Almost immediately (in historical time) after Robert Benayoun's citation of "authentic sadistic cinema" (in his 1960 essay "Zaroff; or, the prosperities of vice") and a good two decades before Nick Zedd's rather less eloquent "Cinema of Transgression" manifesto, the Brazilian writer-actor-director José Mojica Marins grew his fingernails long and whipped out the character Zé do Caixão (Coffin Joe) for a few galvanic films in which his actors, plucked from the slums of Sao Paolo, were compelled to enact the tortures of the damned in circumstances that didn't involve green screens or squibs. "Authentic" indeed. I've ruminated on Coffin Joe in these parts before, so I won't reiterate my theses here but merely point out that one of the most galvanic of Marins' '60s films, This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse (Este Noite Encarnerei No Teu Cadáver) will be screening this Thursday, August 14, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater at 9:30 p.m., with a live guitar score provided by my pal Gary Lucas, who recently worked sonic wonders with the Spanish-language version of Universal's Dracula. More info on the event here. The film's visit-to-hell sequence, the only color scene in this black-and-white film, is a particularly squirm-inducing highlight, an oozy bit of body-horror faux-psychedelia that expelled the entire aesthetic of such outfits as The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black, from its pulsing brow. I imagine Gary's found some genuine inspiration in these images and I very much look forward to seeing and hearing.
UPDATE: Because the film has an often prominent and pretty "far out" score of its own, composed by Herminio Gimenéz, Gary's accompaniment was even more of a high-wire act than usual, but the extra slathering of psych-rock and baroque motifs and carefully-carefree-with-that-axe sound effects the guitarist laid on over the film made it even more of a fantastic faux-nihilist trip on a pitch-black midnight ship. As usual, there was no shortage of wit to Lucas' musical commentary, but more often than not his music was a deliciously decadent directive not to beware of darkness but to surrender to it, at least for just a little while. Awesome.