Bettie Page: Dark Angel is an all around bad movie, poorly acted and gives no insights into the character and instead is more of a porn film than anything of substance. The lead actress certainly has the look down but the acting is poor, although I can’t blame her too much given the director doesn’t have much going for him.
Genre(s): Drama, Biography
Cult Epics | NR – 90 min. – $29.98 | May 22, 2012
Directed by: Nico B.
Writer(s): Nico B. (story), Carly Adler (screenplay)
Cast: Paige Richards
Features: Featurettes, Original Bondage Films, Music Video, Photo Gallery
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English Dutch, French, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (unconfirmed)
THE MOVIE – 0.5/5
“Plot” Outline: Bettie Page was America’s favorite and most photographed pin-up model of the 1950s, and achieved her greatest success as Playboy’s January 1955 centerfold. It was however her association with fetish photographer Irving Klaw, that would change her life forever and establish the cult icon status she achieved to this day.
Bettie Page: Dark Angel recalls in episodes, her last three years as a pin up queen, her mysterious disappearance and faithfully recreates in Irving Klaw’s original style, many of her now lost classic bondage films.
Quick Hit Review: Alright, where to even begin… First, in my research about this film I discovered it was made for a mere $50,000 and I have to wonder where the remaining $45k went because the production values are absolutely horrible and the acting is equally terrible even though adult actress Paige Richards certainly looks like Bettie Page, which is probably the only good thing about this so called movie which just has a few poorly acted scenes followed by a photo shoot recreation set against porn-like music. That’s the basic gist and goes on like this over the course of the 90-minute running time.
Although Bettie Page: Dark Angel isn’t the worst “movie” I’ve ever seen, it’s certainly way down there with the likes of Leonard Part 6 and Spice World, although I’d give those two movies more credit for actually trying to put together a coherent story with people behind the camera with some actual passion, something that this “movie” lacks.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover with artwork that matches the inner cover. All the features are in standard definition.
The Original Bondage Films of Bettie Page (40:08) – A collection of 11 short films and pics have been made available and as the introduction explains, they were culled from a U-Matic video tape made in 1980s.
In Search of Bettie Page by Nico B (10:09) – Shot in 1993, this is a series of camcorder shot footage showing the director’s journey from the UK to NYC to discover an assortment of items (like a comic book) about Bettie Page while also learning about the woman. What I found most interesting was to see the city as it looked back in the early/mid 90s, far different than it is now…
The ’57 Incident Teaserama Music Video (2:19) – This is a music video by, who else, Nico B that simulates some of the scenes Bettie Page performed in set against some really bad rock “music”.
Uncut: Dominant Bettie in Black Corselet (8:00) is the raw footage shown in the movie but was ultimately cut down. Why? It was probably to put the audience members out of their misery to end the movie quicker…
Behind the Scenes of Bettie Page: Dark Angel contains a photo shoot (10:46) with Paige Richards, a still gallery (4:13) of Richards and Casting Call & Rehearsals (16:27).
VIDEO – 1.75/5
So not only is Bettie Page: Dark Angel one of the worst movies I’ve ever had the displeasure to come across, but it also has the honor of being one of the worst-looking Blu-rays to come across my desk. The film is presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-def transfer but you could’ve fooled me. It looks like they took the master off of a VHS tape with incredibly grainy shots and absolutely little to no detail level. This shouldn’t come as a surprise of course given the budget, but I have to wonder what the point of even releasing this on Blu-ray in the first place.
AUDIO – 2.5/5
If the poor video quality weren’t enough, the disc only features a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Again, probably due to the basement levels of a budget, there was no point in even trying to give this a 5.1 audio track, let alone a lossless one.
OVERALL – 1.25/5
Overall, Bettie Page: Dark Angel is an all around bad movie, poorly acted and gives no insights into the character and instead is more of a porn film than anything of substance. The lead actress certainly has the look down but the acting is poor, although I can’t blame her too much given the director doesn’t have much going for him. If you want to see a half decent biopic on Page, The Notorious Bettie Page starring Gretchen Mol gives the model far more respect and is an all around better produced film.
Taking the movie aside, however, this disc is poorly made. The video is the worst I’ve ever encountered and the audio is only half decent. The features are OK but not much is revealed.