YMMV / Angel Heart

The Film

  • Adaptation Displacement: The novel Falling Angel isn't half as well-known as this film
  • Awesome Music: Lots of 40s-era New Orleans jazz and an excellent score by Trevor Jones.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Most people remember this as "the movie where the Cosby kid gets naked". It's unfortunate since the film is an excellent horror/mystery with great performances by everyone involved, including Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Johnny Favourite was a hedonistic occultist who made a Deal with the Devil for fame and fortune. To back out of his contract with Satan, he assumed a new identity and life by performing a black magic ritual which involved cutting out a young man's heart and eating it to steal his soul. Various characters who knew him describe Favourite as a charming but horrible person with an ex-lover allegedly describing him as the most evil man she had ever met to the daughter they had together. When private eye Harold Angel is hired by the Devil to find Favourite, he starts killing off every one of his old allies whom Angel speaks to, including shooting someone through the eye, boiling someone to death in a frying machine, and cutting out another person's heart. He knowingly has sex with his daughter Epiphany Proudfoot without her knowledge of their relation. Later, he rapes her to death by shoving a loaded gun into her vagina before firing it, leaving her baby boy an orphan.
      Epiphany: Mama said that Johnny Favorite was as close to true evil as she wanted to get.
    • Louis Cyphre is a mysterious client who eventually reveals himself to be none other than Mephistopheles himself. He makes contracts with mortals in exchange for their souls so he can take them to Hell, or sometimes devour them. After Johnny Favourite escapes out of the deal he made with the Devil, he hires Harold Angel to bring Johnny back to him. He arranges for all of Favourite's old allies to be gruesomely murdered in the process. He claims to live by "an eye for an eye"-type honor, but eventually shows his hypocrisy when he also causes the death of the innocent Epiphany in about the most horrifying way possible and murders his human attorney by staging an accident. He freely admits that he positively revels in all the death he sees occuring to humanity.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: When Harry and Cyphre meet in the church, Harry swears several times, but Cyphre of all people! admonishes him, saying "We're in a church!" Judging by his bemused grin, it's hinted he enjoyed it, however.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • The scene where Louis offers Harry an egg. Because in hindsight, you realize that Satan just offered Johnny his soul back, and he turned it down. Doubles as Fridge Horror when you realize that the Devil is gleefully consuming souls.
    • Cyphre finally gives incontrovertible evidence that he's who he says he is by sprouting yellow eyes, because he knows Harry will keep denying he's Johnny til the sun burns out.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Bill Cosby having Lisa Bonet tossed from The Cosby Show for violating Contractual Purity by appearing topless in this movie in light of his own rape court cases. Not to mention that this means both works have Lisa playing a character whose father is secretly a murderous rapist.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Louis munching down on an egg means he wants to swallow your soul!
  • Rewatch Bonus: This is a very sad movie from the beginning if you know where it's going.