Angel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Angel Reviews

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May 16, 2016
For some reason the movie poster made me think this would be a wacky 80s comedy. It turns out it's a pretty dark movie about a 14 year old prostitute. It says she's an A student but really doesn't show her at school much. Lots of cool gritty shots of New York City. A very similar movie to Vice Squad.
August 17, 2015
Aquí tienen un ejemplo de la basura cinematográfica que abundaba en la década de los 80. Esta es la historia de una estudiante que es ángel de día y demonio de noche, cuando se interna en el mundo de la prostitución. Salvo un personaje carismático llamada Shawn el transformista, esto ni es un drama ni es una cinta de sexploitation.
½ November 25, 2014
A really weird little movie, unabashed in its aping of DePalma. Didn't expect this to be as emotional as it is. Expected a straight-up cheesefest. Was pleasantly surprised. It's not a great movie by any stretch, but it's got parts, it really does. Worth seeing if you like bizarre, sexual, seedy thrillers.
July 7, 2014
You can't honestly judge movies like "Angel" using the same criteria as you would for say a new Martin Scorcese picture, but in terms of B-movies, this is pure cinematic gold. Sure, it's sleazy, distasteful and deals with some pretty taboo themes, but there are also some big laughs here with some priceless dialogue and a certain campy charm that you won't find in a lot of similar films.

If you need proof of that you need to look no further than the knock-down, drag-out fight that occurs between the hooker killer disguised as a Hari Krishna and Dick Shawn's aging drag queen. I don't know what's worse, Shawn's hilariously bad one-liners or the clunky choreography.

There's nothing at all fresh about the story here, the killer is given no motivation whatsoever and it leaves a slew of unanswered questions in its wake but it's so much fun I couldn't be mad at it. The cast is peppered with stars of another era past their prime, but the two most memorable actors here are Cliff Gorman, ridiculously serious as the cop on the case and the wonderful Susan Tyrell playing Angel's landlady. She gets laughs without even opening her mouth, but when she speaks, it's priceless.

I could take or leave the serial killer aspect of the story simply because it's so routine, but I was interested in seeing the fallout from Angel's hidden life getting exposed. That, to me, was the much more interesting plot development, but not enough is done with it. Still, for whatever reason, "Angel" was a solid hit. I can't say it's good, but I can say that I enjoyed it for what it is.
½ January 12, 2014
15-year-old honor student Molly Stewart (Donna Wilkes) attends her private prep school in the Los Angeles area by day. However, at night, she transforms to Angel: the mini-skirted, high-heeled street prostitute working Hollywood Boulevard. Some members of her street family are the aging movie cowboy Kit Carson (Rory Calhoun), street performer Yoyo Charlie (Steven M. Porter) transvestite Mae (Dick Shawn) and fellow hookers Crystal (Donna McDaniel) and Lana (Graem McGavin). All is not well on Hollywood Boulevard as hookers are being killed by a psycho-necrophiliac (John Diehl). Los Angeles Police Lt. Andrews (Cliff Gorman) has been assigned to the case, but he has no leads. Tragedy strikes Angel's group of friends when Crystal becomes a victim. Lt. Andrews then advises the girls to work in pairs. Angel is working with her partner, Lana, when Lana takes a potential client to a motel room she and Angel share. A couple of hours later, when Angel shows up at the room with a client of her own, she finds the body of Lana in the shower where the killer left it. Based on a description Angel gives the police, a sketch is made and the hunt for the killer starts. Angel is the only eye witness and suddenly she becomes a target herself...

