Friday Night Flix: Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre

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Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

Just look at that ridiculous title, Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre (Netflix). Sure, it’s a translation from the French but the original isn’t any less ludicrous. To my delight the movie completely lives up to its tactless, in-your-face box art. Neither is shy about giving away the store vis a vis the design of the creature. Belphy gets a full on money shot in like the first 15 minutes, then spends the rest of the movie zooming around the museum like Slimer and creepily inhabiting/perving on Sophie Marceau. (Side note: Where the hell has Sophie Marceau been since The World is Not Enough and Braveheart?)

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A few words about Belphegor, which is a real (well, you know what I mean) demon from Hebrew mythology. It is also an 80s German gothic band and a 2000s Austrian death/black metal band, the slash apparently being very important. The subtly of this distinction both confounds and amuses me. Coincidentally, according to some sources Belphegor (the demon, not the band) is at his peak power in April. Huzzah, timeliness!

Trouble is, Belphegor is not the name of the entity in the movie and the entity is a ghost, not a demon. So it has nothing to do with the Belphegor of legend. Nevertheless Belphegor is what the characters for no reason at all decide to call him, even though they know from the start he has a name and that’s not it. They might as well have called him Dracula.

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The other thing that’s weird is how busy this movie is, crammed with activity and events, but how little of importance actually happens. One minute we’re in a club, then we’re in an apartment, then at the museum, then in a graveyard, then back to the museum. That’s an awful lot of traveling between scenes. It gets to be a little wearying, especially since most scenes don’t drive the narrative forward at all. Belphegor (whose name is not really Belphegor) kills a few people over the course of just a few days, which should be some insanely motivating shit. Yet there’s shockingly little anxiety about these supernatural deaths. Except for Marceau, who is working way harder than everyone else in the movie, no one has the slightest sense of urgency. “Eh, well, anuzzah veecteem of za creature ‘as been killed. We must investigate. But first, let us ‘ave some more KWASSONT.”

This is a nutty movie that isn’t going to be much fun if you’re looking for scares or tension. But for some reason, I kinda liked it. It just barely manages to pull off the mysterious-nighttime-happenings-in-a-museum sub-subgenre I always enjoy. (I loved The Relic for reasons passing understanding.) Probably that’s because they got permission to film huge chunks of the movie in and around The Louvre, which can’t help but add credibility.

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Added Bonus: Though Belphegor is rather tame (as murderous poltergeist go), he shows his truly evil side late in the movie. Since things have quieted down a bit, the wise old police inspector takes the dignified head archeologist lady on a date. Just as these two senior citizens are about to knock some wrinkly old boots, Belphegor decides to raise a ruckus. Cock-blocked by a ghost!

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THEY’RE BAAAAAAAAACK: Panel Picks Returns, Is Now Giant-Sized

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What If: Age of Ultron #2

Nice homage to a comic I DESPERATELY wanted when I was younger.

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All Mew X-Men #25

Who’s mashed up with whom?

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All New X-Men #25

Guess this is an homage to THIS particular X-Men cover.

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All New Ghost Rider #2

Remember when Mr. Hyde wasn’t abslutely terrifying?

Deadpool #27

Deadpool #27

Gimmicks aside, still cool to see who you can pick out in the crowd. Apparently it’s the comic book cover featuring the most characters…ever.

Wolverine & The X-Men

Wolverine & The X-Men

Hope my child isn’t Apocalypse.
Waaaay more after the jump, man. You don’t even know bro. Continue reading

Modern Borecast Vol.2: Podcast Womp Womp

Here it is, our second edition of the Modern Borecast! It only took a shade under 13 months to get up the gumption, the moxy, the chutzpah to put together a new episode. So hit play and let us know what you think. Downloads enabled right on this very player! Look for the download icon in the upper right hand corner of the embedded player and start getting crazy with the Cheez Whiz. Heck, you can even download it here for on the go aural pleasure. Once you click the link, you’ll arrive on a page & see the podcast title, underneath that you’ll see the track, below that will be the comment box and below THAT you’ll see a download button. Click that, you rascal!

Leave comments, criticisms, corrections or hate mail in the comments below. Feel free to send them to modern [dot] borecast [at] gmail [dot] com as well. TAKE THAT, SPAM ROBOTS!!!

