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This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (DVD Review)

This-Night-I'll-Possess Your-CorpseNot only one film, but there is a sequel (as well as a third film) to the original Coffin Joe “classic” called This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse.  This film comes five years after the original Brazilian horror film.  Now, I’m not sure if this is the second Brazilian horror film of all time, but I’m sure it was a piece of the progression in the genre for that country’s film industry.  Brazil currently is actually becoming a horror hotbed, with the likes of Eli Roth strongly supporting it and doing films there (Like Green Inferno).  This DVD from Synapse Films can be found for purchase on July 31st.  Ensuring yourself a copy is the Amazon pre-order link below.

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Film 

Surviving the terrors of the first film, Coffin Joe is now joined by a hunchbacked assistant named Bruno to help him on his unholy quest for the perfect bride. After kidnapping and torturing women and submitting them to sadistic trials, Joe thinks he’s finally found the right woman to bear him a child. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and Joe suffers horrible nightmares from killing a pregnant woman. What follows is a hallucinatory descent into the Hellish underworld as Joe struggles to survive his blasphemous visions and the wrath of the local villagers.

Coffin Joe’s second verse is similar but better than the first.  A film that’s a little more there for the director, who has learned a thing or two after the original movie.  Its shot better, acted better and knows better how to deliver on its horror.  Compositions, effects, costuming and even screenwriting are a step up for Jose Mojica Marins.  Coffin Joe is up to the same no good, but then again, Hammer’s Dracula, Jason Voorhees and Jigsaw were too.

I’ll put it out there right now, I wasn’t much a fan of this one, though I liked it a lot more than the first one.  Credit is due, though, to Marins for the ability to craft a showstopping moment.  If you’ve seen the film, you know I’m talking about the hell sequence in the film.  Its psychadelic as all…umm, hell(?), and has crazy pastel colored lighting and just its own blend of Barbarella meets 60s Star Trek in one.  The scene is wild, weird, bizarre and pretty awesome.  Marins hits the impact he’s intending to, and gets things to sway for him completely.

While I am big on and am an appreciator of horror history, even I don’t think the Coffin Joe films do much for me.  This sequel I found to be a marked improvement over its predecessor, but I still was checking my watch for time.  The gore is better, the narrative is much tighter and cleaner and the overall performance of the technical work and performers step it up.  But, when all is said and done, its neat in areas, but overall nothing I’m going to go showing people that they are missing out on.  Though, Coffin Joe would be a good niche idea to cosplay.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-2 NTSC

Resolution: 480i

Aspect Ratio: 1.331:

Layers: DVD-9

Clarity/Detail:  This movie fairs better than the previous film.  This print is in much better shape and thus looks a lot slicker and cleaner.  More detail, smoother movements and an all around sharper picture.

Depth:  While its flatter, there are some decent moments, especially because this keeps the grain and such intact.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep, but not completely consuming like the last film. Details can be made better on clothing, surfaces and hair.  Typical DVD issues can come about in regards to crushes and whatnot.

Color Reproduction: During the one color sequence of the film (The “hell” dream), many different filters are put to effect, giving a vivid pastel mix of blues, reds and golds which often crafts a purple or green look at times.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones maintain a rather constant gray/white look to them, except in the one color sequence.  Details are decent in close ups and some medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Some grain, scratches, dirt/specs throughout.  Nothing very damning its also consistent which is kind of appealing.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): Portuguese 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  Audio winds up another improvement from the previous film.  I just think most of that has to do with the print being in better condition.  This one still has a dated feel to it, but things are little clearer, crisper and less muffled than the other.  Effects and such have a nicer, more distinct layer this time around.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Audio is good and decent.  Characters sounds clear and discernible at all times.

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Extras 

Play With Intro (SD, 1:42)

The Making Of This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (SD, 8:12) – The director (and Coffin Joe actor) discusses opening up this story for a trilogy, how he prefers working with amateurs as opposed to professionals, and the hell sequence in the film.

A Visit To The Coffin Joe Museum (SD, 4:25) – The director takes a tour of this little nostalgia place located next to The Horror Castle in Brazil.

The Universe Of Mojica Marins (SD, 25:14) – A documentary on the life and films (Yes, Coffin Joe) of the director.

Interview With Jose Mojica Marins (SD, 7:48) – He discusses how Coffin Joe came to him, the struggles of religious opposition and dealing with actors quitting his films over gross things like snakes, spiders etc.

Original Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:16)

Still Photos Gallery: Rare Photos (SD, 1:55)

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Summary 

Coffin Joe’s second outing is better than the original, but of these films I don’t find myself to much of a fan.  That’s okay though, I can still say that the people at Synapse Films have put together a pretty awesome release for it.  The picture and audio is impressive given the likely condition of the original elements.  Then it boasts a wealth of extras to go with it.  Fans should not find them disappointed at all with this release.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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