Sunday, January 21, 2007

Movie: This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1966)

So I watched that other Coffin Joe movie. In the interest of thoroughness, I offer some follow-up:

Wow. OK. Jesus.

Again with the long-winded introduction. Then a title sequence, the hand-drawn letters squirming as if they’re trying to escape the frame. A card appears, informing us that the movie begins where At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul left off. The closing sequence from that film begins to play.

Me: How is he going to do this? Joe was obviously dead at the end of the last movie.

Character onscreen, subtitled, pointing at Joe: He’s still alive!

Rosemarie: That’s how.

The success of Midnight meant that José Mojica Marins had more money in this go-round. He was able to shoot outdoors, during the day. He also has a hunchback for a sidekick. Way too much yammering about the “immortality of blood” as Joe tries to find the perfect woman to give birth to his child.

But it’s worth sitting through for the journey to hell described below. It’s genuinely disturbing, a vision of the underworld that’s depraved but informed by a religious sensibility. (Coffin Joe, you will not be surprised to learn, repents at the end of this movie before dying. Again. I wonder how he comes back in the next installment.) The unabashed luridness of the sequence calls to mind what I’d heard about the old tent revival shows: they concentrated so much on damnation that you were more concerned about not going to hell than reaching heaven. Same difference, I suppose.

Coffin Joe’s jaunt to Hades is on YouTube, natch, but it’s not subtitled, so odds are you won’t be able to understand the screams of the tormented. And I’m not linking to it, because I think it’s better appreciated in context. So here’s the video for the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ “Hell.” I don’t want to be a tease.

Next week, Coffin Joe returns in Awakening of the Beast!

Miscellaneous: Why I Don’t Blog About Sports Often

Me, approximately three months ago, speaking to my brother, whose lovely wife is from the Indianapolis area:

“Sorry, dude. Not only are the Colts not going to the Super Bowl, they’re not even going to the AFC title game.”