Movies Galore takes a look at Jose Mojica Marins cult Brazilian classic “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” from 1964!

Written by David Strege

 After I delved deeper into the recesses of the Horror film makers behind a nice splatter anthology called “The Black Fables” aka as “As Fabulus Negras” I find myself fascinated with this cinematic film my brazilian freinds have aprized me of in the heart of Brazil from 1964.  Brought to us by Jose Mojica Marins known by his alter ego as Coffin Joe.  Also known to probably be the first true horror film from Brazil…

Being in his native tongue of Portuguese it is enlightening that I was able to come across a very limited Trilogy boxset from Fantoma Films.

This first film follows the story of Ze do Caixao known later as Coffin Joe.  I love the whole creepy vibe for starters we see Ze for the first time speak of blood and its significance… we then have a gypsy giving an enlightening warning that by midnight not only will we hear this tale but if we’re still watching by its midnight she will indefinitely be taking our soul as I’d say she speaks to us all of our doom…

Ze is also the funeral director of the small village he lives in so we see him attending a funeral before we see him arrive where he lives.  As it is a holy day where meat isn’t to be eaten Ze makes sure he finds meat to eat for he is far from holy.  Lusting after his freind Antonio’s Woman Terezinha, Ze becomes a man possessed to further his blood line to hell or be dammed.  Devil or no he kills his freind Antonio and possesses Terezinha.

But even so the gypsy curses Ze and Prophecizes to Antonio and Terezinha that death awaits them…

As Terezinha learns the death of Antonio and after her brutal rape from Ze to seed her and continue his blood line… she hangs herself.  The townsfolk find out that Ze was behind both deaths and we are lead to believe Ze de Caixao is frightened to death of the possibility of the devil possessing his soul…

To me this was and is what film making is all about it had a story, a plot and to me an edge dangerous violence and tone that wasn’t the case in hollywood.  Life is truly brutal so are people I believe that in a way this film has brought about and become Brazil’s own version of the boogey-man except now he has a story, a place a dwelling whence he was born.  But even the boogey-man was around alot longer.

I think when Ze contemplated and we saw interacting with the qypsy and even when he claimed let the devil come hell invite him to dinner… just the w as y he acted uncaring of anyone with those long nails unkempt and top hat… along when he gets angry his eye veins crack…

This film will be forever imprinted in my memory and is now in my top ten films of favorites and importance in cinematic history.

I recommend for all horror fans to check this film out first if you want to begin on your brazilian path to horror… It is followed by two sequels and a few films that involve Coffin Joe…


Starring Jose Mojica Marins as Ze do Caixao, Magda Mei as Terezinha, Nivaldo Lima as Antonio, Valeria Vasquez as Lena (as Valeria Vasquez), Ilidio Martins Simoez as Dr. Rodolfo (as Ilidio Martins), Arildo Iruam, Genesio de Carvalho (as Gene Carvalho), Vânia Rengel, Graveto, Robinson Aielo, Avelino Morais, Luana, Leandro Vieira, Antonio Marins as S. Francisco, Mario Lima, Eurípedes da Silva ( as Eurípedes Silva), Luiz Goncalves, Carmen Marins as D. Joana ( as Carmem Marins ), Cicero Paulino, Waldomiro Franca, Cardoso, Jonny Gregio, Jose Vilar, Suzy Barros, Tomas Sabastiao, Iko Galdine, Laura Duarte, Claudiana, Renato Melo, Almir Barbosa, Raul Malentaqui, Eucaris Moraes as Velha Bruxa ( as Eucaris de Morais ), Geraldo Bueno ( uncredited ), Laurindo Luarelli as Ze do Caixao (voice)(uncredited).


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