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a drive-in fantasy!
windypoplar9 April 2007
The best movie ever! OK, so its not. But trust me if your'e looking for exploitation fare at its best, this is it. I'm talking teenage prostitution, guns, the sunset strip in all its decadent glory, drag-queens, dykes, nerds, high school pressure! This movie has it all!

This isn't Shakespeare, it is what it is. The use of La is fantastic, the soundtrack is great. Director Andrew Davis ( the Fugitive) worked on the photography. Donna Wilkes (where have you gone Donna?), is simply so precious, so innocently sexy, she takes your'e breath away. Rory Calhoun, matinée idol in the '50s, is totally whacked out here, he's surreal as Kit Carson(!) Cliff Gorman does a great job as the cop whose seen too many young kids sucked into the sewer of LA, he should have gotten better parts after this. Dick Shawn, who I never really liked, is just great here, a totally sympathetic drag-queen! WOW! Susan Tyrell is awesome as always,s he repulses and fascinates in the same frame.

Angel is the type of late-night viewing that really sticks with you. The plot is complicated by a serial killer, well-played by John Diehl, and you really feel the tension build. Note the small performances in Angel, the guy who plays the street performer was in love with one of the murdered prostitutes, notice his face when he learns of her brutal death. Terrific.

Angel is well worth your trouble, sure it reaches out to the slimy pervert in all of us, but it makes you think at the same time. Is it ever worth it? To damage one person so severely just to get off?

Terrific movie.
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A champion of sleazy 80s cinema
EyeAskance1 March 2004
Released to critical assault(and one surprisingly enthusiastic review from Roger Ebert), ANGEL managed to glean wide audience appeal and raked in the dough. It was ingeniously marketed- "High School Honor Student by Day/Hollywood Hooker by Night" was the memorable tagline, featured with ad images of a knee-socked high school pigtailer and her high-heeled "come-hither-with-cash-in-hand" alter-ego. Our sympathetic young heroine is played on-target by Donna Wilkes(looking a hell of a lot sexier than she did on TV's HELLO LARRY a few years earlier). An eccentric supporting cast(Tyrrell and Calhoun, most notably) shine as various "creatures of the street"

On the surface, it's a fairly conformable psycho-slasher crime picture with a heapin' helping of tittie and some very dodgy scenarios. But there's a distinct tongue-in-cheek subtly underlying the obvious pastiche of ANGEL, implying a wry sendup of the base material. Too, it joyously celebrates its own trashy nature with a good sense of humor about itself, yet still maintains a steady momentum of raw tension, violent action, and crisp direction.

With the surprising box office this film generated, a string of inferior but inevitable sequels followed(without the lovely Ms. Wilkes). Next up was AVENGING ANGEL.

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1980's cult classic
Falconeer13 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In 1984 this 'Hollywood teen hooker' drama was among the last of the truly great films of exploitation cinema. The story of Molly Stewart, the pretty, 15 year-old girl who attends a posh private school by day, but walks Hollywood Blvd. by night as a hooker named 'Angel', remains captivating to this day. The film has it all; a bit of sleaze, a bit of melodrama, and also a particularly creepy serial killer, who likes to make love to his victims... after he kills them! But as others have commented, the thing that makes this oddball film work, is the assortment of eccentric characters that hang out on the Boulevard after dark. Molly/Angel's friends include a couple of sweet & giggly "valley girl" type teen hookers, as well as a big old cross-dresser who comes up with some hysterical one-liners, but who also cares a great deal for

