Angel 4: Undercover (1994)

Previously on B-Movie Enema…

Wait…  Oh no…

What the fuck is this shit?

No…  I…  The “Angel Collection” came with only THREE movies…  Wh-what is this?

Oh god no…

And now…  B-Movie Enema’s 175th article, Angel 4: Undercover.

Yup, here we are, my 175th outing on this blog.  Normally, I’d think fanfare would be involved, but no.  Not this time.  Well, not for me.  Remember back in the simpler times of December 2018, I covered Angel, Avenging Angel, and Angel 3: Geoff Can’t Remember the Subtitle and Doesn’t Care Enough to Go Back and See, But Is Pretty Sure It Indicated It Was the Last One (Which It Is Clearly Not).  I was rather distressed to find there was a fourth fucking film out there from the 90s.

I knew at some point I’d get around to it, and considered trying to hold off until some asshole had it on a DVD-R I could use, but then those Angel Collection articles came out and you jerkasses really liked them.

And, alas, I decided to find a spot where I could cover this final piece of the much (apparently) beloved Angel series.  Oh boy am I not looking forward to this.  Look at that goddamn box art.  That is some serious fuck right there.  This stinks of 90s “eroticism” to the point that I feel like I can smell that terrible scent of the inside of a 1985 Ford Escort just after finishing finger blasting your girlfriend back behind the Dog ‘n Suds.  If you haven’t quite pieced it together, that’s not a great smell because all of that is also mixed with a heavy dose of teenage desperation.

I will give the prior three films in this series credit for actually looking like movies and having box and poster imagery that makes you think some attempt had been made to think about production value.  But this…  This is bush league.  I mean the images are too crisp, the lighting is all fucked, and the woman on the cover a) does not look like “Angel” what with that blonde, straight hair and b) I mean no offense, but she looks like a 90s porn star… or possibly hooker.

Wait…

Well, fuck.  You got me there, movie.  Touché.

And maybe this will be a surprising entry in the series (it won’t be).  Maybe that lady will actually be quite alluring and pretty in the actual movie (it’s quite possible).  I have little reason to believe this won’t just be a lot of slow saxophone music and Cinemax or late night Showtime level production value though.  Probably a lot of sets dressed up like bedrooms or various other locations with a fake window with lighting to try to make it look like it’s actually outside.  You know what I’m talking about.  The “we have zero locations, but we have an abandoned warehouse in the worst part of town, and some day labor to clean it up and put up some paper walls to look like a bedroom or an office” sort of look and feel to it.

If you’re old enough to have watched Cinemax and Showtime late at night in the 90s, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

I’ve gone on too long now and it’s starting to look an awful lot like I’m trying to avoid this movie and get to that Lucio Fulci saxophone fucking the lady movie for next week, so let’s dive in already.  All I have to do is press start and…

Fuck off with these dumb credits.

Shit hard rock song about assault with a deadly weapon.  Shit music video effects for this dumb broad to dance with.  Shit font used for the credits.  The whole goddamn thing smacks of shot-on-video ass fuck.

Guys…  I am so glad I am done with this series after this movie.  I know there are fans of this series, but seriously, these four movies can fuck right off.  I wanted revenge in the first, and I got teenager melodrama with jailbait sauce.  The second I thought, “Oh finally, she’s in college, let’s see them titties!” but no.  That was a clown show.  The third one…  Closer…?  But it still sucked.  This movie is seriously shot on that slightly higher grade USA Network style video, but the other three at least had a film fucking budget.

Okay, this movie starts in a radio station where the disc jockey hates the music he plays, and judging by the theme song, yeah, I get it.  Anyway, this guy who looks like he is about to mouth fuck this weasel is paying the twerp in a payola scam where that theme song is supposed to play constantly.  Anyway, Twerp McDerp says his wife found out about him dealing in payola and this tough guy, Hank, is here to remind him what’s what.  Anyway, the twerp runs away to the roof and, despite Hank warning him, the dude backs off the ledge and falls to his death.

