Bettie Page was America's number one pin-up girl in the 1950s and became a cult icon. This biopic tells the story of the last 3 years of her short-lived career, recreating the incriminating bondage films which gave her the nickname "Dark Angel", and led to her mysterious disappearance. Written by
This movie was bad beyond belief. I saw it during the 2004 San Francisco Film Festival. Before it started the owner of the theatre got up and told us how half the audience had left the theatre the night before, which happened to be its "world premiere." I don't think anyone in the theatre understood just how bad the movie was going to be at that point. We all understood by the end.
Its not a documentary though it was sort of sold as one. Dark Angel was a bad biography and misguided homage to Bettie Paige, in which half the movie is actually just remakes of old Bettie Paige movies. The movie is only 90 minutes long and the content of those 90 minutes is sub par to say the least. A scene would start going then someone would say "wow you're so great Bettie, why don't we make another movie." this would be followed by a 5 minutes of a Bettie Paige remake which was almost as ridiculous as (and even more boring than) the normal part of the movie. by the end of the movie people were laughing every time another Bettie Paige movie remake came up. it was that ludicrous. I heard a lot of laughter in that theatre, but people were not laughing with the movie maker, they were laughing at the movie and its poor content and structure. This was easy to tell as the parts that would get the most laughs were the ones which were supposed to be serious or revelatory.
I know movies are expensive. I have seen many cheaply made independent films but somehow the cinematography and quality of this movie set it apart from anything else I have ever seen. The movie looks like it was made for $12. The cuts, the graininess, and the lack of a sensual plot made this a memorable experience. This movie makes "Dude, Where's My Car?" look like Citizen Kane.
My friends and I left the theatre feeling like we had just paid 8 dollars to be tortured. The only redeeming part of the experience was that we got to laugh about the fact that someone had actually made this movie and thought it was good. Apparently, the previous night, the night of the "world premiere" the director/writer/producer had been in the audience and had gotten to witness people laugh at and walk out on his movie. Bettie Paige's movies were destroyed. They should destroy this movie too.
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