Don’t be ashamed if you’ve never heard of Coffin Joe. After all, he’s a Brazilian lunatic who hasn’t been seen since 1967.
Following 1964’s At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul and its sequel Tonight I’ll Possess Your Corpse, sick puppy José Mojica Marins has resurrected his ghoulish creation for another round of sado-masochistic silliness.
Imagine the inbred cousin of Freddy Krueger and occult nutcase Aleister Crowley and you’ve got Coffin Joe, a rapist, torturer, murderer and outrageous drama queen... who could do with some decent nail scissors.
Freed from prison after 40 years, Joe is greeted by his halfwitted hunch-man Bruno and a bunch of devoted groupies who are all desperate to help him find a suitable mother for his unborn child.
But pity the poor lamb, for he is plagued by visions of his previous victims. This dampens his ardour but makes him overact terribly, like Brian Blessed with his iPod on too loud.
Anyway, his lair is soon neck-deep in gore. You see, Joe reckons he occupies the spiritual space that exists above God and below Satan, and thus finds fault with every woman he claps eyes and irons on.
At least that’s his explanation, because otherwise this might be construed as an excuse for a dirty old filmmaker to indulge his misogynistic fantasies while getting his hands on as much nubile young flesh as possible.
One woman is made to eat her own bum. Another is tied down, covered in melted cheese and has a starving rat introduced to her genitals.
But they’re just sideshows to Joe’s meat-and-potatoes business of decapitation, dismemberment, branding, scalping, flaying, gouging, bludgeoning and the odd bout of cannibalism.
With a script of pure gibberish stitching the pieces together, it’s as though Ed Wood Jr, Clive Barker and Hieronymous Bosch had too much absinthe one night and decided to make a home movie.