3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Embodiment of trash horror,
This review is from: Embodiment Of Evil [DVD]  (DVD)
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In Portuguese with English sub-titles.
After 40 years in prison a man is released and quickly renews his search for a woman who can help him to continue his bloodline by giving birth to a perfect son. I'm not sure that there's much point in going into more detail than that, because this is like a porn movie with a paper-thin story attached and people only watch it for the porn anyway - or horror, in this case.
Well, it is pretty horrific in places. I'm not just referring to the acting and script, but also to those parts which were deliberately designed to horrify because there were more than a few toe-curling moments. From that point of view, then, if horror's your thing (and I'm no connoisseur) I would say there is much to satisfy here. But the glaring weakness is the man at the centre of it all, in more ways than one. In Brazil I guess he's something of a cinematic hero but I had never heard of José Mojica Marins before, the man who not only plays the leading part of 'Coffin Joe' the liberated undertaker, but he is also the writer and director as well. He looks like a film producer I suppose, maybe a businessman, but he doesn't look like any of the other roles, not least the supposedly scary actor because there was really nothing scary about him at all. This was a big weakness, imho. The film could have been greatly improved by replacing 'Mojica' with a truly sinister character, and while I think of improvements that could have been made, there were quite a few stereotypes among the cast and film sets that reminded me of black and white horror films of the 1930s, such as Mojica's sidekick the club-footed hunchback Bruno whose script seems to be little more than saying 'Yes master' with bowed head. There have been more than a few films of many years gone by with vampires looking for the perfect procreation (Devil's Advocate being a relatively recent example) so as a story there was little of originality here despite its Brazilian origins.
And that leaves the horror set-pieces themselves, which I would like to describe but that might spoil things for anyone thinking of seeing this. As trash horror it hits the mark and most of the special effects are done well, in fact some are done extremely well. As I said, horror isn't my genre of choice and it's hard to suggest that I derived any enjoyment even from this film's strengths. The distractions of a mis-cast central character, poor editing and continuity and a really rather unoriginal story made pleasure hard to find; I think the best I could describe it as would be 'watchable' but in all honesty it was a relief when it was all over. I accept however that horror fans might love it.
A sad point to note is that one of the leading support characters Jece Valadão died before the film was completed, and apparently only about one third of the scenes he was scheduled to appear in actually reach the screen.