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Old 07-02-2003, 04:07 AM   #16
Andrew
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Originally posted by Mortado
Since these are Brazillian movies wouldn't the extras be in Portuguese?
Exactly, but they are quite similar. Thus the reason it'd still be quite a bitch .
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Old 07-02-2003, 05:02 AM   #17
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Thanks for the info r_burgos2003. This "Screamy Bopper" is now ready to unleash of review of the 6 disc set.

So you know where I am comming from. I am 28. I grew up in the 80's watching slasher films and movies like Demons, Zombie, Gates of Hell etc. I bootlegged all these films because back in those days, it would cost $50 to own these films on Beta. Being between 5-15, there was no way I could afford those. This was before names like Argento, Fulci, (both) Bava's meant anything to me. Through highschool I was more into music. In college the bootlegging started up again only on VHS with more Argento films and also Cannibal films, Jorg Buttgereit films etc. Because of all the bootlegs, I figure that anything on dvd will be at least somewhat of an improvement in quality over a fourth generation copy of Jungle Holocaust. I now watch my films on a 16:9 Sony tv with a kickass stereo without 5.1. Most horror dvds still do not come with 5.1. audio anyway. And once again, 2.0 plus a widescreen tv and dvd player will be a definate improvement over all the bootlegs I have been watching over the years.

Now here is an overall review including explanations of storylines. I don't think I really spoil anything but by paragraph 5, its reader beware...

Coffin Joe 6 disc box set.

For quite a few years, I kept on hearing about the Coffin Joe series. So, I rented the first one a couple years back on VHS. It was not what I expected. There was definatley some violence going on but I guess I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. When watching, especially purchasing such films, I realize that I best be in the mood for something that cannot fit into what I categorically enjoy. This boxset will definately weigh on the more adventurous side of one's viewing/purchasing.

Here are some specs. All dvd covers including the outer box has no English on them whatsoever. Such only authenticates this Brazilian series of films in my mind. On the dvd covers themselves, you get some really slick new school representations of these movies. I was pretty impressed although rather empty on the nostalgic front. This was only until I realized that the covers were reversible leaving this humble collector with a choice to even sport the old school sleeves if desired. Cool.

Visually, your dealing with subtitles. There is no spoken English anywhere on these discs. Picture format is 1:33:1 for these films. The actual picture for these movies is consistantly good with the first film having more film stock related inconsistancies than the rest. Some less desirable flaws are the odd tape hit or drop out. There is even a tape crease right at the end of Disc 3 when it says "FIM" over the final scene which is paused at that point. Such revealing that the master was probably some sort of broadcast quality Beta tapes or analogue master reel. But as mentioned earlier, quite acceptional in my opinion. Please keep in mind that we are talking about the Brazilian underground film industry circa 1961-1978. Therefore, such flaws are forgiven.

Audio is available in 2.0 or 5.1 for these discs. Although I have an excellent sound system, I do not have 5.1 capability so I only viewed these films in 2.0. Once again, given the nature of these films, one can only expect so much. I definately was satisfied as these films are not in English, anyway. Nonetheless, the sound was competant. There were occasional audio dropouts like that of a cassette that was left out in the sun for maybe a minute too long. You know, quick fading in and out. But once again, it would happen for seconds here and there.

So what is this Coffin Joe guy about? OK. He is a violent person who defies religion and wants a child to extend his bloodline. Although he is married, his wife cannot bear children. Needless to say he disposes of that situation and goes for his friend, Antonio's woman. As he disposes a few more people in his path, a fortune teller/witch type of woman warns him that at midnight, his soul would be possesed hence the title of this first film, At Midnight, I Will Take Your Soul.

Next film is This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse. It continues from where the last film left off. Coffin Joe now has an underground laboratory of to "test" women to find if they are suitable to bear his perfect child. As he states in this film, "women are instruments". As he is not impressed with some of these women, he "takes care" of them leaving them missing in action. This causes a lot of concern among various people leaving them wanting to lynch Coffin Joe. Eventually, the whole town gets in on the lynching. Does he escape?

The next is the Strange World of Coffin Joe. This film basically has a Season of the Witch take on the series. It is a trilogy of short stories that don't really have anything to do with Coffin Joe. Check this out, the first story predates all the popular rape/revenge films and does a damn good job considering we are talking about 1968. I didn't see Virgin Spring but nobody seems to talk about it with the same reaction as with LHOTL and ISOYG. The next story has a stabbing at a wedding which is cool. And the final story actually has Mojica in it but not playing Coffin Joe although an exterior of this man's house was taken from the previous film and one of his guests claims that Mojica's character is "familliar". Anyway, Mojica's character invites a journalist and his wife over to his house only to witness and experience torture. With cages a la Bloodsucking Freaks and even on screen cannibalism, this film in my mind is a predecessor of many. That's right, readers, although this film did not have zombies, Romero was not the only one to show on screen flesh eating back in 1968!!!

I will summarize the next three films...A waste of time. Mojica appears as his real life self. In the fourth film, people are put on LSD by a doctor while surrounded with pictures of Coffin Joe. The fifteen minute LSD hallucination the characters experience is phenominal and serves a break into color much like a dream sequence in the second film. It features Coffin Joe's hellish id and a lot of crazy edits, once again, much like the dream sequence in the second film. The only problem is that you have to sit through an hour and seven minutes of boredom to get to this. The rest of the films follow suit. They contain Coffin Joe but mainly focuses on other characters. The fianl three discs lack any kind of redeemable violence that a horrordvd.com fan would expect from a "Horror" film. Trust me.

The first 3 discs are really entertaining and carry a good dose of on screen violence considering the period. They are mainly in black and white until you get to disc 5. But by then, you will not care to watch the rest of the series, anyway.

In closing, discs 1-3 are totally worth it while 4-6 are not. Does that mean the 3 disc coffin box set would suffice. No, because it contains discs 1,2, and 4 from the set reviewed here. The Strange World of Coffin Joe (disc 3 of 6) is not included in the 3 disc coffin set and for good reason. It has nothing to do with the Coffin Joe story line. The problem is that it is a really good film unto itself and in my mind, a must see. So we are screwed. I cannot unload this 6 disc set unless if I find out I can but The Strange World of Coffin Joe individually. That way, I can buy the cool coffin boxset and still own Strange World for still less than what I paid for this 6 DVD set. And who knows, the transfers may be a bit better although I don't think there will be that much room for improvement.


Movies 1-3: B+
Movies 4-6: C-
Overall Video: B-
Overall Audio: B-
Extras: Plenty but in Portuguese with no English subs, so I did not bother watching them.

PS-There are also Portuguese, French and Spanish subtitles.
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Old 07-02-2003, 05:31 AM   #18
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Thanks for the review. I'm still gonna pick up the coffin box instead though, because the $32 difference doesn't justify that one disc for me, although it'd be cool to have. Add a cool comic reproduction and I'm pretty sold. I'm glad to know the movies are worth it though.
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Old 07-04-2003, 08:16 AM   #19
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Excellent review, thanks.

I've seen the coffin box set at my local Best Buy for a while now and have been SO tempted. I held off though, because while I'd heard the titles of these movies, I'd never known what the plot was like, etc.

Now I'll have to see if the 6 disc set is feasible in the near future.

I'm not sure if the extras will be a great problem for me because I do know some spanish and can understand it MUCH better than I can speak it. I just hope they're not speaking too fast for me.

Last edited by Luna; 07-04-2003 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 07-04-2003, 09:10 AM   #20
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I liked the first two movies in the set but I just couldn't get into Awakening Of The Beast. I actually fell asleep watching At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (not because the movie was bad just because I was exhausted) and woke up and looked at the clock and no shit if it wasn't midnight and that little unibrow fucker was there screaming in the graveyard trying to steal my soul. Freaky.
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:06 AM   #21
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Yeah, "awakening" is pretty bad. Another thing to add to the review is that the 6 dvd set had problems playing in my older (still only 2 years old) dvd player. The discs did play on two newer players I have kicking around as well as my PS2 (all 3 of which are only 6 months old). The place where I got the 6 dvd set said they sold a lot of them and had no problems. I'd still recommend the coffin box as the first two films are the crucial ones.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:26 PM   #22
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At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul plays on Friday the 21st at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. They're listing the format as DCP, not 35mm (dammit!) but not Blu-Ray or DVD either. I'm working a few shifts at the event, so I'll find out for sure what format they're showing.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:20 PM   #23
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At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul plays on Friday the 21st at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. They're listing the format as DCP, not 35mm (dammit!) but not Blu-Ray or DVD either. I'm working a few shifts at the event, so I'll find out for sure what format they're showing.
I talked with Don May Jr. about it a few years ago at a convention briefly as they own the distribution on it now (don't know if that includes theatrical).

