The Film: Heaven’s Prisoners, 1996

The Principals:
Director: Phil Joanou.  Stars: Alec Baldwin, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kelly Lynch, Teri Hatcher, Eric Roberts, Vondie Curtis Hall

The
Premise:
James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux (Alec) is a retired ex-alcoholic cop in the Bayou who witnesses the crash of a plane. Drugs are involved. Some people from Dave’s past are involved. Dave loses someone close to him. Then he loses his shit and decides to get to the bottom of things.




Is it
Good:
Not as much as I remembered. Alec Baldwin is a very good actor but sometimes (this and Ghosts of Mississippi come to mind) he needs a little help in the accent department. Phil Joanou was a crackerjack out the gate but sadly got derailed. There’s some nice filmmaking here. Mary Stuart Masterson isn’t the most believable stripper in film history.

But it still has its charms. 




I don’t remember it being as slow paced as it is. I don’t remember the silly little streak of white hair they give Alec (his character’s nickname is “Streak” and the character in James Lee Burke’s excellent series of novels has the patch but we don’t have to see how silly it is). I don’t remember the overboiled ending. I remember Alec being a badass in this and he’s contantly getting smashed around.

I remember thinking this was an underrated gem. It’s not. It’s ok. No one’s best movie, especially not Teri Hatcher’s bits:



Is it
Worth

a
Look: It’s worth a look if you like Burke’s work, but the Tommy Lee Jones starred In the Electric Mist is a weird but fun little oddity. Mostly, it’s a shitload better in my mind.

Random
Anecdotes:
Little Hispanic girl cannot keep a mother figure alive for shit! I didn’t know great voiced Badja Djola died. That’s fucked. Alec’s jeans and pants are pulled up to his jawline. Not a good look, Mr. Sir. Eric Robert’s is good in this. Teri Hatcher might want to consider becoming a Never Nude.

Cinematic Soulmates: In the Electric Mist, State of Grace, other movies where Alec tells someone that he has their Dreamsicle hanging low.


The
Tally

So
Far

 Positive  Negative
 Pontypool Deadgirl
 State of Play The Children
 Orphan  It’s Alive
 Grace  Friday the 13th, Part 3
 Inside  Hounddog
 3000 Miles to Graceland Columbus

Day

The Last Supper  Angel

Eyes

 Things To Do In Denver
When

You’re

Dead

Highlander:

The

Source

 World’s Greatest Dad  
The Killing Hour (aka The
Clairvoyant)

 Lady Beware  
The

Neverending
Story

 Pitch Black  
Battlefield Earth
 For All Mankind Heaven’s Prisoners
 Splinter  
 Blessed

by

Fire

 
 Outland  
The Kindred  
 

Top

Secret

 
 

Beer Wars

 
 
The Brood
 
The

Incredible

Hulk 

 
Undertaking

Betty

 
 Cache  
 
Taxi
Blues

 
 
Across the Universe
 
Lord of War
 
 
Dead Heat
 
 
The

Adventures
of Buckaroo Banzai
Across the

8th Dimension

 
 
Every

Which
Way But Loose

 
 
The

Entity

 
 
The

Slammin’
Salmon

 
 
Gremlins
2: The New Batch

 

Master Of The Flying
Guillotine