Angel. Not to mention that punked out landlady, and an aging cowboy who still wears his rhinestone outfits, and who also looks out for Angel. These people are likable, and it is surprising to find such character development in a film like this. And Donna Wilkes, as Angel/Molly is a very sympathetic and likable character. It is hard to believe that Wilkes was in her 20's at the time of filming, as she really does look like a teen here. Also worth mentioning is Hollywood Blvd. itself, as the Hollywood street becomes a character of it's own. Early 80's Hollywood is real eye candy, especially in this film. The dramatic elements really work here as well. The uncomfortable but sweet father/daughter relationship that develops between Angel and a police detective is handled surprisingly well. And when her classmates at her posh school find out about Molly's secret life, it is sad indeed. The sleaze element is definitely here, but it is more suggestion than graphic scenes of violence and nudity. The storyline of a necro serial killer hunting prostitutes could have been filmed in a vulgar and explicit fashion. But director Robert Vincent O'Neil avoids the more exploitative imagery, which disappoints some people, who are expecting endless amounts of rape and bloodshed. Personally I like my share of violence and soft core sex, but I really didn't miss it in this film, because it is actually a good movie. Therefore it doesn't need the heavy handed exploitation to hold ones attention. Plus the lack of real sleaze somehow makes the film more legitimate. 'Angel' works all the way through to it's climax of revenge; a wild shootout on the streets of Hollywood, with a crazed Angel hunting the man who murdered her friends. Since this film, there have been no less than 3 sequels, that are pretty much worthless, and Angel is played by a different no-talent bimbo every time. But this original is the real deal, a classic 80's cult time capsule.
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hilarious Hollywood street spoof with great cast
lorenzo21223 April 2002
Is it the best movie ever made? No. Is it one of the of the funniest of this genre? Yes. Definitely a must see. The story is a young prostitute meets murderer, but the supporting cast is what makes this a gem. The supporting cast includes: Rory Calhoun, as an aging western film star who still wears his holsters, boots and hat, and protects the streets; Dick Shawn as a transvestite with a heart and in one of his most hilarious roles - this was really Oscar stuff - just fun acting, no stuffiness here; and Susan Tyrrell, who steals the picture as a jaded Hollywood woman with more makeup that a tv evangelists wife. This is a film for a time when you really need to be entertained, not preached at, the film is a gas. Great late night fun flick for a group of friends. Really well done.
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sleazy fun!!!!!!!!!
shantaar-125 June 2004
Sure this is an over the top '80s sleazefest. Sure you might groan while watching it, but no film captured the sex-ridden heart of the sunset strip in the mid-80s better than this film.

The lovely Donna Wilkes is just sooo sweet as Angel, you can't help but feel for her in this movie, no dad, Mom just leaves for some guy! ouch! So she hooks up with wacked-out cowboy Rory Calhoun, wonderfully spoofing his own career. A cross-dresser with heart, Dick Shawn and a landlady who looks like Punk-X, the always welcome Susan Tyrell. But even when enjoying this weird dysfunctional "family" you know she needs something better. A serial killer, and a real sick bastard at that, on the loose just heightens the suspense. this is great shlock!
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Jekyll&Hyde Hooker
bkoganbing18 June 2015
The film Angel is one of those guilty pleasures one never gets tired of. So popular was it that a sequel was made. Unfortunately some of the cast of this one were killed and they couldn't come back.

The title role is played by Donna Wilkes who is a straight A student in school and kind of reserved, but by night she's working Hollywood Boulevard as a teenage hooker. She has an interesting but dubious reason for doing it which I cannot reveal.

She comes to the interest of LA homicide cop Cliff Gorman because he's looking for a serial slasher killer of young women on the stroll. The killer is John Diehl who likes prostitutes, but who likes them dead before he gets down to business.

This film is delicious god awful trash, but delightful because of some of the outrageous performances by some players who get a chance to really overact and strut their stuff. Susan Tyrell as a foul mouthed lesbian landlord, Dick Shawn as an aging drag queen, and Rory Calhoun who plays an old time western performer who is completely burlesquing his former western stardom in his prime, they're all just having a ball and you enjoy seeing them.

I can't rate Angel more than what I have, but if you watch it you're in for a treat.
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Creating Family
allagesyoga20 January 2016
This is a surprisingly sweet, even a wholesome film. The family that Angel /Molly has found on the streets is better than the family that abandoned her, and that seems to be the case for the entire cast of characters. You get this sense of a community of oddballs, ostracized for their sexuality or for unknown reasons, who have somehow found each other. There is so much care for each other. The killer is one of those 80s movie killers, trying to rid the world of sin, but the movie never once applies a sense of shame to its sex workers and other eccentrics. The killer is wrong to see them the way he does. They are all so human and so kind to one another. We were kind of clueless about a lot of things in the 80s, and the movie can be forgiven for eliding the truly sad realities of drug use and street life, because its mission isn't to show tragic hookers with hearts of gold, seeking redemption. It doesn't romanticize that life either. The people who meet and care about Angel want to get her off the streets because she is a damn child, but they don't judge her, they just protect her until she can do that. I also loved how clear the film is that she's actually a child. There were so many moments where she did something or reacted in a way that was so realistically 15 years old. I was surprised by this movie. It was . . . charming.
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The unflagging will to survive.
gkearns26 July 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Harriet (from Digging to China): "Sometimes great ideas came to me all at once."

