Piling miscalculation atop intolerable cruelty, this first feature by Michael Tully aims for Half Nelson’s salient understanding of the strange, almost seductive allure of drug addiction. It’s easy to see where the film goes wrong, beginning with the poetic strain of the title and ending with the main character’s idiotic emotional unloading on a girl who looks like she might have been raped on her prom night. Somewhere between the opening title sequence and the film’s embarrassing capper, Scott (Damian Lahey) receives a 30-minute blowjob from a pregnant woman. I don’t know what’s worse, the ridiculous foley work that attempts to approximate the sound of human mouth-on-cock suckage or the apparent smoke burn the woman has around her mouth when she comes up for air, but this much is true: Cocaine Angel talks more smack than Scott ever gets to snort up his nose or shoot into this veins. A few paper plates and cups strewn across a kitchen floor are meant to evoke the disarray of a drug addict’s living quarters, just as Scott’s discussion with his slutty friend about the cigarette burns on her butt and the tattoo his friend got on his eye (yowza!) exists for no reason other than to stress the expansive disconnect between the audience and the lives of these characters. Hobbling throughout the film because of an unexplained cut on his foot, Scott doesn’t suggest a drug addict so much as he does an out-of-work stand-up comedian, and his life is a succession of perplexing feats of human ingenuity and personal interactions, which includes wiping his ass with a piece of toilet paper the size of a tab of acid and trying to get an inexplicably enraged woman to dial 911 on her telephone. Everyone in the film looks as if they might sound like Bobcat Goldthwait before they actually speak, revealing yet another fantasy vision of what the filmmakers perceive to be a drug addict. If this film was intended as a joke, consider me fooled.
- 75 min
- Michael Tully
- Damian Lahey
- Damian Lahey, Kelly Forester, Jamie Dawson, Richard Dawson, Anne Knowles, Adonis Boyd, Dave Tyrant, Christina Ward, Blanca Franco
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: