Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

The Lord Cage’s Prayer:

Our Father, which art in Snake Eyes,
Nicolas be thy name;
thy  Face/Off come;
thy Con-Air be done,
on earth as it is in Deadfall.
Give us this day our daily Ghost Rider.
And forgive him for Trespass,
as we forgave him for Windtalkers.
And lead us not into Adaptation;
but deliver us from The Rock.
For thine is the Wicker Man,
the National Treasure,
for ever and ever.

Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Unrelated Remakes” with a minor in “F@#$-in’ Iguanas”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!

This week Supercult does a line of Baby Powder, wonders if fish have dreams, and watches Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans!

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Poster

Terence McDonagh, a New Orleans policeman, has just been promoted to lieutenant and given a medal, but his injury in the line of duty causes him nearly constant anguish. Vicodin isn’t enough…he needs something stronger. Corrupt, violent, and drug-addled, McDonagh is a cop that is familiar with the sleazy underbelly of his city. Who better to investigate a drug ring? The only criminal he can’t catch is himself. Nicolas Cage stars in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

The original Bad Lieutenant was a 1992 crime drama about a corrupt and drug addicted New York cop, his self-inflicted spiral into misery and his eventual atonement. Directed and co-written by Abel Ferrara and starring Harvey Keitel as the unnamed Lieutenant, Bad Lieutenant was praised for its outrageous, yet sincere brand of scummy-ness and powerful performances. The Washington Post called Keitel’s work as the film’s saving grace, “It is only the strength of Keitel’s performance that gives his [abhorrent] personality human dimension,” and Martin Scorsese named it as the fifth best movie of the 1990s.

Released 17 years later in 2009, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans was promoted as a remake of the original Bad Lieutenant. When the supposed remake was announced in 2008, Abel Ferrara was outraged saying that finding out his movie was being remade was “a horrible feeling”, “like when you get robbed”, and “As far as remakes go, … I wish these people die in Hell. I hope they’re all in the same streetcar, and it blows up.” When the new director, Werner Herzog, was asked later to respond to Ferrara’s statements, Herzog stated that he didn’t know who Ferrara was, saying, “I’ve never seen a film by him. I have no idea who he is, “ and “I would like to meet the man,” and “I have a feeling that if we met and talked, over a bottle of whisky, I should add, I think we could straighten everything out.”

In truth, Herzog never saw the original Bad Lieutenant, thus, Port of Call New Orleans is more of an unrelated sister film with a new cast, new setting, and a new take on a classic formula. The two are only connected by their basic plot…and the coincidence that both films were released on the same day (Nov. 20th) 17 years apart, and that Harvey Keitel acted along side Nic Cage in the National Treasure movies. Starring Nicolas Cage as the new Bad Lieutenant, Eva Mendes as his prostitute girlfriend Frankie, Val Kilmer as his partner Stevie, and Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner as the gang leader Big Fate, Port of Call New Orleans benefits from Herzog’s typically fearless direction and some of the best Nic Cage freak outs of all time! Nic also spouts the possibly the best line of his entire career in this film: “Shoot him again…his soul is still dancing!”

Nicolas Cage actually snorted baby powder for all the cocaine scenes in the movie and claims that he was never under the influence of anything throughout filming, in contrast to Leaving Las Vegas (1995) in which he got genuinely drunk to play an alcoholic. Speaking of substance abuse on set, according to Herzog 2,400 cans of decaf coffee were used to make the water appear dirty in the jail scene at the beginning of the film. They first tried paint, but it proved to be toxic, then regular coffee, but the actor absorbed the caffeine through his skin.

Nic Head Gif

Though Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans was a box office failure, earning only $10.4 million from a $25 million budget, it received praise above and beyond the original. It holds an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes over the original’s 77%. The Gaurdian called Cage’s work in the movie “surely his best performance in years,” and Roger Ebert gave it 4 out of 4 stars saying, “Nicolas Cage is as good as anyone since Klaus Kinski at portraying a man whose head is exploding. It’s a hypnotic performance.” Ebert also said that the film is very different from Abel Ferrara’s 1992 movie and that “comparisons are pointless.” Which is to say that we all know which one is better: The one starring Supercult Saint Nicolas F#(&-ing Cage!

Bold, surreal, experimental, and deliriously, delightfully unhinged, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is…well… Let’s face it supercultists, this really isn’t a cult movie. It’s just a Nic Cage movie. It isn’t even a bad Nic Cage movie! It’s probably one of his best. But we don’t care. Because we love Nicolas Cage.

Buy a few ounces of baby powder from your local dealer and brush the iguanas off the couch!

The Supercult Show is proud to present, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans!


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