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First there was "Dementia", then "Blast of Silence", and most recently, "Angel's Flight" -- obscure, independent, late-period noirs which gained minor cults due to their unavailability, little-known origins, and eccentric handling of the genre -- each now revealed to us through the magic of home video. And my goodness, each one lives up to and even surpasses one's expectations.
Despite its technical limitations (the post-sync dubbing is particularly distracting), "Angel's Flight" evinces a rich visual imagination, submerging us in a demimonde of smoky bars, fleapit hotels, sleazy trysts and the randomness of life. The narrative is intriguingly oblique, almost cubist in approach, and the dialog is replete with ripe gutter-philosophy. The plot presages many a future slasher movie, particularly the great "Ms 45". Like the best low-budget noirs, it possesses that edgy oneiric quality of a world seen through the haze of a few too many cheap bourbons and loves lost -- and the futile hope for redemption by our own personal angel. Cornell Woolrich would have appreciated it.
Indus Arthur is perfect as the otherworldly angel/devil. Look for Rue McClanahan in a small role as a barfly.
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