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Golden Shadow Pictures presents
Welcome Says The Angel (2001)

"Oh, you terrible, terrible human being."
- Joshua (Jon Jacobs)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: December 24, 2002

Stars: Ayesha Hauer, Jon Jacobs
Other Stars: Leroy Jones
Director: Philippe Dib

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:22m:40s
Release Date: December 24, 2002
UPC: 823931001126
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D+ D+D+C- C-

DVD Review

Judging by the DVD cover, Welcome Says The Angel looks like it should be one of those sexy late-night romps that show up on Cinemax, full of passionate grinding and artful simulated sex. It's plain to see on the cover we have a well-chiseled couple in the throes of bliss, with the strange visual of a link of chain leading away from the tangle of limbs. Looks kinky! Even the blurb on the front says it "sizzles with compelling, erotically charged passion." Really?

Sad to say the answer is a big N-O. This is a drab little stage play made up to look like an arthouse indie film, and alleges to show the power of love over addiction. I think. It stars Zero Pictures mainstay Jon Jacobs (Mic and The Claw) as Joshua, a down-and-out Brit who after a big win in Vegas, finds himself alone in a gritty section of Hollywood, where he hooks up with a semi-sweet heroin-addict named Ana (Ayesha Hauer).

Joshua awakens after his first night with Ana and discovers she has chained him to her bed (it's not a bed exactly, it's really an old car that she has converted into a stylishly junkie-chic bed). After the expected yelling match, the two engage in soulful banter designed to reveal peek-a-boo glimpses into each character, and when Ana shoots up an armful of heroin Joshua starts to preach about how dangerous the drug is.

Welcome Says The Angel looks like it would have been best performed in some small local theater where the histrionics would have been better suited, because as a film the repeated back-and-forth between Joshua and Ana gets tiring and achingly dull quite fast. I imagine that as a small theater piece the dramatics would have come across more appropriately theatrical, and though Jacobs and Hauer seem like decent enough actors, the material lacks any real depth. Personally, I've seen enough "cold turkey drug withdrawl" scenes in movies that everything looked like stuff I had seen before, only just not as engaging.

Even the film's big sex scene, the one so proudly displayed on the cover, plays out more as an obligation than a natural extension of the characters. The fact that this is not a story about sex, but rather about ultimately about love, seems to cheapen its message even more.

Rating for Style: D+
Rating for Substance: D+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Zero Pictures had a horrendous transfer on the likeable Mic and The Claw, and another terrible job is evident here, on a film that is far less tolerable. Grain is heavy and constant, and the 1.33:1 full-frame transfer has truly poor image detail. Black levels are a mess, and practically every scene is overly dark or way too red.

Zero is really going to have to step up in the image transfer department if they want to get their universe of indie titles a wider audience.

Image Transfer Grade: D+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The audio is minor improvement over the image transfer, but not by much. The 2.0 surround track has a fair amount of distortion, and in general sounds like a poorly mixed mono track. The mix itself is pretty flat, without any real spatial depth or dynamic range.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
11 Other Trailer(s) featuring Mic and The Claw, Prometheus Bound, Rage, The Blue Door, The Girl With The Hungry Eyes, Phoenix Point, Hero, Lover, Fool, The Wooden Gun, The Invisibles, Dogstar, Lucinda's Spell
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The Zero Story (10m:19s) is narrated largely by founder Michael Kastenbaum, and he explains how the plan to "disregard formula" was the core idea for the films released under their banner. A number of other unidentified Zero Pictures filmmakers proffer quick sound bites, and the whole piece plays like a long commercial.

The rest of the extras include a full set of Zero Pictures trailers and a commercial for the website, Project Entropia.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

This is a dreary little film inexplicably marketed as one filled with "erotically charged passion." It's grubby and uninteresting, and if you're looking for something that really reverberates with a dizzying mix of love and heroin, I recommend another viewing of Sid and Nancy instead.

 


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