"Angel" is a trashy 80´s cult thriller showing L.A. and Hollywood Boulevard from the seedy side and its strange gallery of characters. The main plot is Angel´s two sides of life and how difficult it is to be left alone in the world without no one really caring and how easy it is to end up on the wrong side to survive at an early age. With other words we have a solid storyline with a social message. Then it comes down to how you handle that sort of story and in this case we do get a B-movie that in a way portray the difficult life as a young prostitute in a glitzy L.A.ish way, which feels a bit weird and unbalanced. The cute Donna Wilkes is hardly a superb actress, but does give life to Angel. And it´s interesting to se John Diehl just prior to his "Miami Vice" days as a serial killer on the edge. "Angel" doesn´t really hold all the seams together. Is it a teen sex drama/comedy or an exploitation slasher movie? Nevertheless, it was nice to revisit the good ol´80´s with its vibe, look and feel.
½ December 17, 2013
Who wouldn't kinda love a teen hooker with a heart of gold story? While our lead is less than forthcoming with the skin, which sort of surprised me for a film that promises so much sleaze, there's some agreeably gratuitous nudity peppered throughout from others, which is enough to keep things moving along.

Worth a rental.
½ December 3, 2013
This had some of the worst acting I've ever seen. The story was also sub-par. There were a few moments of comedy (probably unintentional) that saved it from total disaster. Still, it's not something I would recommend.
October 30, 2013
Text book revenge flick as teenage prostitute Angel hunts down the serial killer, who butchered her pal. John Diel is the balls in this and his Hare Krishna disguise nearly made me cough up a lung. Some really wacky characters a cowboy, a lesbian landlord and a tranny Mrs. Doubtfire lookalike street walker. Comedy gold considering the delicate subject matter.
September 23, 2013
Angel capitalises on the sleazy high voltage lifestyle of the 1980's with elements of the sexploitation genre, but is largely too incompetently made to constitute proper entertainment:

For a story about a girl who is a straight-A student and streetwise prostitute at the same time, we never really get into understanding the mind of Angel or what she has gone through as a result of her lost family. Although Donna Wilkes tries her hardest, her acting never exceeds B-Movie standards and so the whole movie only really depicts Angel as who she really is, Molly Stuart, the lost little girl who is sad and fragile but without the independence that her facade attempts to convey. Angel doesn't ever really seem like a strong character, and so the film doesn't ever really follow strong dynamics, which is disappointing considering the decent-concept plot created for the film.
And Angel's pacing is poor as it's slow for practically the whole film, then suddenly resolved in a fast 5 minutes. The fast 5 minutes are climactic and well constructed, featuring a cool ending, but the character Angel is supposed to have changed suddenly during this time but we get no real feel that she does and instead all that's left is a girl in a yellow dress running with a gun after a serial killer disguised as a monk. How this all came to be is strange, and really it's not worth sitting through to find out because the thrills are empty and the characters aren't interesting. There is nudity along the way which is probably the high point, and Donna Wilkes does try hard, but aside from that Angel is bereft of any real appeal outside of 80's junkies who would call Angel a guilty pleasure, regardless of its empty atmosphere, joyless script and lack of direction.
January 3, 2013
Angel is the best of bad 80's exploitation. While its silly storyline of grade A student by day prostitute by night will not win any awards, it sets out what it meant to do: to entertain, and it does right until the grand finale. Donna Wilkes plays the lead character and does it well, she's convincing and likable. She's out for justice on the sicko who's murdering her friends, a modern day Jack the Ripper. But when one murder hits too close to home Angel is dead set for revenge. Even chasing the sicko in high heals no less with a .45 down Hollywood Boulevard. Angel is backed by decent direction and musical score but its the supporting players who are allowed to shine especailly Dick Shawn and Susan Tyrell. This is a true guilty pleasure.
October 29, 2012
Orphaned teen makes ends meet by streetwalking the Hollywood strip by night and makes the honor roll at school by day. Thankfully avoids bottoming out with sleaze. Good supporting cast of misfits.
October 28, 2012
That movie was the bomb,,,i love this of my fav......
October 27, 2012
High school honour student by day turns tricks at night in Hollywood to support herself after her parents abandon her. She seeks revenge on a killer who has murdered some of her street walking friends. More to this one than the poster suggests.
October 23, 2012
bad but good. classic cult movie
April 22, 2012
By 1984 Roger Corman had sold his company New World Pictures in order to start his other film company Concorde Pictures. Even with his presence and infinite wisdom gone the remaining team at New World had enough experience making entertaining cult exploitation pictures to still produce likeable cult ventures, without the guidance of Corman, proved by the 1984 sleeper hit "Angel".

