At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul is notable for many many reasons. It’s the first horror film to ever come out of Brazil, it’s the first film to feature the character Coffin Joe, who went on to do a trilogy of films, and its also known for its savage violence, especially for a film released in 1963
The film starts out in a very old school type way. Its black and white and we see a Gypsie woman warn us not to watch the film. She appears later in the film as well to help further develop the story which centers around Coffin Joe. Coffin Joe is a local undertaker who is looking for a woman, the perfect woman to bear his child. A child he believes can be immortal due to the continuity of the blood of him and a perfect woman. His own wife is unable to bear children so he kills her. This gives him time to pursue his friends fiancé, Terezinha. This does not bode well as she is in love with his friend. Upon the spurring of his advances he murders her and her fiancé and still continues on his quest.
Coffin Joe has become over the years an icon of horror films in Brazil. His top hat and all black outfit. His likeness has appeared in many films and even comic books. Over the years he has developed a cult following here in the us as well. The films are not the typical horror film we are used to. Yes they are very graphic but the way they are filmed is almost like an art house picture. A symphony of mental breakdown and violence. The tone, and overtures take the film to an entirely new level when it comes to deplorable violence. Where are in the US we enjoy and cheer a horror icon like a Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhese there is nothing appealing about Coffin Joe. He epitomizes all that is evil and grotesque in the world.
Shot in 1963 the films effects a light years ahead of their time. The closing sequence with zombie/ghosts still to this day looks fantastic. To make things even better Synapse Films has acquired the rights to the Coffin Joe trilogy and have released these on collector edition DVD’s. And yes they do come with special features. Which include
35mm negative scan supervised by director Jose Moijca Marins
The Making of At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul
Jose Moijca Marins discusses his short film Reino Sangrento
Interview with Jose Moijca Marins
New scene filmed in 2002
Introduction to the film by Coffin Joe
Original theatrical trailer and rare promotional trailer
Optional English Subtitles and chapter selections
This film is a must own for any horror fan. Go pick it up now
Overall 4.5 out of 5 Stars