Sunday, November 4, 2012

Coffin Joe: "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Actor:          José Mojica Marins
Year:           1964
Beard Type:  Serial Killer Beard, Gravedigger Beard

Rarely is the power of the movie beard revealed so quickly. 

Starting with the very first frame, Coffin Joe uses the power of the Serial Killer beard to demolish the fourth wall and explain to you in horrific simplicity the meaning of life, death, existence, and blood. And it only takes him 35 seconds. Some people spend their entire lives deciphering fairy tale books and worshiping the invisible man of their choice to figure that shit out. Not only does Coffin Joe have a sweet top hat and a killer beard (nyuk nyuk), but he also demonstrates the highest level of serial killer creepy-talk efficiency this side of Pinhead.

The plot of this movie is simple: Coffin Joe wants to kill people and have a son to continue his bloodline. So in a way, Coffin Joe is like a mix between Dracula and Vigo the Carpathian. Unfortunately, the current squaw with which he bunks is internally barren. So Coffin Joe uses the power of the Serial Killer beard to drink, gamble, bully, kill, kill, rape, and kill his way to a baby boy. 

Everyone in town is afraid of Coffin Joe. They fear the beard, and for good reason. He simply doesn't give a fuck about much. He likes his women with the face of an angel and the fangs of a snake. He eats meat on a Holy Friday while sitting in a window so all the religious townsfolk can witness his heresy. He'll cut off your fingers with a broken bottle if he wants. He even uses the rare combo of the Gravedigger/Serial Killer Beard to publicly announce that he will charge double to bury anyone that he personally kills. I'm assuming this town has no substantial police force because even though Coffin Joe is Webster's definition of creepy fuck and he publicly threatens to kill everybody all the time, no one points a finger at him when everybody he knows starts dropping like flies. He gets the occasional "well maybe you did it, but who knows." That's about it. He's just a bully. A bearded, caped, blasphemous, murderous bully. 

Seriously, walk around your town in a cape and a top hat and threaten to take everybody's coffin measurements. See how long you can last before the cops initiate a Grand Theft Auto 3 style manhunt. Too late now, man. May as well go for 6 stars. Shoot down a helicopter! Grow a beard! Fuck it!

The most powerful aspect of this beard comes in the form of a 5-minute long drunken dialogue during which Coffin Joe hangs upside down, taunts the devil, and challenges God to an arm-wrestling match (roughly translated from Portuguese). For the whole film, Joe has to listen to "you'll burn in hellfire and devil piss for all eternity" threats from just about everybody, but his beard repels such threats and empowers him with the ability to develop his own beliefs.

So take away all the satanic, misogynistic elements of At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (roughly 95% of the running time), and you can develop a feel-good moral:

Grow a beard, and think for yourself.

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