The name angel refers to the street name of our main character Molly Stewart (Donna Wilkes). Honor student by day, she hustles the streets of Hollywood Blvd by night to pay the bills after being abandoned by her parents. Shit turns worse when a serial killer starts brutally murdering her friends and she goes all Charles Bronson to take her revenge. Can a vice cop help her catch the killer while at the same time convincing her to get off the streets for good?

For an exploitation picture, "Angel" is relatively well made with some good actors well handled by director Robert Vincent O'Neill. Sure the dialogue and gratuitous nudity can get in the way of its story telling (imagine an exploitation film doing that?!) but O'Neill is still able to craft empathy for our main character and her questionable moral decisions to get by.

For me the best part of "Angel" is the colorful secondary characters that aid Angel in her goals and ambitions. We get Dick Shawn as the witty transvestite Mae, Susan Tyrrell as the Jewish dyke apartment manager Solly, Cliff Gorman as the respectable empathetic vice cop (with a crazy eye) and Steven M. Porter as yo-yo street entertainer Charlie. The real winner though is Rory Calhoun as Kit Carson, a loveable snile ex-western actor turned street entertainer. He totally owns the scenes that he is in.

What helps "Angel" is that it strives to be more than just merely another exploitation picture by providing the audience with empathy for our lead character, a suspenseful killer and even some good old fashioned vengeful action with likeable secondary characters. At it's heart it's still an exploitation picture with some silted dialogue and a few subplots that go nowhere (what happened to Angel's guidance counselor?) that keep it from being better. "Angel" really struck a chord with the grindhouse audiences who in turn made the film a modest hit, paving the way for four sequels: "Avenging Angel", "Angel III: The Final Chapter" and "Angel 4: Undercover".
½ February 16, 2012
a pretty cheesy hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold B-movie thriller. the best part was some of the minor characters are hilarious - not sure if it was intentional. not a good movie but fun to make fun of.
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2011
Meh, this was alright, but I can't help but feel like they weren't sure if they were trying to make an 80's teen sex / dramedy or an exploitation slasher flick. The movie doesn't really suceed at doing either, but a rather enjoyable balance is met regardless. Angel is an A student by day, but a hooker by night. When a maniac necrophiliac begins brutally murdering prostitutesm Angel takes it upon herself to seek justice. In the end not funny enough to be a comedy, not risque enough to be exploitation, to little nudity to fit properly into the teen sex genre, virtually no gore so it's not a horror movie. Really just a bizarre little footnote in the cannon of 80's cheese, but a pretty enjoyable one regardless. Definently worth a watch if you want something different, just not as good as I think it could have been . Was definently expecting a much darker comedy, and much more sleaze.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2011
I really liked this movie, it's exciting, dramatic, and quirky. The story is good, and the characters interesting. On the technical side, it could be better, like some good music could be added, but it's low budgetness makes is kinda cool too. Anyway I enjoyed it.
½ February 14, 2011
I have seen Angel a number of times over the years & Im always a little disappointed by the end. I just feel this should have been sleazier then it is. It could be a nice companion piece to Charles Bronson's 10 to Midnight but more often then not I find it plays it safe when it could have been an exploitation gem. Im actually giving this a better rating then it deserves but for some reason I keep coming back to it & I love Rory Calhoun in this. It's a hell of a lot better then its sequels though that I have only seen 2 of 3 of them. Where else are you going to see a drag queen & a Harikrishna duke it out? For that it's something special
½ October 26, 2010
An absurd story that is not credible and forgettable.
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