At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul

Director: José Mojica Marins
Year Released: 1964
Rating: 2.0

B-movie from Brazil that was a huge success - think Mario Bava's early pictures with a stronger emphasis on gore. Takes the odd route of following around the main villain Coffin Joe (who director Marins plays) instead of his victims, which demystifies him and removes any potential suspense - imagine the camera accompanying Jason Voorhees through the woods instead of the wacky kids at Camp Crystal Lake. What's left is the ability to see Coffin Joe kill people at will (the police are slowwitted so they aren't a problem) in the search for a bride - the women (naturally) refuse him, so he rapes them or puts deadly spiders on their bodies - and at the end, he is inexplicably destroyed by his own paranoia and the souls of the dead (which makes no sense, since Joe has no conscience or real fears in the beginning - he's virtually unstoppable). The rich atmosphere contributes to its cult status - the film stock is badly beaten up and the movie takes place (mostly) at night.