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Fallen Angels (2003)
Director: Ian David Diaz

review by Steve Anderson

Every time Jeff Fahey stars in a cheap, poorly done piece of direct-to-video slop, an angel gets its wings. Right now, by my count, there are about three angels in heaven still taking the bus to work.

And you can tell right off that this one's going to be a doozy. We kick it off with a girl waiting on the side of a road in the countryside for a football player to show up. The late footballer then proceeds with a bunch of stories about why it took him so long, ending with the line, "you look good enough to die for!"

And before the audience can spit back an acerbic, 'Oh, you will!', he takes three shots in the stomach from a trio of masked men. Funny, though... their weapons look strangely like paintball guns. Anyone with a pause button on their DVD player will be able to see it fairly easily - just pause after Mr Football Hero takes his gut-shots.

And surprise surprise... they are paintball guns! But I've never seen paintball guns with muzzle flashes before... but anyway. Awful and awfully predictable joke aside; we carry on with the plot, if this piece of inexcusable tripe can be called a plot. Basically, what's going on here is that a former professor at a Catholic girls' school is stalking one of the students, and it ends poorly. Poorly as in a school-consuming fireball. But when an English documentary team comprised of one of the surviving girls goes back to investigate, things go wrong once again.

Leading us to our first plot hole of the day... for an abandoned girls' school that just had a fireball race through its upper half, it looks really, really well maintained. It's plain to see that the documentary crew is out to build the best performance it can at the cost of its participants. Meanwhile, a serial killer in a rain slicker is stalking the documentary crew and its participants.

I recommend bringing a book along if you watch this, because the first hour or so is a yawn big enough to cure insomnia. The last half-hour is a bit better because that's where all the 'survival horror' events kick in, and even then it's slow and poorly done.

Frankly, the whole movie is slow and poorly done. Fahey's incredibly lethargic performance watches as though it were on stilts, and the rest of the cast of assorted no-names is unbelievable and wholly unsympathetic. And while I'm at it, Michael Ironside, what the hell are you doing in this picture? You're a good actor! Why are you wasting your time with slop that considers Jeff Fahey a big enough star to get top billing?

The ending is, once again, poorly done. It's not that much of a twist to begin with except for its sheer improbability. Fallen Angels is pure and simple garbage, shovel reel at its very worst. It robs better movies with bigger budgets of plotlines (Fallen Angels is at its lowest terms really little more than a hybrid of Scream and Urban Legend with some minor alterations thrown in), and refuses to make anything new or interesting out of what it doesn't steal directly.

The extra features menu is a perfect metaphor for the quality of the film, that is to say, none at all. There are no special features. No commentary or deleted scenes or filmographies. Not even subtitles or options for a change in audio quality.

So, all in all, Fallen Angels is just one sadder retread of films that were already a little tired when they were first released.
Fallen Angels

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