Okay, about "Angel" (1984). Sometimes uninspired dialog. Story lines that go nowhere. Throw-away characters. Almost universally panned by critics. But one of my all-time favorite characters, and some of my all-time favorite scenes; therefore, I forgave it all its sins, and designated it one of my all-time favorite movies. In recent years it sort of slipped into my subconscious and lay there dormant ... until "all at once" this "great idea" came to me. I decided, as a special treat from one movie addict to all the other movie addicts out there, to unhesitatingly recommend the movie "Angel." I think the title character is one that most open-minded movie addicts will love.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. In "Angel," fifteen year old Molly (Angel)is a quiet, unassuming "A" student at an exclusive high school in L.A. She lives in an apartment in colorful, trashy downtown Hollywood. She has these two big secrets. One, she is for all practical purposes an orphan. Her father left seven years earlier, and her mother deserted her when Molly was twelve. Molly carries on the pretense that her mother still lives with her ("Too sick to come to the door") so that the authorities won't put her in foster homes. Two, she pays the steep tuition and supports herself in pretty good fashion from what she earns working as a street prostitute. She's beloved by the colorful characters who populate the area. And because she is such a serious student, between tricks she does her homework in the hotel lounge. (MORE SPOILERS) One of the great sequences comes when some of the not-so-honorable guys at the high school discover her secret life one night while they're cruising around looking for whatever. They think they can blackmail her and force her to have sex with them for free. BIG MISTAKE. Her response to them is direct, dramatic, and to my mind, delightful. (AND MORE SPOILERS) The movie's running story centers on a serial killer who's ritually killing prostitutes (no new territory there). But at the climax, what I think is one of the best movie scenes ever has the desperate murderer running in panic from the resolute, pursuing little Angel. In her hand she carries a cannon, a giant .44 caliber revolver, just as if she's John Wayne himself. A fabulous scene. This being 1984, they couldn't let her be the one to kill him of course, but that's okay; the image remains great. Actually, the gun in her hand is not a sudden plot device. Early on, to meet the threat of the serial killer, she bought a handgun and had an old western actor (Rory Calhoun) show her how to shoot it.

Whatever anybody might think about the movie, Donna Wilkes' Angel, the unique character with the unflagging will to survive, has to go down as a movie classic.
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Wizard-812 October 2002
On watching "Angel", one gets the impression that the movie could have gone one of two ways and been successful - had the filmmakers made enough of an effort. Sadly, the results are somewhat underwhelming. The most obvious way the movie could have gone is down the exploitation route. Surprisingly, there is very little that could be considered that - foul language is almost non-existent, the nudity is generally fleeting and never presented in an erotic manner, violence is not explicit, and not once we never see our heroine seriously involved in her "trade".

The other route the movie could have gone down is presenting the situation in a serious manner. Unfortunately, not much is done this way as well. We have crazy characters, but they really don't do much, nor do we learn much about them. Street life is also presented to be overall not a bad way to live. There are some believable complications that come up in the heroine's life, but once they come up they are barely dealt with. Possibly the reason for this is that the movie seems cut down seemingly from a longer cut. It would also explain why the movie at times jumps unbelievably quick from scene to scene before anything of real importance has the chance to come up.

The movie still remains strangely watchable all the same. Still, one cannot help but see so much wasted potential.
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Critically un-acclaimed success
emailandersonsales29 June 2005
While not being a Hollywood triumph, Angel is a wonderful film. Showing life on the streets is a large premise of the film, it takes care to preserve some humor as well. Not in the sense that it is a funny movie, as it is not; but it shows life as... well, life.

As most people who watch movies can relate, the enjoyment of a movie is not as a critic would describe. If you can feel the emotions of the characters, you can love them. If you can relate to the characters, you can befriend them. If you can care about the characters, the writers did their job, and you are now hooked. While Angel will not likely be a model in film school as one of the great classics, nor as an example of how to make a great movie, it is a highly entertaining film. You can feel the characters, even though they are not deeply constructed. The exception being Angel herself, whom you can see the wear and tear she goes through as an honor student and a prostitute.

