Oh thank god this is “The Final Chapter”.
This has been a rough couple weeks, dear readers. I wanted to take a look a the Angel series. It’s the story of Molly Stewart who was orphaned by two parents who, at different times in her life, left her to pursue their own relationships with new partners. Molly created the alter ego Angel who was a successful, and intelligent, hooker to pay her way through an expensive private school and take care of herself. She became embroiled in a psycho killer’s rampage through the streets of Hollywood and befriends the investigating detective who helps her get back on the right path.
In the sequel, that detective is killed in the line of duty trying to stop Ross Hagan doing villain shit. Angel is reborn simply to get the info from the streets about the bad guys. The rest of the sequel is kind of played as a goofy lighthearted romp instead of a hard-boiled revenge film with unfortunate, and kinda unsavory, characters at the center of the action.
In the first film, Molly’s decisions on how she took care of herself caused a rift between her and the more normal kids at her school and made her an outsider. In the sequel, she worked her way into being a law student and star track star (though that doesn’t really make that huge of an impact). Her understanding of law does help her in certain scrapes with the police and help figure out what is causing the troubles along the streets she used to walk in Hollywood.
In both movies, she’s played by different actresses. Donna Wilkes created the character in the original, and after the studio didn’t want to give her the pay she asked for, replaced her with Besty Russell in the second. Now, just a few years after the second, this movie has a new actress in Mitzi Kapture. Also, Molly has moved to New York City to be a photographer…? So what about that law degree she was on the verge of earning? What about her boyfriend Terry at the school she went to? He was hardly seen and now completely tossed aside I guess.
Both sequels were fairly panned and considered to be massive box office disappointments. Tonal issues and actress changes and general disregard for what the character is, who she is, and what she was doing with her life will do that to your movie series. And, look, changing up your main star, in and of itself, is not a huge deal. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who and James Bond. Both have a history of changing the lead star on a regular cadence. But at least there is some general feel and regard for the character the new actor was stepping into. It sometimes felt like Donna Wilkes and Betsy Russell were both approaching the character from different tangents and the tone of their movies were definitely different.
The funny thing is, both movies were written and directed by the same people.
So, it’s time for this third movie to happen. Again, we have a new Molly/Angel. Mitzi Kapture is relatively known to many people who like a little more exploitation-styled action. She was a series regular, and a main star, for 101 episodes of the cable cop show, Silk Stalkings. However, is she going to help steer this series back into a more mature realm? She’s gonna fight a white slavery ring. I can’t say I have any expectation or hope for this third movie other than the subtitle being The Final Chapter.
I guess there is only one way to find out what this movie will share with us.
I should point out at the very beginning of this movie, that this movie has already struck out with me. Strike one, it is the longest of the trilogy at 100 minutes. Fuck you, movie. Strike two, a lot of the shit I’ve mentioned above. Strike three, no Rory Calhoun. Double fuck you, movie!
However, you might be able to win be back in the first 80 seconds…
Nudity all over the place! We’re in some sort of underground casino, and there are titties a-flyin’. Girls dancing on tables, girls serving drinks, girls just being mostly naked. It’s like New World Pictures finally realized, “You know what these sexy revenge movies not have much of?” I raise my hand and respond, “Sexiness? And revenge?” Knowing I am a true believer in their product at New World, they decided to listen to me and give me what I’ve said for the last two weeks has been kind of missing from this series. It’s like someone read my articles the last couple weeks, invented time travel, went back to 1988, and put a bunch in for me.
It appears Molly has been hired as a freelance photographer to take some pictures for a newspaper and hitches a ride with a cop she’s in good with. The cops raid the underground casino, which is above water on a boat – go figure. Meanwhile, a lady who looks suspiciously like Octopussy from the 13th James Bond movie, Octopussy, is escaping. Molly is snapping pictures all over the place of people who are being rounded up in the raid. Octopussy escapes with some other unsavory looking people.
Molly delivers the exclusive photos to her editor, Dick Miller (a Roger Corman regular and Mr. Futterman from Gremlins). He sends her to an art show to snap pictures of the event. Mitzi Kapture has a little spunk in her portrayal of Molly. It reminds me more of the Donna Wilkes version which is kind of welcome. This feels like a true direct sequel with the way she talks and acts kind of tough. It would also explain why she is no longer a lawyer like in the previous film.
She sees a woman talking to Octopussy at the event that she recognizes. As it turns out, it is her long lost mother. This revelation legitimately stuns Molly. I do feel that continuity becomes a bit of a weird thing again as she stares at the photo of her mother, she reveals she wears a locket of an older picture of her mom. Why should she have that? Why is that something she wears every day around her neck? Her mom legitimately left her for some dude with a hundred bucks and a note saying “Sawreeee but I gotta go and get deep dickin’s from this dude. Have a great life! Don’t become a hooker!”
