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Angels Crest: Good Scripting Packs a Punch

 article about current movie reviews
Angels' Crest

***

DVD

Directed by

J. Michael Couto

Written by

J. Michael Couto

Grant Holly

Cast

Christopher Bauer .... Teddy

Currie Graham .... Richard

J. Michael Couto .... Gas Station Attendant

R

90 min

Brand
new on the scene within the last couple years, recent distributor
Asylum Home Entertainment has been putting out a lot of movies lately.
Some of them have been enough to put viewers away in an asylum,
too...really poorly done enterprises.

Yet some are a shining beacon of the true power of direct-to-video releases. Some are magnificent showpieces.

Angels'
Crest is one of the latter. This is one we can point to and say, "See?
SEE? Not ALL direct-to-video movies are utter wastes of plastic!"

So
anyway, what we've got here is the story of two guys, Teddy and
Richard, on their morning commute to work, which is weird, because for
some reason, it's Memorial Day. How do we know? The radio announcers
tell us so. There's a big marching band going by in the opening shot.
Where do these guys work that's got them going in on freaking MEMORIAL
DAY??

Teddy and Richard have decided to shake up their routine a
bit. In fact, they've decided that they need a change of scenery. They
also could stand to drop a couple pounds, especially Teddy, who's been
hitting the cinnamon buns pretty hard lately, so they're going to take
a walk through the woods. Nice and responsible, no?

Of course,
this is a horror movie, and in a horror movie, no socially responsible
and environmentally beneficial deed goes unpunished. Something's
waiting for our two work buddies out in the woods...

...something lethal.

Just what, you ask?

Well,
let's just say there's a HUGE FREAKING SURPRISE to Angels' Crest
involving our dear old cinnamon bun muncher Teddy. The surprises start
at the sixteen-minute mark. Something goes seriously wrong out in the
woods, and I really can't tell you anything more about the plot than
this. Seriously. If I tell you about plot beyond the sixteen-minute
mark, I will completely DESTROY the movie for you.

I couldn't live with myself if I did that.

Sometimes,
this movie can be just really, really funny. Check out the look on
Richard's face as he discovers pine cones around the eleven-minute
mark. It then shifts gears from being a convival, lively presentation
of two buddies from work to being some kind of twisted horror show. The
shift is so seamless, it's amazing.

Maybe it's just good
writing. Maybe it's an intentional commentary on the nature of society:
nice, normal and happy one minute; next minute, Mr. Toad's Wild and
Freaky Horrorshow Ride. It's unbelievable.

Truly, unbelievable!

Angels'
Crest must be seen to be believed, and watched carefully to be
appreciated. It packs layers of nuance and subtlety so deep that I've
never seen the like. This movie is a Russian nesting doll, with plot
quirks packed inside plot quirks four layers deep.

The truly
unbelievable, astonishingly amazing part about Angels' Crest is that
it's a two-man show. That's right. The whole movie is JUST TEDDY AND
RICHARD - that's it! This is an incredible feat of writing. The fact
that they could warp your mind like this on the strength of just two
characters speaks volumes for the quality of the writing AND the
quality of the acting. Christopher Bauer as Teddy is an excellent
picture of the incredible focus of lunacy, and Currie Graham as Richard
is magnificently bewildered throughout. Both of them are excellent, no
matter if they're nonchalantly telling each other stories or engaged in
much more vicious behavior.

Normally, the problem with a movie
like this is that it gets too caught up in its own subtlety that it
seems almost surprised to have reached its own end. This surprise
results in an ending of poor quality. Not so with Angels' Crest--the
ending is as intense as you could ask for.

The extra features,
however, are a little on the sparse side. Spanish subtitles, director's
commentary, audio options and trailers of Angels' Crest, Murder By
Design, and The Code Conspiracy are all we get here.

All in all,
Angels' Crest is an amazing example of the power of good script
writing. Kudos to Grant Holly and J. Michael Couto for showing the
direct-to-video community where their capability TRULY lies...not in
blockbuster special effects, but in a powerful script.



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