Virtue is often associated with beauty, and evil with ugliness. But in Argentina in the 1970s, there was a teen serial killer so strikingly becoming he was known as El Angel — the Angel of Death.
When we meet him in Argentine writer/director Luis Ortega's film, Carlos (Lorenzo Ferro) is a 17-year-old halo of curls in denim jacket and jeans — slender, baby-faced, pouty-lipped. The first thing we see him do is sneak into an empty mansion, fix himself a drink and help himself to jewelry. Then he puts on an LP, dances with loose-limbed abandon, steals a motorcycle and — still before the opening titles — heads home.
Carlos is a handful — he's spent his teen years in and out of juvenile detention, selling his folks on the notion that friends just give him the things he steals. Dad's skeptical:
"What you haven't got, be patient," he tells his son. "With hard work, you'll get it."
Carlos prefers shortcuts — picking a fight with a handsome classmate he has a crush on, say, to make him a pal. That classmate, Ramon (Chino Darin), is the son of a petty criminal (Daniel Fanago) who lets Carlos tag along as they case a gun shop after hours. But Carlos doesn't just look around — he comes out with armloads of rifles, then goes back for ammo. This earns him a place in the family "business," as it were, and a fake ID with a name that pleases him: Carlos Brown. (Which is to say: Charlie Brown.)