I am kind of concerned this guy’s death won’t mean much in the long run.

Molly/Angel shows up because she is the girlfriend of a radio DJ dude.  She apparently does photos for crime scenes now or something.  Remember when she wanted to be a lawyer?  Yeah, fuck off with that.   This is the one big piece of continuity that I can say I appreciate.  She was a freelance photographer in the third movie, now she is still taking pictures so huzzah I guess.  She gets a call from an old friend, Paula, who knows she was Angel because she tries calling her that only for that shit to get shut down.

They meet for lunch.  We get some dialog that I guess they are friends from that shit from back in the first movie, whenever that timeline says that happened.  Paula has cleaned up her act, and quit “the drugs” and is now shacking up with a bass player in a rock and roll band.  I’m sure there isn’t any sex and drugs happening there to wreck  Paula’s good vibes she’s obtained over the years.  I’m also sure she isn’t going to die or nothing because every one of Angel’s friends live long, very healthy lives.

Paula is with the bass player, but she’s got designs on the lead singer, Piston Jones.  His name is PISTON Jones.  They might as well called his character Fuck Machine.  Anyway, he’s the lead singer of AK-47, the band who sang our fuckshit theme song, and the one that Hank fella was doing the payola scam at the radio station for.  He’s had an overdose, which also killed his girlfriend, and he’s now with this super bitch.  This will surely not explode in everyone’s face.

And, goddammit.  Why are YOU here?

Goddammit, Roddy, you were in the Planet of the Apes series.  You’re in the FOURTH Angel movie?  Were studios not calling you?  Did you need this paycheck this much?  Did the producers have embarrassing photos of you eating a Big Mac after you did that commercial for Burger King claiming Big Macs were only eaten by assholes and “the gays”?  Did I make that last bit up?  Am I suffering from a fever dream already because I’m covering the fourth Angel movie?

Sigh…  Anyway, Roddy here is the evil businessy businessman in charge of the recording label AK-47 is on.  His name is Geoffrey…  Double Sigh.  Anyway, he’s concerned that Fuck Machine Jones is getting offers from bigger labels like Elektra and Geffen (yeah, 25 years ago, they were still around and considered big labels.  So Geoffrey here gives Hank his marching orders to always make Fuck Machine happy, even if it means he has to get rid of other band members – like Paula’s bass player fuckboy.  Before a big gig, Geoffrey gives Fuck Machine a pill while whispering sweet nothings into his ear about how he’s gonna be a big star or something.

Rocketman this is not.

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here in this movie.  The poster for Angel 4 says she’s an executive by day and a hooker by night.  So far, Angel has been neither.  She’s a photographer for crime scenes and shit.  It didn’t say anything about rock and roll music or pill poppin’ Fuck Machines.  Oh, what’s AK-47’s music sound like?

Barf.

We’re 30 minutes into this movie and Molly/Angel has been in literally like 5 or 6 minutes total.  It’s mostly been this dumb rock and roll plot thing going on that was not mentioned on the poster.  I will say, though, that our Molly/Angel in this movie, Darlene Vogel, is very pretty and very down to earth in looks.  I think she looks a lot like Patsy Kensit – and that’s not bad at all.  She seems like a lady who has her shit together after years of dealing with some pretty fucked up stuff.

But that is also to say, this is not her…

Neither is this…

And, as I’ve said before, she has been neither throughout the first act of this movie.

Oh yeah…  Movie.  There’s still one happening on my computer screen.  Paula gets what she was going for by sneaking off into some bedroom?  At a bar?  That also had strippers on poles dancing after the show to the band’s music even though they played those songs during their show?  Oh fuck it…  Remember what I said about an abandoned warehouse that is probably dressed up to look like bedrooms and shit with terrible lighting?

Yup.

Oh god.

Holy shit…  I sometimes hate being right.

Alright, so Paula goes tits out while Piston Honda goes to town on them nipplies.  Paula, Kerrie Clark, is super hot.  She’s got a real nice mid-90s hot about her.  She gets what she was after, aka AK-47’s diiiiick, but he has a giant freak out when he realizes he’s missed the alarm for his next round of pills.  Paula decides that all this seems pretty normal and says she’s gonna take a shower.