So Molly finds out for sure that it is her mother, where she can be found, and hops the first plane from New York City to Los Angeles to find her. And she does. And she confronts her. The dialog reveals that Molly was abandoned 14 years ago.
Ugh… Continuity questions again…
She is now 26 in 1988. Her mother left in 1974. Meaning Angel happened in 1977. Avenging Angel claims to have taken place in 1981. So… Either this movie is correcting the timeline or they are completely ignoring Avenging Angel while still calling this movie Angel III. I hate to be this guy, but goddammit, I only ask for one thing – a consistent timeline. Ain’t nobody got time for kooky crazy time warps and fucked up continuity.
Okay, I’m done bitching about that. Molly’s mother, Gloria, reveals that Molly has a half-sister named Michelle. She was born shortly after she left Molly. Gloria leaves to meet with Octopussy, who is actually named Nadine, but it is Maud Adams who was Octopussy. I just like saying Octopussy. Later that night, Molly learns from Gloria that Michelle is in terrible danger. Gloria can’t ask the police to get involved or she’ll never been seen again. Molly comes over because, you know, she kind of has experience in the field of sorta revenge. Gloria gets another call before Molly can get there, and when she leaves and starts her car, it explodes!
So, add Molly’s biological mother to the pile of dead people in her life.
Molly meets Lt. Doniger, played by Richard Roundtree (Shaft from the movie Shaft). She explains to him that Gloria was her mother. Doniger grills Molly on what she might know about Michelle because he’s suspect as to why Gloria canceled a missing persons report. He tells her he’ll be keeping an eye on her.
Nadine is none too pleased with the car bombing her man did to get rid of Gloria. She believes this calls too much attention to their operation. Apparently, they are in all sorts of businesses. They deal cocaine. They run a slave trade. They have underground casinos above water on boats. They probably sell counterfeit Beanie Babies. They do it all.
Molly runs into her long time old friend “Spanky” who was a former male prostitute. This guy apparently was someone she knew all those times when she was a hooker but not in movies that we saw over the last few weeks. Spanky is maybe gay? I feel like he’s a stand in for Mae and Yo-Yo at the same time. He brings her home and suggests they bring Angel out of retirement again.
Naturally, she gets sluttied up to go out and ask girls if they’d seen a girl in a picture she’s carrying around. A couple hookers bully her a bit and their pimp picks her up to give her a test drive before adding her to his flock of bitches. She tricks him into getting naked in the back seat of his car. When she gets back there, she kicks him out of the car and he’s stuck on the street with his cock in his hands.
The next day, Spanky takes Molly to a porn director who shows a tape of some outtakes. In the video, Molly catches the name Nadine. She learns Nadine is an agent for all the porno girls in L.A. Molly gets into her Angel disguise and she and Spanky go off to meet a producer. She gets a gig to be a background chick in some movie which should get her close to Nadine, or her girls, or both.
Doniger tells Molly that Gloria was wrapped up in some of the drug smuggling Nadine is doing. Molly reveals the info about Michelle being potentially in trouble. He wants more information about Michelle, but Molly keeps it to herself. Doniger asks if they can work together but she declines… because…? Whatever.
Angel works a few days on the porno shoot which is a really goofy caveman movie with loin cloths and the whole nine yards. She notices that two of the girls she works with, Shirley and Pam are picked up every day by a man who looks like a goon. Eventually, Angel and Spanky follow them to the mansion estate they are driven each day. Inside, Shirley sees a couple of Nadine’s guys roughing up a girl and, behind closed doors, injects her with something that knocks her out.
The guy who set Molly up with the gig on the porn shoot, Neal, is sweet on Molly and helps take her back to Nadine’s place so she can take a closer look undercover of the night. Neal asserts that this place is a whorehouse. He figures if Michelle was in there, she’s probably being well taken care of, but Molly thinks Gloria’s worry was real. Molly asks Pam and Shirley for an introduction with whoever it is that is running the outcall service they work for. This brings Angel face to face with Nadine. She gets a chance to show the boss what she’s got at a party coming up that weekend. If everything works out, she’ll have a steady job with free room and board and a steady flow of cash.
While it’s hard to say that this movie is truly a revenge movie when compared to something like Death Wish, and it’s not quite as sexy as you might have seen from Andy Sidaris or some of the smuttier Roger Corman flicks of the 70s and 80s, I like the work Molly is putting into this investigation about her sister. The previous movie just had a montage of her going through real estate deals and her kooky friends. This movie feels like she’s putting herself in actual danger to get what she wants and using her smarts and experience to get those results. It’s sexier than the previous movie insomuch as there’s more nudity and stuff happening on porn sets and shit, but this is a far superior film than the last installment.
