Color, 1989, 109m. / Directed by Alan Parker / Starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet / Artisan (US R1 NTSC), Momentum (UK R2 PAL) / WS (1.85:1) (16:9) / DD2.0

Director Alan Parker's bone-chilling combination of detective yarn and occult thriller (billed in the oblique trailer as The Exorcist meets Chinatown) has aged extremely well and now stands as one of the most accomplished horror efforts of the 1990s. Mickey Rourke stars as seedy private eye Harry Angel, who investigates the disappearance of a popular crooner indebted to the mysterious Louis Cypher (Robert De Niro). Along the way he encounters an odd collection of occultists and oddballs from New York to Louisiana, leading to a nightmarish finale packed with twists and turns. Contrary to the R rating on the American DVD's packaging, it contains the full unrated cut with those extra few moments of Mickey Rourke's bloody derriere. The shock value of seeing Cosby kid Lisa Bonet bare it all and frug with a sliced-up chicken has worn off by now, but each viewing of the film still manages to get under the skin. The UK DVD preserves the same cut but adds on a welcome Alan Parker commentary, along with a making-of documentary and a photo montage. The Dolby Digital soundtrack remains constantly active and generates much of the film's atmopshere of unease; image quality is crisp and attractive (though not necessarily demo piece material thanks to the film's age and Parker's penchant for hazy long shots).

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