This…  This is not normal, Paula.

I mean…  How completely fucked was your old life if you think this is all a-ok when a guy goes fucking apeshit over not being able to find his pills and then yells at you that no, he does NOT want to take no fuckin’ shower with your hot naked titty breasts and lady crotch bits.  He also has a sweet little Sears Photo Studio picture of his dead ex-girlfriend that he snorts pills off of.  Also his bitch current girlfriend is basically going off with another dude and rubs it in.  When Paula gets out of the shower, Piston attacks Paula with some handcuffs wanting to get real rough with her.  She locks herself into the bathroom and hides in the shower while he breaks down the door to attempt murder.  Jade comes home and finishes the job though and asks Piston, “What have we done?”

Um…

Jade, you killed Angel’s girlfriend.  Piston, you were tripping balls off some pills.  Angel will probably kill you and everything you love (I know… wishful thinking that this series still has a revenge movie plot movie in here somewhere).

Speaking of Molly, she gets called to take pics of Paula’s body.  She’s understandably upset.  They especially don’t seem to care because they think Paula is just another dead hooker.  Ugh…  Nothin’ but dead hookers in Los Angeles, man.

Upon further investigation, a friend of Molly’s realizes that Paula did have a cut throat but that’s not what killed her.  However, what did cut her throat was probably a guitar string.  Molly goes to investigate AK-47.  She’s unable to get inside to watch them practice, but does notice a scantily-clad chick get entrance.  Angel is REBORN!

She literally runs into Piston and she decides to use her wiles to charm him.  Apparently, she kinda looks like his dead ex.  Before realizing he’s talking about a dead woman, she asks where this girl she reminds him of is, and he rambles off some shit about how she might be sitting with Zeus or hanging out with Shakespeare or… Maybe she’s been reincarnated and sitting across from him right now.  Angel just gives him this look like, “Ugh… What is with this goon?”

He goes off for a gig, and Jade tells her to beat cheeks or she’ll tear her throat out with a fork.  Just then, Hank approaches Angel and tells her she’s been added to the guest list and she’s been asked to accompany Piston while he does some shopping the following day.  Angel plays it real cool and says she’s a photographer so he shouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t show.  I don’t know what that means, but I guess that means photographers are as flaky as superstar rock and roll guys.

So Angel shows up at the guitar shop to hang with Piston.  She opts 1) wear all white and 2) say fuck off to bras (I like this Angel).  Piston gets superstar treatment from his friend who owns the guitar shop, but this does beg some questions…

He seems to constantly be buying guitars because he gets high and smashes every guitar he puts his hands on (he’s seen doing that during the opening credits, on stage before he nearly chokes out his topless dancer, and when he’s raged out trying to get to Paula).  Yet, he is playing really small, intimate shows in abandoned warehouses meant to look like the fucking Gasworks in Wayne’s World.  He also seems to be with a relatively small label because Cornelius is concerned that a larger label will steal him away and give him more money.  So…  What gives?  Is this guy an actual superstar or just some sorta local sorta celeb?  I mean, he can fuck whatever girl he wants because we all know girls can’t control their pussy bits around douchebags with guitars, but is he actually rich?  I don’t think so.  I don’t think he’s earned this celebrity status he seems to enjoy.  I know his songs suck elephant butt.  I just don’t know if he’s an actual superstar like he thinks, or as we’re told, he is.

He literally takes five minutes to ask Angel to come back to his hotel suite to look at more guitars.  But wait…  why is he in a hotel?  He’s got a British accent, but I think he lives in Los Angeles.  Does he live in a hotel?  Is he just on an extended stay until he leaves for another gig?  What is happening?

