Episode 129. Bad Trip: Angel Heart (1987) and Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Whether you’re ascending or descending, spiritual journeys through the afterlife are never easy. In this episode, Andrea and Alex tackle two films that share some overlapping tendencies but deviate in unexpected ways. 


Angel Heart. Dir. Alan Parker, 1987.
Jacob’s Ladder. Dir Adrian Lyne, 1990. 


Satanic Feminism: Per Faxneld’s book about the evolution of Lucifer as liberator.
The Book of Lilith. An investigation into the persecution and villainization of Adam’s first wife. 
Temptresses. An overview of some of the most iconic evil women and why they are feared. 
Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg – borrow it for free!


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3 thoughts on “Episode 129. Bad Trip: Angel Heart (1987) and Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

  1. FictionIsntReal says:

    I found Angel Heart too obvious in its twists. Angel should have guessed who his employer was right from the beginning rather than mocking his name at the end.
    Elizabeth Pena is so good in Jacob’s Ladder I can’t complain about her. I don’t think of her as a seductress tempting Jacob away from his family, since he’s already separate from them when he’s with her.
    “Shell shock” may indeed be a more accurate term than PTSD. Per Bret Deveraux, soldiers in ancient times didn’t seem to experience something like that. It’s really with the rise of artillery that war seems to change.
    Vietnam was not “the first pharmaceutical war”. The Wehrmacht used lots of amphetamines.

  2. Your episodes just keep getting better! Love this one. In addition to your observations, it was interesting to me how the character (Harry) kept “juggling” cigarettes versus bubble gum. Seemed to express the idea of him carrying two souls.

    I thought both the films were produced by Andrew Vajna and Mario Kassar but I think I am incorrect on that.

    Both films feature a heartbeat in the soundtrack – that was interesting too.

    I loved DeNiro’s performance. Very similar to the devilish incarnation Jeffrey Russell lists as the persona of Mephistopheles in his 3-part history of the devil.

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