Thursday, November 15, 2012

Awakening of the Beast


(1970) 
Johnny Sweatpants rating: **1/2
Crystal Math rating: ***

Crystal Math and I still have plenty of reviews to write and we watched a slew together. In Horrorthon '11 we tied 23-23 and Crystal was determined to beat me this year. Let's just say that things got competitive and we still have a lot to get through, so we decided that it would be best to collaborate on the remaining overlaps. This will spare needless additional plot synopses and collaborations are fun! 
Awakening of the Beast took Brazilian director Jose Mojica Marins one step away from schlocky horror and a few steps towards hallucinogenic sexploitation movies. The transition is awkward to say the least. In Midnight we last see Joe being tortured by ghosts on Dia de los Muertos; Awakening of the Beast begins with a woman shooting drugs and dancing naked in front of an audience of three. By 1985 he concentrated on pure smut such as 24 Hours of Explicit Sex (which, as enticing as it sounds, featured Brazil's first scenes of zoophilia). It’s a shame to learn that he mostly churned out slop after the delightfully wicked At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul but he probably chased the dollar signs with filth. Actually the more I read about him I suspect he simply reveled in the filth.
To clarify, Awakening of the Beast is not part of the "Coffin Joe trilogy" which also includes This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse and  Embodiment of Evil, which Catfreeek previously reviewed. The character of Coffin Joe appears in several movies but most of the time he plays a minor role. In this one he is merely a deranged hallucination in a drug-fueled mind. Awakening should be recommended to the CJ fan who's got to see it all, otherwise ignore it. This film opens with another classic soundbyte from Coffin Joe, a monologue about his strange world and the people that dwell therein, and the plot revolves around psychiatrists conducting LSD experiments to prove a connection between hallucinogens and sexual deviancy. The combination of titillating images and slice of 60’s drug culture barely distinguishes it from the typical sexploitation flicks of the time that Something Weird Video distributes.  If not for the hilarious singing butt cheeks that Catfreeek addressed in her review, it would be mostly unmemorable.

2 comments:

Catfreeek said...

It's all about the asses, you got that right.

Octopunk said...

Never let it be known that I refused to consider a movie that's all about the asses, but this one is low on my list.