1926) – Written by Walter de la Mare. In recent decades Walter de la Mare’s horror stories have begun to get as much attention as his poetry. This particular tale is about a haunted cathedral but there is also a blatant subtext.
Our narrator has walked for several miles to reach remote All Hallows Cathedral. The once-prominent place has fallen into disrepair and has become so rarely used for religious services that it has become more of a curious tourist attraction than “holy” site.
Appropriately for a horror story our protagonist has arrived as the sun is going down. The odd, perhaps half-crazed Verger (Anglican Church Caretaker) impatiently leads the new arrival on a tour of the degenerating interior. Almost like a Halloween Funhouse host the Verger emphasizes the creepy lore about All Hallows.
Nightfall is well along by the time he tells the narrator about the temporary disappearance of the previous chief clergyman, who was later found in a dark corner. The Holy Man was weeping and crazed and never recovered his sanity. Continue reading
Obviously I’m proceeding from the assumption that just about ANY song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show qualifies as a Halloween Song. Here we go:
ROSAURA (1817) – Written by Friedrich Fouque. Halloween Month 2017 is dying quickly. Here is another neglected story from the late Gothic Horror period. Rosaura has a fairly unique supernatural premise so that alone should have earned it a wider following by now.
No vampires or ghosts or werewolves feature in this tale, but instead a more offbeat kind of supernatural horror. Count von Wildeck packs up his guns and wears his finest clothing for a visit to the castle of Colonel von Haldenbach, whose niece Rosaura he wants to romance.
After an amiable first day of the visit, Count von Wildeck is warned by his host the Colonel to lock himself very securely in his bedroom. The Colonel seems tempted to explain things more clearly to Von Wildeck but is too frightened. Continue reading
This year’s Dark Tower movie was like promising your audience Interview With The Vampire but instead giving them Vampire Hookers starring John Carradine.
How do you screw this up? The first novel in the series was tailor-made for screen success: Mad Max crossed with a Spaghetti Western in a supernatural/ horror version of a post-apocalypse movie.
The real challenge should have come with adapting the subsequent novels in the series, not The Gunslinger. Anyway, here’s a Halloween Month look at Roland Deschain art to help wash away the bad taste.
MORE … Continue reading
By reader request here’s my semi-regular Halloween Season blog post Zombies of Monticello, my mock movie review. I first ran this in 2013, but it may not seem as irreverent this year in the wake of the large-scale criticism of Thomas Jefferson.
ZOMBIES OF MONTICELLO (2013) – Halloween month continues at Balladeer’s Blog with this review of cult director Eddie Wozniak’s blood-soaked combination of horror and commentary.
Learn the REAL cause of Thomas Jefferson’s death on July 4th, 1826! On the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence the zombified corpses of all of Jefferson’s dead slaves rise from their graves and besiege him and his extended family in the Jefferson mansion at Monticello!
The pompous hypocrite who penned noble words about freedom and equality while OWNING other human beings tries everything to wipe out the undead legions pressing in on all sides. Continue reading
You knew it was coming at some point! It’s Warren Zevon with a very popular Halloween song.