Experience the magic!

the blackest magic

the blackest magic

 

With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Seventy-Nine: The Illusion Just Drank the Spiked 7-Up and Vomited Plastic Dashboard Ozzy on my Living Room Carpet.

I’ve been under the blankets of stoner synth rhythms since a car wreck ’bout 3 weeks ago, but unfortunately for y’all, Kentucky Jay lived through the scritchitySLAM!and took sabbatical for more mixed movie engagement. Pinocchio’s Revenge, the four horsegenies of the Wishmaster franchise, a Lee Majors/piranha showdown entitled Killer Fish, and a documentary about two lunkheads obsessed with pop star Tiffany entitled I Think We’re Alone Now set me regular. Fiber One bars washed with Eight O’Clock helped, too.


I’m certain the gal in the middle was the receptionist for my orthodontist, Dr. Ninivaggi…

7th Seeded UConn wins the tournament while seven-lettered (Ultimate) Warrior drops dead? This news staggers a Ugandan giant!

Good-bye, David Letterman, you sonuvabitch. Leaving TV and retiring and Colbert as your replacement – I’ll betcha Adult Swim ratings will continue to sky-high butterfly!

Oh, my Off the Air episodes are finished downloading? Well, then, no problem at all. FEEL THE POWER OF THE WARRIOR!

Friday Night Flix: We Are What We Are

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Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

Fact: It is totally impossible to run a cannibalistic cult without a dungeon or cavernous basement of some sort. You cannot get away with kidnapping and slowly butchering folk with just a shed or a carport, oh no. You need something subterranean, preferably made of ill-fitted stone patched together with crumbling mortar. The type of moldy walls just begging to be fitting with heavy wooden doors and rusty chains. Realtors should be required to alert the authorities when a prospective buyer insists on a property with an extensive catacomb system beneath it.

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We Are What We Are (Netflix) is a remake of a foreign film, which I have not seen. I know, I know. FOR SHAME. My guess is it’s something like La Casa Muda and The Silent House. The remake is pretty much a copy of the original movie, just in English. Regardless, what I can say is this remake is beautifully filmed, packed with classy actors and heavy on gloomy mood.

I’m not sure if everyone who watches We Are What We Are will buy into the premise. It’s a tough sell, the idea that generations of a family can grow up as murderous cannibals without anyone opting out or calling the cops on crazy, people-eating pa. But it’s stylish and well paced so I went along for the ride, which is not without some basis in plausibility. And holy shit was it disturbing. Killing and eating people is macabre. This movie takes it to a whole new level by making the kids kill dinner. Jeeeezus.

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE

If there’s anything I didn’t like, it’s that it relies on the tired cliche of inbred redneck Christians who justify a horrific lifestyle with twisted dogma. I watch a lot of horror movies. I’ve had more than enough stories about oppressive fathers and abused daughters connected by hideous religious rituals.

Added bonus: A neighbor asks you to babysit. The cute kid holds your hand, maneuvering your thumb into his mouth. A little weird, but whatever, he’s got a fever. Then he bites the shit outta your thumb, explaining “I’m hungry.”

Timm’s “Batman: Strange Days” – 75th Anniversary Short

Thank You Based Timm! In time for Batman’s 75th Anniversary, Bruce Timm drops an animated short reminiscent of that most important of Batman animated efforts.

A brand new short from producer Bruce Timm featuring a lost tale from Batman’s past, the Dark Knight tracks a strange giant to the mysterious lair of Dr. Hugo Strange.

A highly anticipated part of my weekday from ’92 – ’95,  Batman: The Animated Series is easily grouped with that generally triumphant period in animation, where networks were willing to take a chance on new and interesting efforts. For people weaned on Hanna-Barbara and then the Disney afternoon, shows like the original John K. run on Ren & Stimpy, the initial two seasons of Animaniacs and (dark horse alert!) Rocco’s Modern Life were pretty eye-opening in terms of what animation could be.  I’m not saying that B:TAS was responsible, I’m just saying it’ was part of the vanguard of shows that changed animation (for awhile, at least) for the better.

While we’re on the subject, can we settle, once and for all, a heated argument I had once with a friend of mine (ed.note: way to hold on to grudges)? Was the opening of Batman: TAS computer animated or not?