My understanding is that a HD scan of the original materials is impractical because they're too fragile (as it was shot on unused negatives clipped off of exposed films reels [cheapest of the cheap]) since there isn't the proper equipment in Brazil and they can't ship the negative out. So a Blu-ray release was always unlikely. It was destined for DVD.

I'd be very interested to hear what they've used for this screening, what it was sourced from, and if Synapse is involved.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:27 AM   #24
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I'd be very interested to hear what they've used for this screening, what it was sourced from, and if Synapse is involved.
Since the work I do for this festival is in the projection, I'll definitely be able to find out. It might even be my job to ingest the film into the server from the received hard drive, and test the file.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:06 PM   #25
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And nope, it's not an HD screening. It's a Blu-Ray, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's just the existing transfer put on a Blu-Ray disc and not a DVD.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:15 AM   #26
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And nope, it's not an HD screening. It's a Blu-Ray, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's just the existing transfer put on a Blu-Ray disc and not a DVD.
I do believe it will be a newer transfer compared to Fantoma, as I seem to recall that they did do new transfers when they did Embodiment of Evil. Now how good of a transfer from Brazil in 2007 can we expect... who knows? If it's anything like the Italian transfers from that period, not much.

Oh well, hopefully Synapse worked some magic with the materials. After all they used the same scan Arrow used for Demons/2 and there was a significant difference just between those.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:54 PM   #27
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I do believe it will be a newer transfer compared to Fantoma, as I seem to recall that they did do new transfers when they did Embodiment of Evil. Now how good of a transfer from Brazil in 2007 can we expect... who knows? If it's anything like the Italian transfers from that period, not much.
I'm going anyway (since a girl I'm interested in just told me she wants to see it), but I'm actually expecting the transfer to be worse than anything already existing. Theatrical screenings of Blu-Rays and DVDs are a different animal. Companies like Synapse et al do not have the rights for those discs to be shown theatrically. For that, an exhibitor will have to go to a different source, pay a rental fee for a "theatrical screener" disc that is often of far lesser quality than the commercial discs we buy for home use.

A friend of mine does monthly screenings of classic films in an old theater, always from Blu or DVD. He pays the appropriate fees, and gets the screener discs to be all legal-like, but usually shows the commercial disc from his own collection because it often looks much better than the screener.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #28
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I caught a 35mm print of THIS NIGHT I'LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE at a Baltimore drive-in a good decade or so back. It was paired with 2000 MANIACS. H.G. Lewis was there, and John Waters was hosting.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:50 AM   #29
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Hey Paff, how did it turn out? Since you didn't post in here right away I suppose it wasn't too spectacular.

I'd like to show this at a Halloween party some time soon; I'm kinda waiting to see what Synapse comes up with. It's been a LONG wait. Suspiria has been on that wait list too (even before Don announced it).

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I caught a 35mm print of THIS NIGHT I'LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE at a Baltimore drive-in a good decade or so back. It was paired with 2000 MANIACS. H.G. Lewis was there, and John Waters was hosting.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:09 AM   #30
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I worked the night before the screening, and one of my tasks was to check all the DCPs and discs that would be showing the next night. I get to At Midnight, and sure enough, it was just the Anchor Bay DVD. Not even a screener, it actually belonged to the person who was sponsoring the screening.

Still, it wasn't so bad on the big screen, a decent enough way to be introduced to the film. The girl I was with liked it too...
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