*I did full reviews for Rambo: First Blood Part II and Extreme Prejudice a while back which can be found here and here. Hence the shorter remarks on them.
It was the 80's, Mr. T had a cartoon too. An awesomely insane, gut-bustingly hilarious for all the wrong reasons cartoon.
And now the main event. While Carolco did action films quite well, as my gushing above probably lets on, they also could deliver a solid horror movie.
Based on a novel by William Hjortsberg (he also wrote the screenplay) and directed by Alan Parker, the film unfolds at a leisurely, nicely creepy pace with a fine cast and some deft storytelling that makes repeat viewings quite rewarding. Rourke is at the top of his game as Angel, giving a sardonic, mellow performance that gradually descends into confusion and terror. He also manages the tricky feat of keeping the man sympathetic even after we learn his true nature (he is the repulsively evil man DeNiro is paying him to look for) while also allowing the viewer to feel a natural sense of revulsion towards him.
DeNiro is equally good as the mysterious client, though honestly with a name like that it would be a bigger twist if he turned out not to be Satan. Still, Bobby steals every scene he's in whether its eating an egg in as menacing a manner as possible or simply talking to Rourke. 1987 was a good year for DeNiro and this film is an easy highlight as he seems to having a hell of a good time with the role. Pun intended in the most sincere way possible.
The best thing the film has going for it is atmosphere and with the New York and New Orleans settings, it has more than its fair share. The film is beautifully shot with messy New York streets, moody blues clubs and the overall creepiness of the story helps that atmosphere seep into the movie.
Angel Heart is a fascinating, creepy, disturbing horror film that does a good job of getting under the skin of the viewer. Just a damn fine movie.
Carolco had good success with these three films and it would only get better.