Inside The Mind of Coffin Joe [Limited Edition Arrow Video Box Set] 

Folks, pull a chair as this one is a doozy! For the uninitiated, Coffin Joe (aka José Mojica Marins) is a legend of horror, a Brazilian master, a man who is both beloved and hated, by horror fans and general audiences. He’s made some of the most violent films and some of the most bizarre films, so it was only a matter of time before someone gave him a massive box set, a sort of study of his work. Thankfully, that someone was Arrow Video, and they created a massive box set that includes everything such as 10 feature films, tons of extras, new artwork, etc. So, come with me and let’s dig because this was a challenge to watch all of this content for you all! 

This isn’t going to be your traditional type of review because that would take a few days to write and to read, so it will be more like a highlight reel. Let’s start with which of José Mojica Marins’ feature films are included here: At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, The Strange World of Coffin Joe, The Awakening of the Beast, The End of Man, When the Gods Fall Asleep, The Strange Hostel of Naked Pleasures, Hellish Flesh, Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind, Embodiment of Evil. Of these, the highlighst are the first two and the last one. Basically, the best of the bunch and the ones that could be considered necessary viewings are At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, and Embodiment of Evil. These could be considered part of Coffin Joe or a Man’s Obsession With Immortality and Legacy Through Fatherhood. Not an official thing, but it should be. Here is the thing about these movies, they are meant to be offensive, at least they were at the time, but give that most of them are 40 years old or older, some of the offensive material has aged out of it and some of it definitely will still stir audiences up. There is a whole lot of rape throughout the films here, something many won’t want to watch, so be warned, it’s in most of the films and so is violence towards women and sometimes children. Coffin Joe as a character is an exaggeration, a caricature, someone meant to be evil and evil men do evil things. To be honest here, watched one film at a time, it would be less annoying, it would still be disagreeable to watch, but it would be less like it’s trying to hard to shock. Watching all 10 films in the space of less than a week, well, the effect is much different here.  

Overall, the look on the black and white films and the most recent film are much better than the other which were either in color or a mix of black and white and color within one film. This may be due to the quality of the transfer available for this release of course. The image quality in general is solid, the sound works with most of the films being in mono (so do not be surprised) and the newest film is possibly the one with the best quality image, sound, and subtitles, but this may be due to being a more recent film. The acting itself feels a bit dated in the older films, something that may be adding to the charm here and so are the special effects. The stories are not exactly complex, but sometimes they are more complicated than they need to be. There is something there in each film, but At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, and Embodiment of Evil are favorites here, the first two in part for how they look, their stylistic choices, and how they feel almost gothic somehow. The newest film feels like a solid conclusion for the character of Coffin Joe.  

The extras is why fans of Coffin Joe will want to pick up this set here. There are a ton! So, to avoid turning this into a novella, let’s go over the best ones, the ones that make the set worth picking up to this reviewer. Of course, the set comes with new art Butcher Billy that is stunning, this art is part of the new reversible sleeves for the films, seen on each film’s menu, and on the box set itself, as well as on a double-sided poster. A big inclusion here is something we don’t get enough of on massive box sets like this, a short film, specifically Bloody Kingdon by José Mojica Marins which also has its own commentary. Speaking of commentaries, the films almost each get one with Marins involved in most of them. He also does commentary on a few featurettes, giving fans a better idea of the mind and man behind the character. Other features present in the set that are top quality are the Official Making Of and Experimental Making Of featurettes, footage of Marins at Sundance in 2001, an alternate opening for The Awakening of the Beast, an alternate ending for The Strange World of Coffin Joe, excerpts from early works by Marins, a new video essay by Miranda Corcoran that delves into Coffin Joe as a horror host, and a ton more. There is so much on here that the set as received became a bit of a challenge/homework for this reviewer. Watching everything on it takes forever and it’s something that honestly will appeal mostly to the biggest fans of José Mojica Marins. 

Inside the Mind of Coffin Joe is a massive box set, a solid piece of film memorabilia that contains so much, it’s almost difficult to get through it all. It’s a solid release and one that should be checked out by Coffin Joe fans.