Baphomet (Cleopatra)

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What do you get when you combine some gore, demonic rituals, nudity and Dani Filth? If you thought the answer was a new Cradle of Filth video, it would be understandable, but wrong in this case. I’m referring to Baphomet, a new film from Cleopatra (a company that releases both music and films).

The movie is a supernatural horror film that starts with a demonic ritual featuring not only a naked female, but human sacrifice and blood drinking. From there we are taken the home of a fairly average California family. The pregnant grown daughter is staying with her older parents while her husband is at work in another city.

The family gets a visit from a strange man who wants to buy their property. We find out fairly quickly that the man is the song of the priest who led the ritual in the opening scene. When the man who owns the home turns him down fairly forcibly, the cult launches a supernatural assault on the family.

Their warfare devastates the family. When they are at their lowest point, they turn to a white witch to help them. As the movie continues we learn more about the reason the cult wants the home and witness the battle between good and evil.

I know I mentioned Dani Filth. He gets pretty high billing in the movie, but is only in a handful of scenes. He’s the one who connects the family to the person who helps them. Those coming to this specifically for him might be a little disappointed in the small size of the role.

This is definitely an indie film. You can tell it in a lot of ways. The thing is, when it comes to horror, that’s not really a bad thing. Many of the most indie, low budget films are horror classics. This is a particularly entertaining film in that grand tradition.

It is not without its flaws, though. For one thing, there are some plot holes and some moments where characters seem to jump forward without the real motivation that would trigger such action. The interesting thing, though, is that if you watch the deleted and extended scenes included on the Blu-Ray, you’ll find those things are fixed in scenes that didn’t make the final cut. I have to say that it would be a stronger movie if those things had been left in.

The other thing that annoyed me was the ending. Rather than any kind of resolution, we get a 70s style ending with a jump scare (one that you can predict pretty easily) that seems like it should give way to another act to provide resolution. We never get that act. So, for me the closing of the film was a little unsatisfying.

This Blu-Ray includes a number of cool bonuses. In addition the scenes mentioned before, an outtake reel, a music video of Dani Filth with the band Tank and an interview with Filth are the ones that I found the most worthwhile.

If you like indie horror of the demonic supernatural variety, you will find plenty about this to feed that craving. I definitely land this under the “like it a lot” category. Gary Hill

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