“Like The Prophecy, made for 75 cents and without Christopher Walken.”
Poverty-row production though this might be, I can’t bring myself to hate this as much as it perhaps deserves. While it’s ambitions are far beyond its means [the DVD sleeve promises ‘female warriors in awesome fights’ – let’s just say, it was probably a mistake for me to rewatch Crouching Tiger the same day!], writer-director Almeida does, at least, have an imagination. After 12 years in a coma, Taileen (Fabre) finds herself reborn as one of The Circle, a group of six angels, three good and three evil, who keep the balance of the world. However, Ezekiel (Mazzola), the leader of the devil’s team, plans to wipe out the holy trinity, in order for his master to reign, and Taileen soon finds herself the only thing standing between the forces of darkness and their goal.
Really, if you’re going to offer religious apocalypse, you’d probably better have a budget that could not be described as ‘loose change’. The action is often teetering on the edge of laughable, and the film doesn’t even play by its own rules. In an early scene, Taileen learns she can only be killed by a “profane blade”, but the devil’s advocates still blaze away at her with mundane guns, even after they’ve learned she can stop bullets with her mind. Despite this, there are enough elements that worked to keep me interested: Stiga (Kastel, menacing the heroine in the pic at lower right) comes over nicely, both dressing and acting like a slutty version of Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix. I also have to credit Scott Buckley’s excellent, sweeping and orchestral score, which appears to have strayed in from a far bigger movie. That really yanks the film up by its boot-straps.
Things build to a final showdown in a warehouse, where the makers finally locate their supply of fake blood, which has been largely notable by its absence for the first hour, and it is quite effective. I do wonder why the angels, on both sides, don’t make better uses of their powers, though must also say, said powers are also somewhat crap: if I was responsible for holding the balance between good and evil, I’d want something better than the ability to turn into a fat guy. Overall, one would quite like to see this remade as a big-budget work, because the ideas here are good; with a good effects studio – and significantly better fight choreography – this has a lot of potential. However, Hollywood appears too busy remaking mostly-mediocre Asian horror to notice. We are therefore stuck with a cheap version, whose flaws likely distract too much from its merits for this to find a wide audience.
Dir: Luis Almeida
Star: Allison Fabre, Greg Mazzola, Jasmine Kastel, Rolando Millet