Baphomet Mountain is a film so odd that it has to be seen to believed. It’s an indie film made by two long-time friends, Jeremy Reyes and Austin Mitchel. It tells the story of a bizarre religious zealot enlisting the help of a hitch-hiking country singer to find his younger brother—whom he believes has been kidnapped by a cult somewhere in the desert outside Las Vegas.
Shooting in black and white, with an eye for film noir, Reyes says making Baphomet Mountain was just as much of an odyssey as the film itself. “I co-directed and co-produced with my co-star, Austin Mitchell. Nearly all of the scenes and dialogue were improvised on the day. Many of the days were just the two of us on set. The film was also edited and scored by Austin.”
Reyes continues, “Austin and I met at Playhouse West, a repertory theatre in the Valley. We became friends, and Austin ended up casting me in a relatively high-budget short film he wrote and directed. We both came away from the project a bit disappointed with how restricting and uncreative the whole process ended up feeling. We decided that for our next project, we would get back to basics without the limitations of a script or large crew. The two of us rented a camera and drove out to the desert alone to do what we do best—go nuts! What transpired next was a filmmaking journey spanning two states and many years. “
“Many of the days were just the two of us on set.”
The story is weighted with religious overtones from start to finish, and it’s an Old Testament, damnation-obsessed kind of religion. Jeremy Reyes plays Jesus Boy, and as much as he casts judgment on everyone he meets, he also struggles with his imperfections and temptations. He stands as the one who can condemn you to hell when only he knows the path to salvation.
“The idea for Baphomet Mountain was born of our mutual love for the occult and the people on the fringes of society,” says Reyes. “We brought in different Playhouse West alumni throughout the shoot and encouraged them to get weird with the characters we created for them. We ran wild with this ongoing art project until we felt we had something that did justice to what we discussed that first day in the desert. The entire process took four years of shooting, editing, and generally figuring out what exactly Baphomet Mountain was.”
Baphomet Mountain is available to rent on Vimeo.