Thanks for starting a thread on my favorite bizzarro movie! It has got to be the most spiritual, mystical movie about mind-boggling drugs that is filled to the brim with thrills, chills, & spills. But that Hospital from Hell scene—aaaughgh! I can’t look at it. The possibility of it being real—that’s what could happen when a real hospital goes bad—is just too vivid.
You’re right, the key phrase to understanding the whole imbroglio was Danny Aiello’s quote from Meister Eckhardt about demons changing into angels come to free your soul. I thought Jacob’s deceased son at the very end, leading him up the stairs into the Light (a peaceful afterlife) was the angel that had been foretold. Perhaps all along he had been trying to reach his dad and lead him to Heaven, but Jacob had been caught in the grip of illusions that made his angelic son appear as a demon.
The nonlinear time scales of Jacob’s Ladder form much more complex, intertwined patterns than in Owl Creek Bridge. Think of Bierce’s story crossed with Slaughterhouse-Five. Remeber how Billy Pilgrim “came unstuck in time”?
In the Bierce story, Peyton Farquhar was a spy, not a soldier </nitpick>
Do you really think Jessie (Jezebel) was a demoness? Just because something demonic vomited forth from her mouth while she was dirty-dancing? I don’t know, maybe she was just another illusion, but I didn’t care because, mi Dios, that Elizabeth Peña is one ¡mujer caliente! Now you’ve all got me wanting to see JL again.