Embodiment Of Evil
In Portuguese, subtitled in English
DVD + Blu-ray
Frequently bought together
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After serving a 40-year prison term, Coffin Joe is finally released from the Mental Heath wing of the Sa~o Paulo State Penitentiary. Back on the streets, the sadistic undertaker is set upon fulfilling the goal which sent him to jail in the first place: find a woman who can give him the perfect child. Accompanied by his faithful servant, the humpbacked Bruno, Coffin Joe leaves behind a trail of horror and is haunted by ghostly visions and the spirits of his past victims. This is the third film of the “Coffin Joe Trilogy” which began with the classic "At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul" (1964) and "This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse" (1967). Synapse Films is proud to present "Embodiment of Evil" in a beautiful high-definition transfer created from the original camera negative with amazing 5.1 Surround Sound.
- Theatrical Trailer
- Footage of the Fantasia Film Festival North American Premiere
- "Making of" Featurette
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The Blu-ray quality looks great, and the extras are good as well. There's also a regular DVD included.
Well, upon buying a few Synapse BDs and being highly impressed by their quality film reproduction, I started to wonder if their release for this film was any different from what I already owned, whether there was an appreciable difference in the transfer. I inquired about it, to which I was informed that a whole new master was struck for this release based on a 2K telecine of the film, whereas Anchor Bay's UK release was sourced from an HDCAM tape (not HDCAM SR, but regular, old-fashioned HDCAM from the mid '90s), which has a maximum interlaced resolution of 1440x1080 (rectangular pixels which are then upsampled to 1920x1080 during playback). In other words, this isn't true HD by today's standards, while the Synapse release is.
In addition to that, Don May fixed special effects shots and they look a whole lot better this time around. The overall presentation is just a whole lot more filmic and pleasing to the eyes; color reproduction is beautiful, whereas the UK release looks incredibly drab. A pleasing, healthy veneer of grain graces the image. (I've said it before, I'll say it again: grain COMPOSES the image, and you're bananas if you hate grain in film.)
It's a must-own Blu-ray for Coffin Joe fans and definitely worth upgrading to if you already own the UK BD. The HD footage spliced in from the original films makes me yearn for those two to be released on Blu-ray. As of now, the Brazilian lab has yet to scan the two in HD. Here's hoping that they do so soon. In the meantime, Synapse plan to release them on DVD, and they're sure to be a vast improvement over the non-anamorphic DVDs by Fantoma.
The film? A worthy end to the Coffin Joe trilogy. The fact that it was made forty years after the second film and the story has the same amount of time in between is astonishing. José Mojica Marins plays the character with such elegant ferocity that rivals and even tops his previous performances. The content in the film can be quite extreme at times, so isn't for somebody who has a weak stomach. One example is of a naked woman who is drugged and made to show her loyalty to Coffin Joe and his vision by having her right buttock cut off like Christmas ham and fed to her raw. "For you, I would eat my own flesh." Sure to make some queasy.
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