O Ritual dos Sádicos (Awakening of the Beast) (1970)

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Brazilian horror icon Jose Mojica Marins explores the drug culture as only he can in this distinctive blend of terror and surrealistic images. A group of leading Brazilian psychiatrists have come together to debate the effects of recreational drugs (particularly LSD, marijuana, and cocaine) on their patients, with noted filmmaker Marins in attendance. As the doctors exchange increasingly bizarre stories -- running from a female college student led into a fatal sexual encounter with a group of pot-smoking bohemians to an older cocaine-addled woman obsessed with miscegenation and bestiality -- one proposes an unusual experiment. Gathering four volunteers with long histories of drug abuse, the doctor doses them with LSD and presents them with the fearsome image of Marins' alter-ego, Ze do Caixao (aka Coffin Joe), and under the influence of the hallucinogen they are taken on a bizarre voyage through the frightening world of Coffin Joe's psyche. O Ritual dos Sádicos was completed in 1969, but after it was rejected by government censors, the film went unreleased in Brazil for 20 years; while most of the film is in black-and-white, the concluding hallucination sequences are in vivid color. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for O Ritual dos Sádicos (Awakening of the Beast)

Audience Reviews for O Ritual dos Sádicos (Awakening of the Beast)

½

Marins shows again that he has a great eye for creating unsettling compositions, but while it isn't hard to see what he wants to do here, his climactic psychedelic sequence in color is more like laughable nonsense and the conclusion it draws doesn't carry the impact intended.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

I'm tempted to rate this a five just for the sheer perversity of it all. But as much fun as it is to make sport of, it's a really bad movie. One of Coffin Joe's (Brazil's answer to Ed Wood, director Jose Mojica Marins) messterpieces, this one is supposedly a serious study of how LSD affects behavior. Scenes of really bad, not even CLOSE to erotic softcore sexual content involving some really ugly people (WTF? I thought Brazilian people were supposed to be gorgeous!?!), including a gangbang, a rape, bestiality, and nods to various forms of fetishism. In between these scenes are scenes of social scientists, doctors and psychiatrists discussing what all this means to society as a whole. Finally, four of the "perverts" are chosen to be part of an experiment involving LSD and Coffin Joe movies. Following scenes where these folks attend a club with erotic dancers and a porn flick, they take LSD and end up in what appears to be hell, with people being tortured and abused, along with lots of nudity and sexual imagery. I'm guessing this is some sort of lame-ass acid trip. While most of the film is in B&W, this acid trip is in brilliant, nauseous color. Viewers should take particular note of the music. It is so totally inappropriate for the action on screen, that it's hilarious. The whole thing is just ridiculous, all the more so because it seems to take itself so seriously. But then again, maybe the joke's on me.

Cindy I
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

½

Maybe i need to rewatch this.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

½

Interesting and odd entry in the Coffin Joe series. Takes a while to realize that it is actually a Coffin Joe flick, but that Marins craziness is there from the start. Plays out like a stoner's version of an anti-drug film shown throught the eyes of Coffin Joe. Good stuff.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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