DECEMBER 14, 2008
The Netflix description for This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (Brazilian: Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver) claims that it’s more or less a remake of the first film, but I disagree. Like any sequel, there is a general sameness to the plot, but it’s far from a complete do-over. There’s another poker game, but that’s hardly worth damning the film with a remake tag. In fact, it picks up where the original left off, keeping continuity alive, unlike other “sequels that are really remakes”, such as Evil Dead 2. Plus, it features a new town, different characters, is about a half hour longer, and best of all, further delves into the psyche of the character of Coffin Joe.
Whereas in the first film his hatred of religion was more of a glorified character quirk than anything, it’s pretty much front and center here. You can’t ask this guy for the time without him ranting about how religion is for morons and how neither heaven or hell does not exist. It actually gets a bit tiresome as the film goes on (it’s 105 minutes long); it’s as if no one told José Mojica Marins that spending so much energy putting something down is just as annoying as preaching it.
It’s also a better made film than the original, by far. The acting is still hit or miss, but the production value and camerawork are far more professional, and Marins has improved his performance as well. Also, there are no effects achieved by gluing some glitter onto the film negative (though he has seemingly employed a similar idea for the opening credits, which are among the most insane and enjoyable in film history). And there’s a lot more violence, mostly at the hands (legs?) of spiders and such, so there’s something.
Also, Joe is more, for lack of a better word, compassionate in this one. Early on he saves a little boy from getting run over, and then he feels extremely guilty for killing a woman who was pregnant (she wasn’t showing yet). No one tries to cheer him up by pointing out that he wasn’t the father of the child, and thus it wouldn’t have been perfect anyway, but oh well. Apparently, there’s even a censor-mandated version in which Joe accepts Christ as his savior shortly before dying (pfft, there’s a 3rd one, so he doesn’t die anyway), which would have made an interesting extra feature.
The only extras are another interview with Marins, in which he moans about how professional actors don’t like it when you twist their fingers with pliers or set off small bombs near them in order to get a certain reaction, hence why he uses amateurs. The best thing about it is that he seems to think that the professional actors are in the wrong on this matter. There are also a trio of trailers, for this (which spoils the awesome and surprising color sequence), the first film, and another sort-of sequel called Awakening Of The Beast, which was considered the third part of the trilogy until Embodiment of Evil came along.
What say you?