Pros: Remarkably well done on a tiny budget. Vast amounts of talent, great story.
Cons: They occasionally speak a foreign language without subtitles. Its annoying.
Gabriel (2007) Directed by Shane Abbess
Freedom... is the ability to challenge yourself far beyond the constraints of traditional rule and order. We draw strength from our passions... we're driven by desire... even hatred can be a worthy ally when used against an enemy... and yet, we are told to turn our backs on these things... the very feelings, emotions... that make us all... human. Sammael, first among the fallen.
Between heaven and hell lies Purgatory. Filled with the souls of those who have not earned salvation but do not warrant damnation, it is a rich prize in the battle for souls. Once each cycle, one Arc Angel and one Fallen are sent to Purgatory, to try to win the souls there for Heaven, or for Hell. Far removed from either side; the powers have no idea what is happening in there. Seven Fallen have gone in. Six Arc angels. Gabriel is the last.
In Purgatory, he will become human .
He quickly learns that humanity is a trap in and of itself. As a mortal, he can feel fear, hatred, hunger, all things he could not as an Angel. And if he dies in Purgatory, he dies for real oblivion.
Once there, he is overwhelmed by his senses. He hears two voices telling him he must mask his presence, he must not reveal his angelic nature. He is found by one of the Fallen; Moloch, who tries to kill him. Gabriel slays him instead. Victorious, and a bit more cautious, he focuses on the male voice, and has an idea of where to look. He thinks he recognizes the soul of Uriel.
And it is Uriel, surprisingly in a male body, and able to completely hide his angelic nature. He is a grubby mendacious little drunk hiding in an abandoned drive in. The Fallen rule Purgatory. Remmiel and Baliel the Arc Angels are dead, Ameitiel has lost her wings, choosing mortal existence over being destroyed by Sammael, and now works for him as a prostitute.
Being a human limits angels. They are subject to the weaknesses of humanity, temptation and despair. And they are cut off from the source; every stunt they pull uses up a bit of energy and it is a finite supply.
But Sammael has the power of all the Fallen. So Gabriel focuses in on redemption of the Arcs, and eliminating the lower fallen
But in a city eaten by sin and ruled by the Fallen, can Gabriel overcome Seven Fallen Angels before his humanity overtakes his Angelic nature?
Andy Whitfield ... Gabriel Arc Angel
Dwaine Stevenson ... Sammael Chief among the Fallen
Samantha Noble ... Jade / Amitiel Lost Arc Angel
Erika Heynatz ... Lilith Fallen, Queen of Succubi
Michael Piccirilli ... Asmodeus Fallen, Pimp of Hell
Harry Pavlidis ... Uriel Arc Angel.
Jack Campbell ... Raphael Arc Angel
Kevin Copeland ... Ahriman Fallen
Brendan Clearkin ... Balan Fallen
Matt Hylton Todd ... Ithuriel Arc Angel
Valentino del Toro ... Baliel Arc Angel
Goran D. Kleut ... Molloch Fallen.
There are probably not many names you recognize on this list. None of them have extensive acting pedigrees, though many starred on All Saints, an Australian Medical Drama, and on Farscape, the Science Fiction series. Many, this is their first project.
They are remarkably good. This is a collection of raw talent. The movie was made on the directors money, and it almost failed due to lack of funds, but it does not feel low budget. It is gritty and dark and very, very gothic, but the production value is very good, the acting exceptional, and the story, captivating. The direction is excellent, so much so that I was amazed to discover this was his first project, and that it was done so cheaply. ($150,000.00 Aussie Dollars)
Taken in that light, this is a masterpiece, as remarkable as the Blair Witch Project. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and when I researched it to write this review was shocked to discover its humble origins.
The movie is gritty and dark, as befits Purgatory, but has a strong underlying message of hope. For those gamers out there it feels like it could have been a game from White Wolf, run in the World of Darkness. This is not to minimize the movie; it is a description. There are definite Gothic undertones.
The Angels are by and large dang sexy, with Ameitiel being the hottest lady and Gabriel is a totally edible specimen. The Fallen tend to be striking more than sexy, but Sammael is both. While the eyes are a bit disconcerting, he still has tremendous presence.
If you want a dark brooding movie with equal parts drama and violence, this is a very good choice. I highly recommend it.