Friday, January 20, 2012

CAPSULE REVIEW: Angel (1984)

"High school honor student by day, Hollywood hooker by night."

The tagline makes Angel sound way more heinous than it actually is. What's most surprising about this film is how it goes out of its way to make the typically savage streets of 80's Hollywood seem a little more friendly and welcoming. They're even downright warm at times, provided you're running with the right crowd. Angel follows the typical "killer loose on the streets" plot, and throws in a little bit of tension as the titular protagonist tries to balance a busy school career with her nighttime friends. The good guys here are a batch of friendly and cartoonishly eccentric prostitutes, drag queens, and street performers. They're almost enough to make you forget that this movie is supposed to be gritty, although the introduction of a serial killer who single-mindedly works out and sucks eggs when he isn't killing prostitutes is enough to ground the story from time to time. Despite the requisite violence and lurid subject matter, the feel is more or less light-hearted - something that can seem rare among the typically nasty exploitation shockers of this era. It's a fun ride overall, and worth checking out.

As always, thanks to Cinema Overdrive for kicking off the 2012 season with style.

6 / 10 = Worth a look

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