Angel 4: Undercover (1994)

Molly “Angel” Stewart is still a photographer, but now she does it for the police. And she’s portrayed by the fourth actress in as many movies to play her, Darlene Vogel.

One of her old street girlfriends is in town, touring with a band and of course, ends up dead before we’re all that long into this movie. After photographing the body — it’s her job — Molly goes back to being Angel and goes undercover as a groupie.

A sequel in name only, this was directed by Richard Schenkman. Strangely enough, the Miramax site lists George Axsmith as the director, another name* that Schenkman would use.

Stoney Jackson, who was Phones in Roller Boogie, is in this, as are Samantha Phillips (Phantasm II) and Roddy McDowall, who deserves so much better more than anyone has ever deserved so much better.

That said, this ends up being a movie about a troubled musician more than Angel, but such is life when you’re watching the fourth movie in a sequel series that is basically unconnected. Maybe a producer somewhere wants to know about my idea, Angel vs. Vice Academy.

*On his website, the director says, “For decades I said that The Pompatus of Love was my first movie, but close friends have long known that two years before Pompatus, I directed Angel IV: Undercover aka Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Why the obfuscation? Simply, I didn’t want my official “first film” to be a dreadful, low-budget B-movie I didn’t write, although I was very grateful for the chance to learn-by-doing and make my mistakes on a project less close to my heart. But in all fairness, even this was supposed to be a better movie – a “rock n’ roll murder mystery” – and it was, until the producer demanded that we shoot an “alternate version” of several scenes, enabling him to position the film as an Angel sequel in “a couple of Eastern European markets.” Naturally, only the Angel version ever saw the light of day. Still… I got to work with a good number of dear friends, plus the iconic Hollywood legend Roddy McDowall, as well as the brilliant, much-missed Kevin Gilbert, who did the songs and score.”

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