I firmly believe that there is a message to be heard here, a storyline full of life, fun and adventure. Granted, it is not the best kept together, it does do the trick of conveying the message of the story across. The film allows you to care for the star, feel for the star, and cry with the star. A compassionate film that has supporting cast as abstract as could be, a little far fetched, maybe... but who really knows what kind of characters are really out there on the streets. But their conveyances of who they are allows you to realize their sense of why they are there. They are scared, they need the money, or they love it. Each supporting role as different as the others, but allows you to see the richness of the film in its entirety.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film numerous times, and am sure that you will too. Regardless of critical un-acclaim, most filmgoers can still see the enjoyment in a movie. Give every movie a chance. Especially Angel, as it is one of the finer forms of the un-acclaimed heroes in rental today
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One of the best 80's hooker-in-peril films.Donna Wilkes Rocked as Angel!!!!
badgrrlkane11 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Pure 80's exploitation, I remember (sadly) at the age of 9, after seeing this film that being a hooker might be fun, as this movie so plainly tries to make it out to be, as long as you dodge knife-wielding psychos & make sure you get straight A's & make sure your "two worlds don't collide"! Yes,I'm being sarcastic but i truly love this & the other great hookers-in-peril 80's film Vice Squad (which is a way more serious film). Donna Wilkes ( who in my opinion should have stayed in the business, she was a very good actress.) is in fine form as the main character Angel, the high school honor student by day, Hollywood Blvd hooker by night whose 2 worlds start to collide as a psycho with a knife starts to target her hooker comrades (one who is played very well by another underrated B-movie actress from the 80's & also one half of the Motley Crue backup vocalist group named the Nasty Habits, that toured with the Crue in the late 80's on their Girls Girls Girls tour, Donna McDanel)& as she's the only one to witness the guy picking up her soon to be murdered friend, the police want to her to identify him.Also, great is the late actors Rory Calhoun & the truly wonderful Dick Shawn (in one of the truly greatest drag queen performances of all time)as her friends from the street who think her mom's an invalid & she hooks to help them both survive. Also great is Susan Tyrell as Sally the landlady. The only thing that disappointed me about this films( as their were like 4 or 5 more sequels) is that they always replaced the actress to play the character of Angel with a different actress each time. Why didn't they just get Donna Wilkes? Betsy Russell, nor Mitzi Kapture did her justice not the way Ms Wilkes did. If you like 80's cult films this is a must-see. I must say though when I moved to Hollywood for a brief period in 2000 & in 2001, I never saw any prostitutes on Hollywood Blvd not like all of the ones i saw in 80's films?????? **** out of *****
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Overlooked by the Academy
JZvezda5 March 2003
Factoids about this stunning achievement of the cinematic arts and cherished family favorite--

* The dearly departed Dick Shawn ("Snow Miser") plays "Mae", the cross-dresser with a heart of gold and breasts of bird-seed. He's too much! Bah-dum-bump-bump!

* The dearly departed Susan Tyrell ("lots of bad movies she made cool by just being in") plays "Solly". To this day I have no idea what gender Solly was supposed to be. She wears wife-beaters and droopy trousers held up by suspenders. She shaves her eyebrows off and paints them back on Divine-style, with what looks to be a black Sharpie marker. She's lovely.

* The dearly departed Rory Calhoun (lots and LOTS of bad movies..'Motel Hell' rocks!) plays "Kit Carson". Kit is an out-of-work film cowboy who wanders the Hollywood strip decked out in full-on cowboy drag. The hat. The holster. The chaps and stirrups. The whole shebang! I think he may have been an escapee from an insane asylum or perhaps even a hardcore drug addict. It would make sense.

Oh...and there's a killer who likes to have sex with dead stuff. He's hunting down a teen-hooker who witnessed one of his murders, or something like that. There's a cop who does nothing the entire movie except look real worried. Or something. Who cares about this lame A-plot?

We want more of the matronly trannie! More of Susan Tyrell as the foul-mouthed... whatevershewas! Bring on the KooKoo-fer-CoCoPuffs Cowboy! Yeeeee-haaaw!
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With Angels Like This, Who Needs Demons?
rmax3048236 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
There aren't many good movies about necrophilia. For one thing, the subject is pretty disgusting. After even a few hours it's hard to make yourself believe that this was once a living human being. And to play a necrophiliac is, let's say, a challenge. Molly Parker pulled it off brilliantly in "Kissed" but here, John Diehl as the sinewy killer doesn't. He kills young whores on the Sunset Strip, takes the corpses home, and has his way with them. Actually, when you get right down to it, making love to a corpse sounds a little dull, but let's not talk about my marriage. Diehl sucks the innards out of a tiny hole in a raw egg while staring at his mother's photo. I don't think the laws of physics allow you to do that, but no matter. He finally scrunches the whole egg, shell and all, into his obscenely sucking mouth.

The theme itself is a familiar one -- another serial killer. But there are a lot of colorful characters built into the plot around this monster. They all hang together on Sunset Boulevard and play hop scotch over the name plates in the sidewalk. They all seem to know one another.

There's Susan Tyrrell as the punk landscape painter manqué. She has a voice whose croak is as distinctive as her Goth garb. She was my supporting player in the art house classic, "Windmills of the Gods." She and Cliff Gorman, the detective, are the two most skilled performers in the cast. Then there is Steven Porter as Yoyo Charlie, shy, dressed like Emmet Kelly, who "adores Donna Wilkes from afar." And, as impressive as any of the other goofy buskers, is Rory Calhoun, ex cowboy star, never much of an actor but still going strong and very likable. He gives the role everything he's got, which doesn't include nuance. Dick Shawn is the catty cross-dresser with a heart of gold.

