Angel (1984)

Let’s take a trip back to earlier this year.  I watched the movie Cheerleader Camp which starred Betsy Russell who played our main girl who was dealing with lots and lots of societal pressure to be this perfect cheerleader and popular girl.  I took quite the shine to her in that movie.  When I went to the ol’ IMDb to remind myself what else she’d done, I saw a movie listed as Avenging Angel.  Which was a sequel to a movie I definitely remember being on cable TV a lot and just hanging out there in the Action section of every video store I’ve ever walked into – Angel.

Soon, I was down the rabbit hole and ordering “The Angel Collection” from Amazon.

By looking at the poster, you pretty much get everything you could possibly need to know about this movie going in.  You have Molly who is a high school honor student by day and a Hollywood hooker by night.  It’s like these types of movies were made for two reasons – 1) perverts and 2) Cinemax.  It’s enticing with that jailbait version of the girl on the left next to the polished, leather shorts-wearin’ whore on the right.  It’s the male fantasy printed on a 27×40 inch piece of paper.

I should mention that it ain’t just jailbait on the left side of the poster.  The lead character in this movie is 15 years old.  15!  Hookin’ at 15!  Now, I’m sure it ain’t gonna surprise you that this movie was a massive hit at the box office wrangling in almost $17.5 million against a meager $3 million budget.  I strongly suspect the imagery of the poster from a marketing standpoint and the fact that this girl was supposed to be 15 drove all the pervs right to the theater and throw money at the movie screen.

You can see why I chose this series for B-Movie Enema, right?

The movie starts pleasantly enough by looking at Los Angeles in the morning.  We meet Molly, played by Donna Wilkes, on her way to school.  I feel like I should just get this right out into the open.  This is B-Movie Enema.  I am going to say lewd things – probably about Molly.  Molly is supposed to be 15, but Donna Wilkes was 24 at the time of filming.  I kinda feel like I’m only doing what the filmmakers wanted me to do when I watch this movie.  ‘Kay?

Molly is a bit of an outsider.  On the bus, she watches as other more popular kids talk and joke about with each other.  She seems desperate to fit in, but she keeps to herself.  At school a super dorky dude likes her and asks her out on a date.  She’s kind and thanks him despite being WAY too hot for him (see? already saying creepy shit about the high school girl) and explains that her mom thinks she’s too young to date.

That night, she makes herself up and definitely looks more like a mid-20s girl.  On the streets of Hollywood, there’s all sorts of kooky things going.  There’s a guy on an old timey bicycle with the really big wheel in front and tiny wheels in back.  There are jugglers, yo-yo trick guys, busking musicians, Hare Krishna gang going up against a bunch of bible thumpers (at least in my mind they are about to break out into a West Side Story style fight), and Rory Calhoun signing autographs.

For real, Rory Calhoun is in this movie.

Most importantly, Molly is out there too in a much hotter outfit than her school girl clothes.  On the streets, Molly is Angel.  She’s street smart and wise to the shenanigans of an undercover cop trying to pick her up.  Angel works with a couple other hookers and they all are either pimped by or tutored by a crossdressing man.  The crossdresser is a real cut up.  He’s full of bad one liners and cheeky cracks.  In some chit chat between a couple cops, we learn that there is a psycho killer out and about.

Speaking of, we cut to a dingy bedroom where a guy is doing some sit ups and watching the streets.

Back on the streets, one of Angel’s friends, Crystal, has this really cute scene with a kind of soft-spoken and dorky fella nicknamed Yo-Yo who does, what else, yo-yo tricks on the streets dressed as Charlie Chaplin.  They seem really sweet on each other.  Unfortunately, scary music starts as she walks away after promising Yo-Yo they will see each other later.  The crazy killer dude starts following Crystal.  He picks her up and they walk to the hotel she fucks guys at.  He stabs and kills her.  Then, we learn exactly how kooky crazy psycho he is with tender love music playing.  He cleans himself up and fucks her corpse.

Yoinks.

Throughout the first 20 or so minutes, we get to learn quite a bit about Molly’s extended street family (Crystal and Yo-Yo already previously having their moment of introduction and exposition).  There’s the transvestite Mae, Solly, her eccentric painter landlady, and Kit Carson (Calhoun) who is very sweet and nice to Angel and Mae and escorts them home to make sure they get there safe.

I promise you, in the all-male reboot of this franchise, Solly will still be played by Kate McKinnon.

Kit apparently knew Molly’s dad when he was still around.  Not much has been said about Molly’s mother, other than she’s been sick or something, but it seems as though her dad was something really special – maybe?  These various hookers, lushes, and down-on-their-luck street performers are nice people.  I really kind of care about them and already feel terrible for Crystal being killed and Yo-Yo for no longer having her in his life.

At school, when Molly is approached by a teacher to ask if she’s having trouble making friends or why she’s not participating in extracurricular activities, Molly explains that her mother has been paralyzed by a stroke and she needs to be home after school every day.  It seems that the school she’s going to is quite expensive and she is excelling at classes, but just… an outsider.  Girls should be social and smile, you know.

The police have found Crystal’s body.  As has Yo-Yo who is devastated.  Mae tells Molly about her friend.  She yells at the police for them not being able to find the killer.  However, the main detective guy says they have to help him help them (which is actually reasonable).  He hands out cards and asks the women to please call if they see anything weird.  That night, Angel and her other friend, Lana, are on the job and they talk about leaving town for Tahiti (an aspiration of Lana’s mentioned earlier).  She sees the necrophiliac dude and decides, he doesn’t seem creepy or nuthin’ and hooks up with him so she can have a “down payment” for their trip.

Probably would not be played by Kate McKinnon in the reboot.  What…  Kate’s a blonde.

So this is a pretty pivotal moment.  The necrophiliac dude was extremely careful that no one else saw him with Crystal previously.  However, he’s quite aware that Angel has seen him go off with Lana.  I can already tell you that will either a) lead to Angel being targeted pretty hardcore or b) this will be what gets the cops on his tail.  Angel gets picked up by a super pervert who tells her he hopes she really is 14 or he’ll throw her back in the pond for being too old.

Yuck.

Anyway, she shares the hotel room with Lana, and when the super perv was washing himself up, he comes out of the room scared and freaked out.  Lana’s dead naked corpse is in the shower.  Naturally, Angel is, like, scared shitless.  I mean I didn’t see her shit all over the place, but she probably did.  Cut to the necro dude’s place and he’s violently scrubbing himself clean because he had sex with a dead hooker.

Trust me…  You need to scrub a lot to get that kind of shame off your body.

Angel calls the detective guy and gives a description of necro man.  There’s a really soap opera like set of dialog between Angel and the detective guy.  It’s pretty obvious that Donna Wilkes did a stint on Days of Our Lives.  It’s a bunch of choked up dialog with her turning away from detective guy after saying something super dramatic.

Another weird thing about this movie are the relationships between Mae, Kit, and Molly.  I always notice when there’s something said that is usually followed by another character chuckling at whatever was said no matter how unfunny it is.  In a comedy, usually there are no laughs after a joke or a prat fall or anything like that.  Better comedies would rarely even have double takes or what have you.  In a movie that isn’t a comedy and need to quickly set up the quirks or personality of a wacky character, there are constant laughs and chuckles whenever said wacky character does something wacky.  It’s pretty distracting.

The necro man is picked up at a porno theater from the police sketch based on Angel’s description.  She’s not able to really recognize the man for certain at first, however, just as she does positively ID the man, the rookie cop in the room with the suspects doing the lineup stupidly keeps his weapon holstered when it shouldn’t be in the room with the lineup.  Necro man grabs the gun and kills a couple cops before escaping.

The detective guy explains the scene at the lineup is the second time that’s happened during an investigation he was involved in over the last 15 years.  Wait…  So twice now this guy has had a perp grab a guy’s gun and shoot up the fucking joint on his watch?  This… doesn’t look good on his permanent record, I’m sure.

Detective guy figures out that Molly is truly orphaned.  The room she claims her mother is lying in paralyzed is completely empty except for a bed and a vanity.  She reveals her dad has been gone for nine years.  Her mom took off with another guy to New York and left a note basically saying, “Yo, little girl…  I’m gonna go fuck this dude, here’s a hundred bucks and go fuck off!  Thanks!  Your mom.”  This leads to more soap opera shit of Molly saying she’s been on the streets since she was 12 and she really doesn’t want to go into the system and be fostered around for pretty much the rest of her teen years.  Detective guy tells her he won’t turn her over but she’s gotta stay off the street.  Does Molly listen?

NOPE!

