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Angel of Death (DVD Review)

24 Jul, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Angel of Death

Street 7/28/09
Sony Pictures
$24.96 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Zoë Bell, Lucy Lawless, Doug Jones, Ted Raimi.

Hitwoman Eve (New Zealand stuntwoman Zoë Bell in her first lead role) is an unconventionally sexy killing machine whose contract hits are as efficient as they are emotionally vacuous.

That all changes after a failed hit leaves Eve with a seven-inch knife lodged in her head and a sudden change of heart and conscience. Soon the femme fatale becomes a vengeful heroine with her former crime bosses now the intended targets.

As the badass vixen genre goes, Angel of Death is no La Femme Nikita (The French version), “Alias” or even Death Proof, the Quentin Tarantino-helmed revenge ride that transformed Bell from anonymous stunt worker to lead actor.

Instead, Angel of Death is a workable 78-minute compilation of the original same-titled low-budget 10-webisode series on Crackle.com that reportedly generated 5 million unique viewers and a cult following for tomboy Bell.

With plotlines and character development decidedly lacking (possibly due to online time constraints), the movie scores instead with well-choreographed fight scenes, above-average photography and a solid support cast, including Doug Jones (Hellboy) as morally bankrupt Dr. Rankin, Princeton-educated Vail Bloom (a former Maxim hottie), Ted Raimi (Spider-Man 3) and a superb cameo by fellow Kiwi Lucy Lawless (for whom Bell once stunted on “Xena: Warrior Princess”).

Angel of Death features extensive bonus material, including commentary by Bell and comic-noir writer Ed Brubaker (“Death of Captain America”), and vignettes “Making of Angel of Death,” “Writing, Ed Brubaker-style,” “Casting an Angel: Zoë Bell as Eve,” “Zoë Bell’s screen test,” “Eve’s Tips for Killing,” “Behind the Stunts” and select previews.

Bell groupies looking for racy comments not found on the DVD should check out for an extended interview.

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