I will say that I do know I don’t like where things are going…  Okay, sure, is Piston that bad of a guy?  Not really.  Jade is a goddamn monster, but Piston is no saint either.  I also get that Angel is probably playing up certain stuff, but it does seem like when Piston talks enough to her, she kinda seems to get swept up in his whole rock star vibe.  I even agree that Piston is being truthful in the idea that he is only an act on stage, and he’s different when not performing, but…

It seems really disingenuous to have Angel go through this.  Okay, in the first movie, she was a messed up girl who was abandoned by both her mom and dad and she did the only thing she could to keep herself in a good school – she turned tricks.  It gave her an attitude and that’s fine for a character.  I can even see a little bit more maturity come to her in Avenging Angel where she grew more self-assured and was intelligent (something that played for jokes a couple times based on how she was dressed and what she was doing in libraries to gear up for a property battle).  In the third, she was tough and ready to get mixed up in something that was important for family reasons.

Here, though, she is many years beyond her days on the streets.  She’s got a good boyfriend and decent life.  She’s even more self-assured and seemingly has done a whole lot of stuff to get past being a teenage hooker.  But whatever, let her get swept up by the rock star’s mojo and say “eat shit” to the DJ boyfriend that seemingly loves her for everything she is under that pretty face and hot bod.

So don’t worry about anything in life, gals.  As long as a rock star wants to put his guitar neck into your lady cave, everything’s coming up Milhouse!  Guys, learn to play guitar or learn to be a beta to any long haired Brit who fancies guitars because your chances with pretty girls have as much chance as that Taco Bell I had for lunch not coming back to haunt me and my toilet before the night is through.

Have I said yet that I really hate this series of movies?

Anyway, Angel continues to investigate, which I will admit to liking because she starts upping her sexy wardrobe game.  Yeah, I know I just went on a ramble about certain themes in the movie, but I’m also a dude who likes sexy girls in sexy red dresses.  When she comes in, she does see a guy she knows and tells him she’s doing undercover work and not to tell her boyfriend about it.  She also pulls a real alpha move on Jade when she was abusing a girl who simply looked at Piston.

Piston starts spiraling out of control because of the pills and such.  He fires a director for a music video, and yells at Geoffrey.  When Jade tries to calm Piston down, he’s about to lose his ever-loving shit and smash his brand new guitar but Angel calms him down – much to Jade’s anger.  Geoffrey asks Angel to go to Europe with the band to help control Piston.  When Angel doesn’t jump, Geoffrey tells Hank to watch her because he doesn’t trust that any babe wouldn’t just immediately jump on that plane with the band.

I am not kidding.  Roddy McDowell says she needs to be watched because, and I’m paraphrasing, bitches love to follow hunky band guys around and this bitch doesn’t so she’s real suspect.  Real suspect.

When she comes home, she gets messages from her boyfriend, Joel.  He’s irritated by her not being around.  She tells him she’s been undercover, but he wants to talk about them.  She simply hugs him and leaves.  Elsewhere, the payola scam gets a little more serious as a DJ who wants more money to play AK-47 songs starts hustling for more money from the evil record label, but Hank fucks him up pretty good.

Molly talks to her friend in the coroner’s office and he basically lays it out pretty hardcore to her.  What the actual hell was she trying to do when she went undercover?  Was she trying to score a trip to Europe?  Was she looking for a new boyfriend?  After all, she is definitively NOT Angel, she’s Molly.  Oh, and she works for the police.  So…  Maybe think about that?  In fact, he’s so over her drama that he basically tells her to think on it and walks away from her.

She goes to see Piston and realizes he’s got some pretty serious pill-popping issues.  While he struggles with corralling his little helpers, she searches frantically for the evidence of the guitar string being used on Paula.  She finally finds the evidence she’s been looking for all along and finds herself in a bit of a pickle.  While I sincerely am all for her actually liking Piston (despite being very against her being in love with him if that is where this is headed), she truly believes him to have had something very much to do with her friend’s murder.

She snatches a guitar string, but before she can leave, Piston tries to throw her onto the bed and have a roll in the hay.  However, that gets interrupted by Jade banging on the door, then rushing in and going bonkers on both Piston and Angel.  Things go from bad to a little worse after he throws Jade out and bum rushes Angel, tearing her shirt open and trying to rape her.  On top of that, Jade kicks the door open and tells Piston that she’s covered for him so many times what with his ex’s overdose and then that whole business with Paula, etc.

