Combustible Celluloid
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With: Paige Richards, Dukey Flyswatter, Jamie Henkin, Christopher Page, Dillon Thomas, Clinton Ehrlich, Emily Marilyn, Jana Strain, Julie Simone
Written by: Carly Adler, from a story by Nico B.
Directed by: Nico B.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 75
Date: 02/11/2004

Bettie Page: Dark Angel (2004)

1 Star (out of 4)

Whip of Fools

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This very low-budget effort casts a real bondage model, Paige Richards, as Bettie Page, and the results are painfully bad. Miss Richards has a vague resemblance to Bettie, and she could probably win one of the many look-alike contests, but she hasn't the skill to portray Bettie's luminous presence or even suggest a personality.

Truthfully, the real Page is such an indelible image that it's difficult for even a skilled actress, like Gretchen Mol in The Notorious Bettie Page, to really pull it off.

Dark Angel has a great deal of fun re-creating the famous "loops," but the scenes depicting Page's life off-camera are worse than the lamest student film. The new two-disc set from Cult Epics comes with lots of photographs and behind-the-scenes as well as lots of nudity. Bunny Yeager interviews Richards for a bit, but nothing comes of it.

Cult Epics released a Blu-Ray edition in 2012, though it still looks fairly grainy, as if it were simply mastered from the DVD. It includes some actual Bettie Page "loops," but the quality is terrible, and they have been cropped to fit a widescreen TV.

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