Angel Heart - Special Edition
AP Ferguson | 08/22/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of us who have long been obsessed with William Hjortsberg's unique merging of noir gumshoe and Satanic Horror (Falling Angel), this special edition of Alan Parker's film version is most welcome. Personally I had been hoping that someone would put together a package like this for a long long time, since my original VCR and DVD editions had no extra material on them at all. This one certainly makes up for it.
There is plenty here to keep fans happy. Four short documentaries on voodoo, original behind the scenes footage, several original featurettes, and full text commentary by Parker and Rourke. Parker's narrative is most forthcoming and insightful, and I really enjoyed having him talk the viewer through every scene, giving intimate background details which really evoke a sense of time and place, as well as some interesting observations on the working relationship between himself, Rourke and De Niro. Parker also reflects on his dealings with the author and how Hjortsberg was kind enough to allow him to take a lot of liberty with the original text. I can vouch for this as the film is vastly different to the novel, without losing the basic tenets of the story.
It's a pity Rourke himself is a lot less forthcoming in his analysis of the film and his role in it. In fact he seems rather reluctant to speak at all, and one wonders why he even bothered. This is a shame, as Rourke is an incredible actor and a unique enigmatic figure. To me he will always be Harry Angel/Johnny Favourite, and I was always struck at how his real life experience to some extent mirrors that of the title character here.
Overall, the combination of period background material from 1987 in conjunction with the more recent (circa 2006-07) commentary makes for a really good package of what in my view is one of the best horror films of all time."