Angel Heart Dvd

Written by Sarah Provost
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Angel Heart got some negative reviews when it came out in 1987, and the ratings board made director Alan Parker cut ten seconds to bring an X rating down to an R. Sex, horror, violence and voodoo, all wrapping around the great unwashed Mickey Rourke--this had all the makings of a cult favorite. And so it has become.

Rourke plays Harry Angel, a sleazy private eye. He's hired by Robert DeNiro's creepily elegant Louis Cyphre to find a missing singer named Johnny Favorite. (Names are about as subtle as the gore in this movie.) But when Angel starts trying to track the man down, people start dying in some very nasty ways.

A Blend of Genres

The story, set in 1955, travels from Harlem to New Orleans and into bayou country, as the private-eye story gradually becomes subsumed by supernatural elements. Lisa Bonet plays a bayou voodoo priestess with panache. Her counterpart is eerie Charlotte Rampling, a New Orleans society woman who is also into voodoo. And needless to say, DeNiro's character isn't quite the cipher he pretends to be.

The plot manages to be murky in details and predictable in the big revelations. However, there's no denying that there is a major creep factor here. Parker wields his stylistic excesses to good effect, making this a rather fascinating exercise in gothic neo-noir.

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