End Of Man (1971)

Finis Hominis (1971)

End Of Man (AKA Finis Hominis) is Jose Mojica Marins’ entry into the Boca De Lixo (Mouth Of Garbage) genre of film – sleazy, trashy comedy films that originate from Brazil. End Of Man stars Jose Mojica Marins as a Messiah type character who calls himself Finis Hominis. He arrives naked from the sea and travels through 1970’s Brazil helping people in ways similar to passages from the bible: such as saving an adulteress from a hypocritical mob (Let him without sin cast the first stone), and reviving a man supposedly dead (The revival of Lazarus Of Bethany). The film follows no arching plot as per say, but rather just goes though multiple short scenarios where the Finis Hominis character comes in and saves the day. Jose Mojica Marin’s Finis Hominis character is an evident parody of the second coming of Jesus, and how Jesus would possibly react to 1970’s Brazil: such as showing the faithlessness of the hippie culture, helping the police raise money for a local hospital, and helping a young girl when doctors refuse to operate on her because she is a proletariat. There’s a lot of positive messages and religious imagery in End Of Man, which is quite a surprise when you compare it to Jose Mojica Marins’ other very dark films, especially his anti-religious alter-ego Coffin Joe.

End Of Man is first and foremost a trashy comedy film, but unfortunately, despite being a comedy film, End Of Man just isn’t very funny. Most of the jokes fall flat because of the poor delivery that comes from the film having a very stunted script, terrible acting performances and poor cinematography. I, personally, laughed a total of three times throughout the whole hour and a half film: the first was at a visual gag of Finis Hominis’ hiding his nudity behind a leaf, the second was when he performs a “show” for the policeman’s charity, and the third, was at the final joke which purposely derails the entire film. The rest of the time, however, I was very bored at what I was witnessing. There were a few scenes that felt like they could have been funny – such as a woman who cries during anal sex has to cry during her husband’s funeral, a husband whom she doesn’t love, so her illicit lover gives her anal sex in the middle of the reception and she cries hysterically to the sympathy of everyone around her – but because the film has so many faults, the jokes fall flat and just end up being uncomfortably awkward, instead of being as funny as they potentially could be.

End Of Man also suffers from a lot of production problems: the cinematography is dreadfully uncomfortable with a lot of actors being shot too close to the camera, the lighting is jarringly bizarre for how down to earth the film’s story is, but the worst and most horrific problem is the audio. The audio quality is downright terrible. Throughout the entire film, not one piece of dialogue is mixed probably and the film’s ‘music’  is horribly annoying; I use the term ‘music’ loosely as the music recycled from earlier Mojica Marins films, or a terrible rip-off of ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’. Multiple times throughout watching End Of Man, the audio quality kept on giving me a headache because of how dreadful it was, like nails scraping down a black-board, it stops the film from being enjoyable and it even interferes with a lot of the film’s comedic punchlines.

End Of Man definitely isn’t one of Jose Mojica Marin’s better films, it may deliver a positive message unlike his other films, but there’s too much that keeps End Of Man from becoming an enjoyably sleazy comedy film. End Of Man shows promise, but the film feels like unfulfilled potential held back by it’s numerous production flaws. However, I would recommend giving the film one viewing for curiosity’s sake, just for the final joke, because the final punchline is worth seeing after watching everything that the character Finis Hominis does and says throughout the film. However, End Of Man isn’t, in my opinion, a forgotten classic, or even a good Jose Mojica Marins’ film.

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