• Baphomet (Cleopatra Records) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Cleopatra Records
    Released on: June 8th, 2021.
    Director: Matthan Harris
    Cast: Dani Filth, Colin Ward, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Matthan Harris, Rebecca Weaver
    Year: 2020
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    Baphomet - Movie Review:

    Whoo boy.

    I’d normally say it isn’t a great idea to put too much stock in IMDb ratings, but Matthan Harris’ BAPHOMET, currently standing at a pitiful 2.8 is definitely an exception.

    Clocking in at a measly 72 minutes that still manages to feel like 3 hours, this woe-begotten hot mess doesn’t even manage to be so-bad-its-good. It’s just… bad.

    Plot? Christ. The Richardson clan is celebrating their 20-something daughter’s pregnancy at their estate in Northern California. A satanist shows up trying to buy their land. They decline. Satanists curse family. Bad shit happens to family. Family hires white witch to fight satanists. Cheesy rituals and bad CGI battles ensue. Credits roll and you sigh with relief.

    But I bet you want to know about the bad shit, right? Well, there is a shark attack. Yes I’m not making this up. There’s also a rattlesnake attack which actually makes a little bit more sense in the context of this ridiculousness. There’s also a lot of repetitive satanic chanting but this isn’t charming in the old school manner of junk like 1974’s LEGACY OF BLOOD or the Filipino lensed DAUGHTERS OF SATAN. Those movies at least had things like famous porn directors trying to go softcore legit and Tom Selleck. This just sounds like something a first year film student cooked up for a YouTube promo. The press materials seem to make vague reference to a “climatic battle between good and evil” or some similar nonsense. Yawn. This thing is less “climactic” than a high school lab project volcano that failed to erupt. I did laugh though at seeing the infamous pool scene from Deodato’s HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK being ripped off in a scene in this film.

    That leaves us with the cast, who are totally forgettable save for two notable exceptions. One is rocker Dani Filth of CRADLE OF FILTH. Dani? Don’t leave the day job. It’s a small part, and while he is basically acceptable, he sure as hell isn’t any David Bowie or Art Garfunkel. Then there’s Giovanni Lombardo Radice. By far the liveliest thing in this turd pie, he manages to deliver a bit of juicy camp as the cult’s leader. Radice is of course a legend of the golden era of Italian exploitation, having worked with the likes of Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato and Lucio Fulci. He deserves better parts.

    And oh yeah. The titular demon shows up in the final reel. FX by Atari.

    Baphomet - Blu-ray Review:

    Framed at 2.37:1 this 1080p MPEG-2 presentation won’t win any technical awards but it gets the job done. I do have to say though the use of MPEG-2 is baffling. 2005 called and wants its tech back. That said, aside from some very minor black crush issues, everything looks fine except for, of course, the horrendous bits of amateur hour CGI.

    As far as the audio goes, that’s where things get REALLY strange. Cleopatra Records financed this miserable production and if you are not aware they are a very well-known music label. This will explain the casting of Dani Filth of course. What it doesn’t explain though is why they are still, in 2021, using lossy audio. The Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 tracks sound fine but c’mon. Would it have really broken the bank to give us a lossless track?

    Extras? Some useless deleted and extended scenes, a slightly interesting Dani Filth interview, a pretty cool heavy metal video with Dani singing for NWOBHM legends TANK playing “Shellshock” which is paired with scenes from the film. There’s also a teaser trailer and some storyboards and art. In fact, WAY more special features than this deserves.

    Baphomet - The Final Word:

    Oh hell no. Skip it.

    Click on the images below for full sized Baphomet Blu-ray screen caps!