José Mojica Marins, a prolific Brazilian horror filmmaker and actor best known for creating and playing Coffin Joe, has sadly passed away of bronchopneumonia, his daughter confirmed. He was 83.
With over 40 horror credits to his name, Marins introduced the world to Coffin Joe (Zé do Caixão) nearly 60 years ago, in 1964’s At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul, wherein a wicked undertaker prowls the city in search of a female to bear him a son.
Known for his signature long fingernails and beard, black cape and top hat, Marins' Coffin Joe went on to become a Brazilian icon, appearing in many more films including the "Coffin Joe Trilogy," which includes the aforementioned film, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse and Embodiment of Evil.
Joe also appears as the horror host of the 1968 anthology film The Strange World of Coffin Joe, introducing the film's segments, as well as 1974’s metafilm The Bloody Exorcism of Coffin Joe, which sees Marins playing himself and Coffin Joe.
José Mojica Marins also directed the horror films Nightmare (1965), Awakening of the Beast (1970), Hellish Flesh (1977), Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind (1978), and Necrophagia: Nightmare Scenarios (2004). He also directed segments for the horror anthologies The Black Fables (2015) and The Profane Exhibit (2013), with the latter of the two soon to be released by Unearthed Films.
Several documentaries on both Marins and the Coffin Joe character have also been released over the years, including The Universe of Mojica Marins (1978), Damned - The Strange World of José Mojica Marins (2001) and the semi-autobiographical Demons and Wonders (1987).
Called "Brazil's National Boogeyman," Coffin Joe is considered the country's most iconic horror villain, on a par with Robert Englund's Freddy Krueger here in the United States, just to put things into perspective.
"Oh, and one last favor. If you pass by heaven, give my regards to the angels. But if you end up in hell, give my address to the devil." – Marins as Coffin Joe in This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse.