Baphomet - Baphomet(Blu Ray) [Cleopatra Entertainment - 2021]
Baphomet is a devil cult focused thriller/ horror film- it blends together pulp with satanic curse action, which of course was big in the '70s. The picture is from this year, and while the acting is bad/uneven and the filmmaking is more than a little sloppy - it’s an enjoyable schlocky romp- with plenty of camp, bizarre curse kills, darts of gore, and neat enough-if-fleeting creature effects. Here from Cleopatra Entertainment- the company who put out Glen Danzig’s Verotika- is a Blu Ray release of the film, taking in a few extras.
Baphomet is the second feature-length film by Fort Worth, Texas-born Matthan Harris- his only other feature-length was the 2012 serial killer drama The Inflicted. Though he was also behind eight shorts, as well as having impressive forty-two acting roles since the early 2000s. Baphomet is rather lean in its runtime sliding in around one hour and eleven-minute mark, but the pace/ plot is decidedly swift. I can’t say that either the acting or the filmmaking is really much to write home about, but there’s a spark and passion here, making this an enjoyable budget horror/ thriller picture.Roger Batty
We kick straight into the satanic horror campiness- as we find shaved head and grey goatee bearded Henrik Brandr- played by Italian cult horror/ sleaze actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice(City Of The Living Dead, Cannibal Ferox, House By The Edge Of The Park)- leading up a satanic ritual. A screaming and topless female virgin is brought out, and her wrists are slashed. Up next we meet the films lead characters the Richards family- we have Jacob(Colin Ward) the grey, grizzled and guff father of the family, late fifties mother Elena(Ivy Opdyke), and the pair's daughter Rebecca(Rebecca Weaver)- who is meant to be in her late 20’s, though looks more in her late teens/ early 20’s… she pregnant with her first child with surfboarding vet Mark( Matthan Harris). When we meet the family it’s on their smallholding, where they have a visitor Aksel(Stephen Brodie) the son of satanic cult leader Henrick, he and the cult want to buy the smallholding from Jacob, and he tells Aksel in no uncertain terms the property is not for sale. Next, it seems the family has been cursed- as dead tied birds are left outside the house at night- with first Mark getting attacked/ half-eaten by a shark, Rebecca loses her baby, and Elena gets bitten/ killed in her bed by a snake.
Rebecca in desperation goes to the internet for help, coming across a video from Lon Carlson- none other than Cradle Of Filth's Dani, who is meant to be a white magician. He puts her in contact with local white witch Marybeth(Charlotte Bjornbak)- who agrees to resurrect the arm and legless Mark, and so starts back the flight against the Satanist, and we find out why exactly the group are after the property.
The film briskly unfolds with a tone of creepy camp, hammy-to-down right bad acting, gore, and towards the end a rather neat if fleeting creature effect. I’d say you need to go into Baphomet expecting a low budget blend of pulp and 70’s satanic curse films, with dubiously acting, and slightly ropy filmmaking- but a fair bit of camp and creepy fun.
Moving onto this recent Blu Ray- and we get a few extras. First, there’s thirteen minutes of deleted/ extended scenes. Six minutes of bloopers, a nine-minute interview from 2019 with Dani Filth- which sees him talking about the film, and general Cradle Of Filth chat. There’s a music video, behind the scene pictures, storyboards for certain scenes, and character illustration.
In finishing you have to go into Baphomet ready for a cheap, campy and creepy satanic film- and not have high hopes for the acting/ high class directing. This is prime low budget horror film- warts ‘n’ all so go into not expecting a masterpiece, but a hammy-if-largely charming mix of satanic pulp and curse caper.