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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans has been promoted onto the Apocryphal List of the Best Weird Movies Ever Made. Please read the official Apocrypha entry.
DIRECTED BY: Werner Herzog
PLOT: While investigating the slaughter of an immigrant family, a pill-popping and coke-sniffing New Orleans cop’s penchant for gambling and for rolling his escort girlfriend’s clients gets him into deep trouble with his department and with dangerous men; to save his life, clear his name, and crack the case, he must pull off several double crosses while strung out and sleep deprived.
WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: Watched with a doggedly literal mind, this version of Bad Lieutenant could almost be seen as a straightforward thriller/police procedural, but most who check out this flick will come away with the nagging feeling that there’s something exceptionally strange afoot in NOLA these days. Less than a handful of hallucinations dog our drug-soaked antihero through the port, but the visions that do appear pack one hell of a wallop. Cage’s jittery, over-the-top performance and the enigmatic, dreamlike ending Herzog supplies notch two more points in the “weird” column.
COMMENTS: In 1992 underground auteur Abel Ferrara made a notorious movie about a corrupt New York City cop who shoots heroin, smokes crack, molests teenage girls, shakes down criminals for bribes, and tries to solve a case involving a raped nun while hallucinating and dodging a bookie he owes an unpayable debt. Bad Lieutenant was an overwrought, magnificent Christian parable that sought to demonstrate God’s infinite capacity for forgiveness by presenting a character that audiences couldn’t forgive.
In 2009 renowned German auteur Werned Herzog made a movie about a corrupt New Orleans cop who snorts heroin, smokes crack, molests young women over the age of 21, rolls johns for drugs and money, and tries to solve a case involving a murdered family while hallucinating and dodging a mobster he owes an unpayable debt. Herzog defiantly claimed never to have heard of Ferrara or the first Bad Lieutenant movie, but screenwriter William M. Finkelstein notably kept his mouth shut.
It’s a good thing that Herzog, who apparently wanted to title the film Port of Call New Orleans, Continue reading LIST CANDIDATE: THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS (2009)