Awakening of the Beast

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Awakening of the Beast
Awakening of the Beast (film) poster.jpg
Brazilian theatrical poster
Directed byJosé Mojica Marins
Produced byGiorgio Attili
José Mojica Marins
George Michel Serkeis
Written byRubens F. Lucchetti
StarringJosé Mojica Marins
Mário Lima
CinematographyGiorgio Attili
Edited byLuiz Elias
Fotocena Filmes
Release date
October 1970 (Brazil)
Running time
93 minutes

Awakening of the Beast (Portuguese: O Despertar da Besta, also released as Portuguese: O Ritual dos Sádicos) is a 1970 Brazilian horror/exploitation film directed by José Mojica Marins. Marins is also known by his alter ego Coffin Joe (Zé do Caixão). Marins appears as himself and as the Coffin Joe character in the fictional film which is in the form of a pseudodocumentary.[1]


In the film's first portion, filmed in B&W, Dr. Sergio, a psychiatrist, appears on a television program on a panel with three other contemporary psychiatrists after he claims to have conducted experiments on four volunteer drug addicts with LSD in order to investigate his claim that sexual perversion is caused by use of illegal drugs. As evidence, he presents a series of documented accounts of drug use which led to lewd and bizarre sexual acts. Marins appears (as himself) on the panel with the psychiatrists as some type of expert on the subject of depravity. During the program, Dr. Sergio recounts the experiment to his colleagues on the panel, who reject his claims.

Dr. Sergio gathers the four volunteers, and after receiving an injection, the volunteers (four drug users seen in the previous segments) are instructed to stare at a movie poster of Marins' The Strange World of Coffin Joe. The film changes to color and each patient's experience is vividly portrayed in a series of surreal scenes.


The television panel[edit]


Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD by Fantoma on April 3, 2001. Fantoma would re-release the film on October 8th, following year as a part of its 3-disk, Limited Edition Boxed Set of The Coffin Joe Trilogy. On September 2nd, that same year it was released by Boum Productions. On July 29, 2003 it was released by Ryko Distribution and re-released by Fantoma.[2]


Jason Buchanan from Allmovie called the film 'a slight improvement in quality in comparison to the director's previous efforts', also stating that the "color trip out" scenes "remarkably vivid and effective". Although Buchanan stated that the film "leaves much to be desired".[3] Ryan McDonald from awarded the film 2/5 stars, writing, "The title is certainly pretty clever, but overall, this isn’t especially well-done and seems to be a private joke by Marins himself. I’m not sure if it’s anything more than a curio at best."[4] On his website Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Dennis Schwartz awarded the film a grade C-. In his review, Schwartz called the film "amateurish" and "crudely made". Schwartz concluded his review by writing, "How much of this crapola you can take, depends on your intestinal fortitude and how much you appreciate the "auteur's" hidden subversions about society. My tolerance point for such schlock art is very low and I found myself turned off very early on and nothing that transpired later on brought me back into the Marins' fold."[5]


  1. ^ "O Despertar da Besta - O Ritual dos Sádicos" (in Portuguese). (official website). 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
  2. ^ "Awakenings of the Beast (1969) - José Mojica Marins". AllMovie. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  3. ^ Buchanan, Jason. "Awakenings of the Beast (1969) - José Mojica Marins". Jason Buchanan. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ McDonald, Ryan. "Awakening of the Beast - Horror Movie Review - Horror Movie Entertainment News and Reviews". Ryan McDonald. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. "awakeningofthebeast". Dennis Schwartz. Retrieved 16 June 2018.

External links[edit]