Angel works her way around the party. Spanky is tending bar to make sure she’s not completely flying alone. Additionally, Neal worms his way into the party to keep an eye on her as well. He even brings her a camera. When they go upstairs to start sneaking around, Angel is surprised by the appearance of Michelle. Angel snaps some pictures while Neal approaches Michelle. She claims she’s not one of “the girls” and that she’s with someone. Neal points out that the other guy seems busy and she seems lonely.
He tricks her into going into a room that locks her in a room with Molly. She reveals to Michelle that she’s her sister and that their mother is dead. Michelle doesn’t believe it, but… Turns out Michelle isn’t worried if she is dead. It’s not until Pam is seen being beaten while trying to get help that Michelle wonders if maybe it’s not a bad idea to take Molly’s help to get away from these people. Molly, Neal, and Spanky see Nadine’s goons taking Pam and putting her in a car and drag Michelle out to take with them too.
They follow the car and try to get Michelle but she is still not too keen on Molly saving her and is relatively indignant to change anything about her life. Molly and Neal are barely able to get away from a gunman. Inside the building they were outside of a full on white slave trade is going with girls in various state of dress and men, mostly foreign, waving piles of cash around. Pam is sold off, put on a boat with some other chicks the dude bought, and sailed away to whatever country she is now going to be living in.
Molly confides with Shirley that Pam is likely gone and won’t be coming back, and the girl that showed up with the guy who was beating Pam up at the party is her sister. Shirley plans to get some kind of dirt on Nadine before she takes off so Nadine can go down for what she’s done to her friend. One of Nadine’s goons follows Molly while, elsewhere, Michelle sneaks away from where she’s being kept to find out whether or not it is true that her mother is dead. Michelle finds out it is indeed true that her mother was murdered. Michelle realizes that her mother was killed because of her and her stupid friends, and now her sister she just found out she had is also in super loads of trouble.
No duh, dumbass. Do you really think people who give you all the coke you can snort, take you to parties where women are beaten in front of the guests, and basically tell you to put out when they want are the good guys?
Shirley gets some good shit on Nadine and takes it to Shaft. He then takes over and asks Neal to give a statement and take him to the warehouse. Shirley decides she is going to stay inside at Nadine’s. Molly gives her the locket to show to Michelle (even though Michelle already knows everything she needs to know) and then she gets sent back to Nadine’s to try to get Michelle out from the inside. However, there’s that whole issue of the guy who has been tailing Molly.
Michelle returns to Nadine’s with a gun and plans on taking down both Nadine and the guy who beat the shit out of Pam at that party. Unfortunately, she talks too much about why she plans on killing them only for another goon to disarm her. Nadine tells the guys to take Michelle to the warehouse and put her up for sale.
Molly returns to Spanky’s apartment to find that Shirley has been killed. A couple goons are waiting for her and bring her to Nadine. She plans on selling both Molly and Michelle and suspect they will both fetch top dollar because Southeast Asian guys really dig the white girls. Neal and Spanky, though, are there to save the day. They force Nadine’s car to pull over and they cuff the goons and throw Nadine into the back of Spanky’s ice cream truck.
Molly forces a cop to chase the ice cream truck to the warehouse so the whole thing can be taken down nice and tidy. Molly drives the truck into the warehouse. The cops follow and join in. A shootout happens and just before one of the big bad goons shoots and kills Molly, Spanky takes a bullet, because of course he dies because he knows Angel. Molly is able to stick one of those big giant hooks used in warehouses in his back and Neal finishes him off with a couple shots to the torso.
The good news is that I guess Spanky is going to survive. Molly, Michelle, and Neal walk off victorious. Everything is finally gonna be okay for Molly/Angel. It’s great that she will finally have a family for the first time in her life and there is no need for her to ever have to risk her life ever again on the wild streets of Hollywood.
So that should pretty much do it. There are no other Angel movies in this collection I, kinda stupidly, bought with the best intentions of things being sexy and vengeful. I should probably check out the ol’ IMDb page for this third installment and make sure I didn’t miss any cameos or anything of importance since there was no Wikipedia page for this movie.
While I do that, I should mention that this third film was actually much better than the second. It felt much more in line with the original and really explored Molly being able to investigate and get information without resorting to a dumb montage at the city records building that we saw in Avenging Angel. I would actually give this installment a more than passing grade. I also rather liked Mitzi Kapture in the lead role. It felt like I was watching the same girl who was tough and spunky in the first film. Kudos to her.
Alright, so I pulled up that IMDb page. It looks like I covered everything I really needed to for a third film of a trilogy, even if it was better than the last. Yup, everything seems to be in ord…
Wait… Oh no…
What the fuck is this shit?
No… I… The “Angel Collection” came with only THREE movies… Wh-what is this?
Oh god no… Executive by day…?
Hooker by night? Oh… God… Please no!
TO BE CONTINUED…
Not next week, though. I need a break from this fucking series.
Next week: Space Babes from Outer Space!