Angel (1984)

Man, Angel is pretty much everything I want in a movie. It’s filled with a cast of people I adore as well as presenting an alternative universe Los Angeles that is at once filled with scum and yet presents the nicest group of prostitutes that you’ll ever meet.

Foremost amongst them is Molly Stewart, who is an honor student by day and a streetwalker at night. She’s played by Donna Wilkes, who somehow shows up in so many of my favorite bad movies. There she is as a child in Jaws 2. Here she is in the slashers Schizoid — in love with her father Klaus Kinski — as well as Blood Song, being menaced by Frankie Avalon, and alongside Linda Blair in Grotesque. She took this role so seriously that she did plenty of research, saying “I actually walked on the streets with these girls and talked with them and I also talked to the people with the group called Children of the Night and to the Hollywood Police Department, too.” Of course, she was 22 and not 15, but isn’t that true of every bad girl in every movie we’ve watched this week?

At night, Molly becomes Angel, sparks of her high heels clacking against the stars on the Walk of Fame and all down Hollywood Boulevard. Her street family — her father left nine years ago and her mother abandoned her three years ago, leaving her to pay her own way ever since — takes care of her. They’re made up of senior citizen cowboy actor Kit Carson (Rory Calhoun, Motel Hell), street magician Yoyo Charlie, the trans Mae (Dick Shawn, Love at First Bite), Crystal, Lana and landlady Solly Mosler. She’s played by Susan Tyrrell, who as always owns every single moment of screen time, looking in control while forever out of control.

The problem? Well, there’s a serial killer who likes to sleepwith his victims — after he kills them — to further sleaze this up and he’s after our heroine. After finding Lana’s body in the shower, Angel  goes to the police and her description gets him arrested. The only problem? He shoots his way out and knows that she’s the one who identified him.

Things get worse when classmates recognize her on the streets and Mae’s impression of her mother doesn’t convince one of her teachers. When Mae is stabbed by the serial killer, Angel grabs a gun and decides to take her life and the law into her own hands.

There are three sequels to this film, all with different actresses as Angel. You know us. We’ll be talking about them all this week. They could have made forty of these films and I would have watched every single one of them. I mean, I watched six Vice Academy films.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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