O despertar da besta

José Mojica Marins

Working primarily in horror, José Mojica Marins broke away from earnestly macabre films like At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul (1964) - while still retaining his flair for haunted house theatrics - to make this tongue-in-cheek portrait of the hippie counter-culture of the 1960s.

Originally titled Sadists’ Ritual and marketed as a ghastly haunted house film, Awakening of the Beast was directed by Brazil’s horror maestro José Mojica Marins and promised a scream-filled romp much like the filmmaker’s earlier This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967); however, this film ended up going far beyond its genre parameters and has become one of the key political films of Brazil’s era of military repression.
A tongue-in-cheek commentary on 1960s counterculture, the plot begins in pseudo-documentary style with a series of experts on TV - played by notable Boca do Lixo figures like Carlos Reichenbach and Jairo Ferreira - debating the possible link between the use of psychedelic drugs and violent and sexually deviant behavior.
An experiment involving four volunteers, LSD and Marins’ on-screen alter ego Coffin Joe ensues, playfully debunking the drug-related hysteria that dominated the mainstream discourse of the time. Censors did not take the film lightly; it was banned for 14 years.

More information

José Mojica Marins
Production country & year
Brazil - 1970
93 min
George Michel Serkeis, José Mojica Marins, Giorgio Attili
Screen play
Rubens F. Lucchetti, José Mojica Marins
Maurice Capovilla, João Callegaro, Carlos Reichenbach, Jairo Ferreira, Walter C. Portella
Giorgio Attili
Luiz Elias