Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Angel. Directed by Robert Vince O’Neill, starring Donna Wilkes (1984).

Image Entertainment/ New World pictures put out an amazing DVD that includes all Angel films in the series on one disc for a small price, I and Mrs. Crank were stoked to find this out, all for 9$, it's a steal I tells ya!

The first time I saw the sleazy cover of a Jekyll and Hyde-esque hooking Donna Wilkes on the cover, I was sold. “High School student by day, Hooker by Night”, what a top notch tagline that was! I saw the VHS tape most likely at Q video (a long defunct chain that was half record store and partial rent out video store). This is also the first place I saw Color Me Blood Red and George Romero’s Martin. I was middle school age at the time and was trapped in adolescence. I seem to remember seeing a clip of Dick Shawn in drag on WDZL in Florida, the same channel I watched the women in prison flick Vendetta on, man what a glorious time, when you could jump stumble face first into high grade sleaze accidentally on TV between reruns of My Three Sons or The Jetsons. That channel really destroyed my fragile mind and turned me into the obsessive gore-nerd that I am today.

psychedelically speaking, I'm talking about blowjobs.

Robert Vincent O’Neill (not to be confused with Vince Neil or the former buffoon of Motley Crue, who’s Vegas restaurant currently offers a margarita served in a toilet bowl).
O’ Neiil cut his writing chops on SWV classics like The Mighty Gorca, Psycho Lover and one of my all time favorite scummy flicks, Vice Squad!

We’re back in the thick of desperation and terror or the streets of mid 80’s Hollywood Blvd. Right off the jump start, one obvious flaw here is that Craig Safan (who’s usually a competent score writer, tries to ape Bill Conti with a syrupy “after school special theme”. I mean we get it—ramp up the sympathy for the main character. I guess it worked for Bad Boys with Sean Penn, perhaps the producer figured it would work here.

I wonder how many of those Danish butter cookies I could fit in my mouth?

Shrimpy Molly (Donna Wilkes), who you may remember from such classics as Jaws 2, Grotesque with Linda Blair (which I reviewed for Monster #31 or Schizoid is the title character. There’s some prime "West Coast Deuce" footage on par with Vice Squad. Molly (aka Angel)'s surrogate family is a cowboy (played by Motel Hell’s Rory Calhoun), Dick Shawn in drag (or LSD from The Producers) and Susan Tyrell (as Solly the punk landlord with a heart of gold). There’s a preverbal fly in the ointment of our drama though, an egg sucking mommy fixated serial killer played by John Deil, who a few years later ended up on Miami Vice and played a corporate psycho in Mo' Money. His type of wacko registers somewhere in between the police lineup of the dude from 10-Midnight or the ninja psycho from Fear City. There’s even some off screen necrophilia, highlighted by a jaunty “summer place knockoff” theme! Why, who the fuck knows? 

my spirograph formed into a mugshot somehow.

I like how even though the main character was interchangeable (they replaced Molly, 3 times), Susan Tyrell and Rory as Solly and The Cowboy returned for their paychecks in each sequel. I should also mention that Tyrell’s dykey character looks almost exactly like Susan Lowe’s from Desperate Living.

there's no toilets in Mortville or in this apartment complex either.

When the serial killer character strips down and gets in a washtub and scrubs the blood off his nude body, it’s really funny if you play Yakety Sax over that segment. Cliff Gorman plays a helpful cop who has sympathy for Angel and her pals. The only movie I’ve ever seen him in was Boys in the Band, a William Friedkin melodrama, where he plays a screeching over the top effeminate gay character.

Farmer Vincent? You must have me confused with someone else, I'm a cowboy.

The scene where the three high school boys abduct Molly and threaten to rape her is pretty surreal, one guy squeals “let’s see that whisker biscuit” and they all proudly boast that they will all get her pregnant. The story arc takes all sorts of winds and turns and it's basically leading up to her becoming a cop and getting off the streets. Go out of your way to see, this flick though, I never get tired of watching it and each sequel gets more ridiculous. Betsy Russell, the girl they replace her with in Avenging Angel is pretty foxy too.


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