Boogey Nights

Among the macabre must-sees at this weekend’s fifth annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival are showings of Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with personal appearances by Living Dead’s Judith (“They’re coming to get you, Barbara”) O’Dea and Chainsaw star Marilyn Burns, respectively. The hyped micro-budgeter Paranormal Activity is also on the schedule, along with dozens of other films and a variety of parties, vendors, and other mischief.

However, for a small but dedicated cult of fanatics, the Fest’s real highlight will be Embodiment of Evil (Encarnacao do Demonio), the latest shocker from ’60s-era Brazilian-horror icon Jose Mojica Marins, a.k.a. Ze do Caixao, a.k.a. Coffin Joe. If you’re a horror connoisseur and have never sampled this one-of-a-kind Nietzschean boogeyman -- a maniacal undertaker who, in his signature top hat and long fingernails, wreaks a trail of defiant blasphemy, torture, and murder as he searches for a suitably superior woman to bear him a son -- you’re missing out.

This 2008 yarn, which screens Friday night and Sunday afternoon, is the much-belated third film in a trilogy. Joe, now in his 70s, is released from an asylum and jumps right back into his sanguinary, Sadean old tricks, which make the Saw movies look like middle-class frat parties. Don’t believe it? Well, at one point (spoiler!), a woman shows her devotion to Joe by eating a slice of her own butt. Okay?

Oct. 15-18, 2009
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M.V. Moorhead
Contact: M.V. Moorhead