Angel of Destruction (1994)
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Every fan of B T&A Exploitation flicks like 'Naked Killer' should have 'Angel of Destruction' in their collection.
A remake of Roger Corman's own Don "the Dragon" Wilson movie "Black Belt', 'Angel of Destruction' casts Maria Ford as tough-as-nails policewoman Jo Alwood, a chick who dresses more like a stripper than a cop, complete with skimpy tank tops, shorts, and skin tight pants. After her sister Brit (Charlie Spradling) is murdered by a mercenary-turned serial killer who apparently also has very shitty taste in music (and whose hobbies include severing the fingers of Filippina prostitutes and fighting in Angola), Jo takes over her sister's job of protecting pop star Delilah (Jessica Mark). Delilah has to deal not only with the creepy mercenary, but also her record producer, who is trying to have her offed and drop her from his label.
As I said, this is a straight up remake of the 1992 Don Wilson flick 'Blackbelt,' and some of the dialog and scenes are the same, word-for-word ("your father ever rape you?" the entire scene on the set of the video shoot; the mercenary's thing for severing fingers of hookers). This is something that Roger Corman is notorious for. He would often remake his movies within months of each other- he did the same thing with another Don "the Dragon" Wilson movie 'Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight,' which he remade into the equally entertaining Jerry Trimble/George Takei tour de force 'Live by the Fist.'
This movie will not win any awards, but it's probably one of the best in the sub genre of trashy T&A ass kickin' grrl power. Maria Ford was a very natural beauty early in her career, and she didn't have all the plastic surgery and fun bags that many similar actresses did back then. She gets to showcase her au natural B cups, and they are very gorgeous indeed, especially in the strip scene she has, which makes me wish the Maria Ford from 1993 was available somewhere for bachelor parties.
As Jo, she gets to vamp it up, beating up guys twice her size, hump a stripper pole (and I can only guess this is the type of stuff Ford did for a living before meeting Corman), and even have a hilariously over-the-top sex scene with her partner. There is also an brilliantly stupid and classic scene where she dispenses of several bad guys in nothing but her thong. The sight of Maria Ford spin kicking Phillipino extras with close ups of her butt cheeks is truly something to behold. According to trivia, this was the scene that the original lead Charlie Spradling (Jo's sister Brit) refused to do, and was promptly written out of the script by Corman and Ford given the lead. One can only wonder how different it would've turned out with Spradling in the lead, but Ford does such a great job, you don't really worry about it.
This movie doesn't take itself too seriously, and the campy dialog reflects that tone (it's hard to take Ford seriously as a cop who chews nails with her Wheaties for breakfast, but the movie is so entertaining, it's all part of the fun). I especially liked the scene where Jo tells the bartender that she's "having a bad hair day." It wasn't made to change the world or to create awareness of the plight of Filippina prostitutes having their fingers severed, it was made to showcase T&A in spades. I don't know what bizarro world this movie took place in, but I don't know of too many mainstream pop stars who shoot music videos topless and have concerts... Wait, we're getting there anyway. Maybe this was supposed to take place in the future. The baddie, Robert Kell (played by Jimmy Broome) is okay, but I think they should've just had Matthias Hues come back as the head baddie again, since they were remaking 'Black Belt' anyway. I think a showdown between Hues and Ford would've pwned, but I don't have Corman's green.
This is one of my favorite "so bad it's good" B movies; everyone who's a fan of crappy exploitation cinema should consider it essential viewing. It has the right trashy balance of gratuitous nudity, violence, bad rock music, and Ford's B cups to keep viewers enthralled through many sittings. 'Angel of Destruction' defines what T&A action exploitation is about. I also recommend 'Naked Killer,' which is, to date, Hong Kong cinema's best contribution to the subgenre.
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