Brazilian filmmaker José Maria Marins – a.k.a. Zé do Caixão – built an international fan base thanks to his psychedelic and campy horror features. Coffin Joe, as his movie persona is known to foreign audiences, is a blasphemous undertaker obsessed with Satan and the desire of conceiving a son. The character appears in several features, beginning in 1964 with “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” (À Meia-Noite Levarei sua Alma).
Marins’s adventurous life will be soon portrait on the big screen by Matheus Nachtergaele – actor previously seen in two award-winning films, “Central Station” (Central do Brasil) and “Four Days in September” (O que é isso, Companheiro?). The feature about Coffin Joe should be produced next year, and it will be directed by Vitor Mafra, who has a background in publicity, just like Fernando Meirelles and other directors that Brazil is exporting to Hollywood.
The film is definitely promising. Marins’s story is almost as exotic as Coffin Joe’s. He produced his first movie when he was 10, using a camera borrowed from his father – a movie theater manager and former toreador. His first short, “Final Judgment” included a scene where a flying coffin would rescue good souls and send the bad ones to eternal damnation. He kept faithful to this theme.
His colorful portrait of Hell, in an otherwise black-and-white movie, in “This Night I’ll Possess Your Soul” (Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver), released in 1967, remains one of his most powerful scenes.
This surrealism is present in all of his movies – several of them censored during the military rule, in the seventies.
Check this great story published recently on Coffin Joe by the LA Times . You can also check most of his films here: The Coffin Joe Collection – 5-DVD Box Set ( À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma / Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver / O Estranho Mundo de Zé do Caixão / O Ritual dos Sádicos / Finis Hominis / A Estranha Hospedaria dos Prazeres / Inferno Carnal / Delírios de