Sunday, March 26, 2017

Angels' Brigade (Greydon Clark, 1979)

Look at me, I'm drowning in women, and I couldn't be more pleased. Seriously, I needed Greydon Clark's Angels' Brigade (a.k.a. Seven from Heaven and Семеро с небес) for sanity reasons. It was like receiving a shot of sweet, sweet estrogen right to the forehead (oh, and, yes, I'm currently obsessed with estrogen - I might have mentioned the stuff in my Nomads review). You see, earlier in the week I found myself in the company of five men. Don't ask me why, I just did. And after about two minutes of listening to their macho-based jibber-jabbering, I started to feel uneasy. Now, I wouldn't say I felt threatened by them (I hammered a nail with a hammer just the other day). But I did not like being around all that testosterone one bit. Well, I didn't have that problem at all while this film prattled along in a very non-threatening manner. Sure, Jack Palance and Peter Lawford, two guys who are as macho as they get, play drug dealers. But other than... Oh, I almost forgot... Yes, The Skipper and Thurston Howell, III are in it as well, the former plays Michelle Wilson's manager and the latter plays the bumbling leader of a right-wing militia. But trust me, this flick is wall-to-wall women. And that alone caused me to feel relaxed. In addition, the women are introduced one at a time, or, I should say, recruited one at a time. If you're wondering why attractive women across Los Angeles are being recruited to join an underground women's only vigilante group, get in line behind me, because I have no idea as well. Wait. I think I remember a disco singer named Michelle Wilson (Susan Kiger) saying something about her son or brother being beat up by a drug dealer/Leif Garrett-look-a-like contest winner over some stolen PCP, and that they need to put these drug pushers out of business by blowing up their supply warehouse.

What I don't understand is: What's wrong with children using PCP? Seems perfectly acceptable to me. Okay, maybe I should have looked up "PCP" before writing that last sentence, as it turns out PCP is quite the central nervous system depressant. Either way, I think children in 1979 should be allowed to experiment with powerful hallucinogens. If you ask me, it builds character.

The drugged out, beaten up son and/or brother of a blonde disco queen's teacher, Maria (Noela Velasco), proposes to Michelle Wilson that they assemble a team of foxy chicks (one's who possess unique talents) to take out the people responsible for flooding the streets of L.A. with PCP.

And by "take out," I mean drop a bomb down the chimney of the building that makes the child-harming stuff.

Since a disco queen and an elementary teacher can't really destroy a PCP operation all by themselves, they set about putting together a team.

The first woman they approach is Terry Grant (Sylvia Anderson), a Hollywood stunt performer. Tall and slender, the inclusion of Terry not only increases the team's bad-ass quota by a huge percentage, it signifies that Michelle and Maria are serious about stamping out the city's PCP problem.

Next on the list is Kako Umaro (Lieu Chinh), a karate expert. I know it's 1979, but the cast of Angels' Brigade is already a thousand times more diverse than most movies and TV shows made nowadays. Okay, maybe that's a tad unfair. But still, it's kinda groundbreaking. If the next woman they recruit turns out to be a Pakistani demolitions expert, I'm going to freak the fuck out.

While the next three recruits are white chicks, Policewoman Elaine Brenner (Robin Greer), is gorgeous beyond belief. I know, April Thomas (Jacqueline Cole), a busty fashion model, is supposed to be the "gorgeous one." But I'm telling you, Elaine's beauty has a way of creeping up on you. What I mean is, you'll be looking at her, and then all of a sudden... Bam! She will throw you this seductive look that will leave you hypnotized. (So, what you're saying is, she's an attractive woman?) Well, they're all attractive women. It's just that Elaine seems have that an extra twinkle about her.

Anyway, I don't think Elaine and Trish (Liza Greer), one of Maria's students, were actually meant to be recruits. I think they just joined of their own accord.

Needing guns, the women decide to use April's cleavage to acquire some from a right-wing militia. Now, this scene is just plain pointless. And, no, I'm just saying this because Officer Elaine is nowhere to be found. No, the scene is an overlong, unfunny waste of time. Fans of Gilligan's Island might get a kick out of seeing Thurston Howell, III (Jim Brackus) as a deluded militia leader. But that's about it.

The next step is finding out where the PCP is delivered and intercepting the shipment before it hits the streets. After torturing the Leif Garrett clone for information, the women head to the beach. And you know what that means? That's right, bikinis!!!

While the beach scene is just as stupid and unfunny as the militia stuff, it does feature... (Yeah, yeah, we get to see the women in bikinis.) Well, yeah.

Well... Elaine doesn't actually wear a bikini, she wears a caramel one-piece, but still...

Oh, and while delivering the confiscated goods to her boss, Elaine can be seen wearing a pair of white shorts over top of her caramel one-piece. Which, I must say, is a great look for her.

After watching a montage where the ladies turn their ho-hum van into a battle wagon of estrogen-fueled death, the seven women eventually launch their assault on the PCP factory. The end? Not quite. The film gives us a bonus action sequence after the PCP factory battle. Which, I guess, was nice of them. But I was pretty much done with this movie after the beach scene.

And why wouldn't I be... done with it, that is? The film's anti-drug message and overall tone is kinda square. Plus, the film has zero nudity and hardly any graphic violence. I know, what gives, Angels' Brigade? Granted, the film's pro-feminist slant was very much appreciated. But c'mon, give us some tits 'n' gore. I mean, yeah, seriously. (Don't forget the fact that the acting is atrocious.) Oh, yeah, there's that, too. I did like "Shine Your Love on Me," the disco-tinged song that opens the film and the fact that Susan Kiger lip syncs the song (Patty Foley is the actual singer) while wearing sequined outfit with a massive slit down the side.

No comments:

Post a Comment