Marins left an indelible mark on the industry playing the role of “Coffin Joe” (Zé do Caixão) in 1964’s At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, a sadistic undertaker whose sole focus is finding a woman worthy of continuing his bloodline. This character spurned into a trilogy of movies known as the Coffin Joe franchise: This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse, Embodiment of Evil, and The Bloody Exorcism of Coffin Joe.
Marins picked a slew of other nicknames throughout his storied career. While his films were known for being extremely bizarre and the actor was largely unknown to the mainstream horror film world for a long time, he developed a cult following. Much of his filmography were movies that fell under the horror sub-categories such as sexploitation, drugsploitation, and pseudo-documentaries.
The actor and director also wrote many of his films. He starred, acted and directed 1971’s End of Man, 1874′ Exorcism Negro, and Embodiment of Evil in 2008.
Born on March 13, 1936, in San Paulo, Brazil, he went on to appear in nearly 75 films according to his IMDB page. He also directed 43 films including 1977’s Hellish Flesh, 1979’s Estupro, and 1984’s Fifth Dimension of Sex.
In Marins’ latest project, Mosquitoid, he was once again reprising the role of Coffin Joe. The movie is listed on IMDB as still filming and co-star actress Rita Cadillac. Coffin Joe was famous for his extremely long fingernails and always wore a black top hat, which was the character’s signature look on film.
According to Bloody Disgusting, Marins also earned the nicknames, “Brazil’s National Boogeyman,” and “Brazil’s Freddy Krueger.”
Tributes To ‘Coffin Joe’ Flooded Twitter Following The News of His Death
While Marins was never a huge commercial star in America, his fan base was extremely dedicated. After learning the news of his passing, fans of his films shared moving tributes to the Brazilian filmmaker. Users online referred to “Coffin Joe” as a “horror icon” while one Twitter member thanked him for “delivering wild and weird cinema.
Preston Fassel, creative executive and staff writer at Fangoria tweeted, “RIP to Jose Mojica Marins. If you’re not familiar with him, start with my Corrupt Signals column in the last issue of @fangoria, then dive into the Coffin Joe Trilogy. He’s a filmmaker who’s sadly unknown in the states, and I hope that changes.”
James Rolf, creator of the web show Angry Video Nerd tweeted, “R.I.P. José Mojica Marins. He was one of my greatest influences in horror filmmaking. Very sad to hear he’s gone, but his character “Coffin Joe” is immortal.”
Fans likened Marins as “The Orson Welles of Horror Films,” while another Twitter member shared, “I became obsessed with Coffin Joe movies when I really got into foreign horror films, everyone who loves gothic horror should see the epic At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul. RIP.”