Brazil, along with Argentina and Mexico is one of the main countries who produce Latin American cinema. Like most countries, the industry has had it’s ups and downs. The horror genre took off when writer / director / actor José Mojica Marins created his memorable character Coffin Joe.
At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul is the 1964 film that introduced the world to Coffin Joe. Coffin Joe is an undertaker who is looking for the perfect woman so she can bear him a superior child. His current wife is unable to bear children so he disposes of her and starts looking for someone new. That someone new happens to be Joe’s friend Antônio’s fiancee. Soon more murders occur but the murdered dead might be out to get Joe. Or at least according to a gypsy woman.
José Mojica Marins made two official sequels to this film, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967) and Embodiment of Evil (2008). But Marins used the character in several other films. Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind, Awakening of the Beast and The Bloody Exorcism of Coffin Joe. All feature Coffin Joe in a supporting role in the film and the movie The Strange World of Coffin Joe doesn’t actually feature Joe at all, the movie is just an anthology of three stories directed by Marins.
The series is extremely popular and has a cult following. Coffin Joe wears a black cape and hat but most notably his finger nails are extremely long and claw like. Marins actually grows his finger nails to look like that. The movie itself is weird, creepy and cheesily gory but despite it’s low budget origins it’s easy to see it’s appeal.