Angel leaves knowing that Paula was killed by one or both of them.  The coroner begins working on the evidence Molly collected.  Meanwhile, the DJ who got messed up by Hank tells Joel that Molly is in a pretty bad spot and he needs to tell her that.  He doesn’t give Joel any further detail.  Joel calls Geoffrey to tell him he’s done playing AK-47.  Geoffrey sends Hank to have a talk with Joel to push back on Joel quitting the scheme.  Before Hank shows up to put the hurt on Joel, he does tell Molly that he’s concerned she’s mixed up with some bad dudes.

Everything is rushing toward the inevitable conclusion (finally).  Joel is probably gonna get fucked up by Hank, Molly is waiting on her friend to get that forensic evidence that links someone to Paula’s murder, and AK-47 needs to shoot a video.

And the forensic evidence concludes… this movie is not very good.

Alright, so yeah, everything hits the fan…  Hank figures out that Angel is Joel’s girlfriend in a picture on his desk.  Piston has something weird planned for the music video.  And the forensic evidence shows that there were two people’s blood on that guitar string – Paula’s and someone definitely NOT Piston because it belongs to a female.

(And just in case you, like me, think that is impossible, I actually googled it and a blood test can determine the gender of someone.)

So Molly knows that Jade killed her friend.  She heads to the video shoot which is just an impromptu shoot for a slow song Piston wrote.  Guess what…  The song is barf.  But!  As it can be expected when you have to listen to a fuckshit song about being judgment day, Piston plans to kill himself during the shoot by hanging himself with chains while everyone watches.

Ugh…   So he plans to kill himself because Jade told Piston that HE killed Paula.  Molly shows up to tell Piston that he isn’t a murderer and shouldn’t be all bummed out.  I mean, maybe dump Paula, but whatever.  Don’t be bummed out, Piston!  Paula, knowing she’s totally fucked, pushes Molly off the scaffolding which causes Piston to go ahead and hang himself.  Jade then goes bonkers and jumps after Molly which gets impaled by a broken guitar Molly is holding.

And that is what the expression of settling looks like.

Well…  That tidies things up nicely.  Molly goes to the radio station to make up with Joel because he’s her silver medal.  And I guess the Molly/Angel saga is finally over.  I see no other listings for a reboot, remake, sequel, nothin’ so I’ve finally exorcised the demons of the Angel series!

I don’t think I have to say how fucking awful this movie really is.  It’s got bad messages.  It’s got bad production values.  It’s a shit movie in general.  I will say I do find Darlene Vogel maybe the most attractive of the four Angels, but at what cost did I have to pay to learn this?

Look, I understand there are fans out there, but I’m curious as to why they are fans of this series outside general cable TV or video store nostalgia.  These movies are not really sexy.  They aren’t terribly compelling.  They aren’t that smart.  In the case of the second movie, it isn’t funny.  What is going on here, people?  Why THESE movies?

Well, regardless, I’m over them.  I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Jade is played by Samantha Phillips.  She is 1) really pretty and 2) probably the best performer in the movie as a completely unhinged head bitch groupie.  I wanted to mention her because she played the fairly important role of Alchemy in Phantasm II, a movie that I would still like to someday cover possibly.  She was hot in that and she was hot in Angel 4.  So…  I guess there’s that.

This scene definitely had a pretty sweet cleavage-off between Vogel and Phillips. See? I did try to find one silver lining to this shitfest.

Alright.  #175 is in the books and I fulfilled that promise I made to cover this movie.  Onward and upward, dear Enemaniacs!  Next week, it’s Lucio Fulci’s The Devil’s Honey and I should finally get to see some serious eroticism and not this fake Angel style shit.  Until then, remember to give all your thoughts and prayers to the literal thousands of dead hookers littering LA dumpsters all across the city.  Because if you don’t, who will?

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