Necro man starts cutting off his hair so he’s harder to recognize.  Molly obtains a gun, goes to a church, and hits the streets for some good ol’ fashioned fuck you revenge redemption!  She goes to Kit’s warehouse home to learn how to fucking blow up mannequins and shit.  We have no time to see her learn how to shoot her gun, we gotta get her back out on the street in a tiny dress and high heels.  Some guys at her school that are rich jock fuckholes shanghai her and I guess they feel like she owes them a look at her whisker biscuit….  Wait.

Okay, so let’s go back in time a little bit to that time I talked about Chatterbox.  You know, that movie about the talking pussy?  I used a shitload of euphemisms for female genitalia.  My favorite of all of them was whisker biscuit.  In fact, I actually use that term like 10000% more often than I did before Chatterbox.  Now, there’s a guy literally screaming it at Molly in a car.  This movie’s pretty tame for what I kinda thought I was getting with a premise of a 15 year old hooker in play, but now, I love it.

So…  Anyway.  Molly uses her gun to get out of the situation with the rich fucks, but out of their own revenge, they tell everyone at school she’s a prostitute.  Even the dorky guy who asked her out at the beginning of the movie is offering her money for a date.  She goes to detective guy for comfort and to talk about how shitty her life’s going.

Meanwhile, Molly’s teacher comes to see her mother to check up on the story the boys told about her being a hooker.  Mae tries to impersonate her but the teacher is wise to it.  In fact, Mae and her teacher become very close very quickly.  It’s another one of those sorta sweet scenes that plays for a bit of a joke.  Unfortunately, necro man is disguised as a Hare Krishna and sneaking into Molly’s apartment.  He first kills a cop assigned to watch Molly’s place, and then he and Mae duke it out in the apartment.  Necro man gets the upper hand and stabs Mae and kills him.

Molly comes home and discovers what’s happened.  Detective guy has found his cop buddy.  When detective guy calls in Mae’s murder, Molly takes off with a gun and starts walking the streets lookin’ for some good ol’ fashioned sweet fuck you revenge.

Goddammit, are we finally going to get to the good ol’ fashioned fuck you revenge?  I feel like I got excited about it four hours ago and we’ve never gotten close.

Oh boy, I think we’re finally to the sweet, sweet revenge of an underage hooker!

Necro man takes off down the street when she starts firing wildly at him.  She is haulin’ ass after him proving, once again, that if a woman can run in high heels or wedges, she’s probably a hooker.

Somewhere the necro man got a gun and shoots Kit who has joined in on the chase.  Jesus Christ, if you know Molly/Angel, you’re gonna die.  She’s pretty hot, though, and maybe worth it, but the guy doing all the killing may fuck your dead body.  So there’s that…

That is the look of a man who is telling whoever is on his right that they are fucking next.

Where was I?  Oh yeah!  Fucking sweet, sweet revenge.  To add some salt to the general wound of being Angel’s friend, detective guy takes a bullet from necro man, but holy shit Rory Calhoun shows up to blow that motherfucker away!

This is a weird movie.  Like, when you tell me if I want to watch an early 80s exploitation movie about a 15 year old hooker (one DEFINITELY played by a pretty lady of legal age), I kinda expect it to be, at the very least, saucy and can make certain parts of me tingle a bit.  And then when you frame it around the idea of a revenge flick, I don’t expect I Spit on Your Grave level of castration in a bathtub, but I do expect the lady to actually get her revenge.

It’s far tamer than I actually expected.  Is it bad?  Not really.  Was it what I wanted to watch tonight?  No.  I wanted to see some fuckin’.  I wanted to see some depravity.  I wanted some debauchery.  Were there boobs?  Oh yeah.  They were gratuitously sprinkled throughout.  Like, yeah, we saw a set of dead boobs on Crystal.  Lana’s boobs were out and about when she wanted necro man to get naked and fuck her.  Naturally, the gratuitous part was most definitely when, for no reason at all, we got shower nudity and topless cheerleaders getting dressed and not wearing bras under those scratchy cheer uniforms.  Okay, that was pretty great, but still doesn’t quite cover what I was looking for.  I can hope that the sequels kinda turn up some of the raunchier elements, but, frankly, I’m still riding a high of Amazon Hot Box, so I’m not sure I can expect much.

And with that, come back next week when I take a look at the first of the Angel sequels – Avenging Angel from 1985!

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