Angel Heart Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet Director: Alan Parker Several of Robert De Niro's film roles take on demonic elements. As a mafia-backed gaming boss in 1995's Casino, he shows smouldering sadistic tendencies. In 1991's Cape Fear, as an ex-con, he wreaks scary vengeance on the vulnerable. The list goes on - even in the Meet the Parents films, a glint in his eye and an occasional turn of phrase keeps a glimmer of innate evil on a low simmer. But in Angel Heart there's no suppressing it. Adding some unnecessary corniness to the fact that he plays the devil in disguise is his character's name: Luis Cyphre (Lucifer, get it?). Cyphre hires private detective Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) to track down a missing male lounge singer. As Angel investigates, he unearths baffling satanic practices that surround the disappearance. Rourke's performance is convincingly emotional in this psychological thriller - and a huge step up from the mumbling one-dimensional waster he played in Rumble Fish a few years earlier. Set in 1950s America, with Angel's investigation taking him between New York and New Orleans, the violent and sexual content is explicit. Before the film's release, several rounds of cuts were needed in order to keep its US rating as 'R', to get as wide an audience as possible. Lisa Bonet, of television's The Cosby Show, turns in a strong performance as the daughter of a voodoo priestess, and is involved in the erotic content that caused a stir with censors in 1987. The plot is a little hard to follow at times, with a certain ambiguity in direction by Alan Parker, but it's a fast mover in which tension builds up and up, with some interesting twists. Visually, it is rich with mid-1950s cars, interiors and wardrobes, and some seamless pacy cinematography. For its day, besides modern horror classics such as The Omen and Carrie, dark supernatural possibilities living among us were thin on the ground, so the premise of the besuited De Niro's devil, with his slicked-back hair and goatee, spending some time on Earth was one of the film's main attractions. De Niro (above left with Rourke) turns in a powerful, merciless performance full of the menace he has shown in other films. His dialogue is peppered by phrases such as, 'There's enough religion in the world to make men hate each other, but not enough to make them love'. Although British film director, writer and playwright Parker has made other films that concern murder, this is his darkest work. This from a man who has also directed a handful of musical or music-focused films that include Fame, Bugsy Malone, Pink Floyd The Wall and most recently, Evita. DVD editions of Angel Heart are mostly the uncut version - with a double-disc set offering plenty of extra insights.