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Really, I'm not a big Coffin Joe, or Zé do Caixão, fan at all but I must say that this movie, which was the first one to feature the character, is simply a pretty good genre flick. Not that it's truly anything great but everything considering, things could had been far worse and the movie is pretty enjoyable for what it is.

Coffin Joe, or Zé do Caixão as his official Portuguese name is, is a popular Brazilian horror character, that appeared in a whole bunch of movies and other stuff and always got and still gets played by José Mojica Marins. You might say that he is the Brazilian Vincent Price/Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee. And this movie also definitely feels a bit like a good old fashioned Cushing or Price horror flick!

It really simply is a good old fashioned genre movie! Seems to me that the filmmakers had seen a whole bunch of British genre flicks from the same era and decided to have a go at the genre themselves. And I must say that they did a pretty good job with setting up a similar type of atmosphere and characters. Only big difference is that this movie is shot in black & white but despite this the movie still manages to create a very similar type of atmosphere, also by featuring a very typical genre type of story in it.

There isn't all that much to its story really but it mostly relies on the Zé do Caixão character, who works out as a great main character for the movie. It's interesting that the movie its main character is actually being the villain but he has a lot of charisma and plenty of other stuff about him that make him a likable and interesting enough character to follow.

The movie truly has some great genre moments in it, though still most of the movie its horror comes purely from its atmosphere. Having said that, it also still is being a movie with plenty of violence and gore in it as well but because the movie is shot in black & white, nothing ever comes across as too shocking. It's not a complaint really, since the black & white cinematography gives the movie plenty and is a big part of its quality and power.

Everything considering, such as the fact that this is a low budget, early Brazilian genre flick, it's being a pretty good movie to watch, with some truly good genre moments in it!

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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