Donna Wilkes -- high school student and honorable daughter by day, hooker by night -- is neither here nor there as an actress. She doesn't drop the ball entirely, just juggles around uncertainly with it, but she's not up to the bizarre levels of her street buddies. And she's too old for her role, despite the pig tails, but then so is everyone else in her high school class. Peter Jason, as the first john we see her with, overacts to the point of embarrassment. It's not even funny.

I can believe that the hustlers and whores know one another but it gives a false impression of what Los Angeles (and Southern California) is like in general. Think of the bustles, shouts, curses, and intrusions on the fetid streets of New York. Now take all that energy away. Los Angeles is not a village. It's an intricate system of freeways with some houses and malls sprinkled between.

The direction is routine, appropriate to a television movie, filled with jumbo close ups for the small screen, as in a commercial for a brokerage firm. The photography and lighting are pretty good, though. They DO evoke the Strip in the 80s. Except, I suppose at the director's insistence, the men who stand in the police line up are illuminated by kick lights on the floor, turning them all into zombies. You wouldn't be able to identify your father. The story -- well, it winds up with Angel striding grimly along Hollywood Boulevard, stalking a fake Hare Krishna while holding a huge revolver in her hand.

It's not a very good film. Serial killers have been subject to pattern exhaustion by now but I have nothing against them. "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" nettles the brain and "Se7evn," despite the stupid transposition of a letter and number, and in spite of all that dark rain, is truly spooky.
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One of the best films I've ever seen
srknightjohn27 July 2014
One of the best films I've ever seen. The film takes inspiration from some of the world's most macabre psycho murders cases and combines it with an A class script. The results is a cinema masterpiece that you don't see very often. The acting is stunning. It is very interesting and enjoyable to see the sickening mind of a demented serial killer brought to life with such a life like performance. Donna Wilkes, being one of the actors I've never heard of before, delivers one of the most touching performances I've ever seen. It is a very dark film and that is a good thing. I love films that takes its root from reality showing everything as they would in real life with all its tragedies instead of trying to create a cliché happy ending. The film is brutally honest, and that's a good thing. Everything is perfect about this film. I'm glad I've come across it. I wish every film I see is of this caliber. After watching this, I realized this is part of a trilogy. I can't wait to see the rest.
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Something Sweeeeet
chagood200128 December 2000
I love this movie! Donna Wilkes does a super acting job as Angel/Molly She's the best "Angel" of them all in my book!(no offense Besty Russel, by the way I loved you in Tomboy!)The late,great, and superb Dick Shawn is funny as Angel's friend and mentor.Steve Porter is Delightful as YoYo Man. Susan Tyrell is fun as the landlord! I hope since they own the rights Anchor Bay releases all the Angel's on DVD like they did with "Tuff Turf" another great New World Movie. All in all I give it 6 out of 10.
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Shy Angel
Dr. Gore25 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers

I bought this video for three bucks. You don't know how long I've been staring at the video box cover of "Angel" and wondering when I was going to get around to watching it. The front cover of "Angel" is pure exploitation. It has Angel on the left side of the cover wearing pigtails and holding some schoolbooks. The right side of the front cover has Angel in high heels and a short red skirt. The tag line is "High School Honor Student by day. Hollywood Hooker by night." Classic! This is a film that no sleazy film lover could possibly resist.

One thing you can say about the tag line for "Angel": It didn't lie. So Angel is a high school honor student by day and a Hollywood hooker by night. She hangs out with other ladies of the night and tries to earn some money. A mad killer is stalking Hollywood Blvd. and wants to slice and dice some hookers. Angel won't stand for it. She's got a gun that's bigger than she is and she can't wait to use it.

Well, I wanted to love this movie but it just wasn't sleazy enough for me. I should have known the video box cover was too good to be true. The main problem with "Angel" is that Angel does not get naked. Does NOT get naked. I found this to be troublesome since she was supposed to be a Hollywood hooker. Not only that, she doesn't have any sex scenes in the entire movie. No sex scenes for a Hollywood hooker movie? She even says at one point, "I've had sex with hundreds of men…" When was that Angel? Was that in a different movie? Why is Angel being so shy?

That's the basic problem with "Angel". It's trying to be a real movie when it should have been sticking to being extra sleazy. "Angel" gets pretty emotional for a Hollywood hooker flick. Angel tends to cry a lot about her family life or lack thereof. Not to seem heartless but I don't really want to see Angel weeping uncontrollably. There are a few scenes of gratuitous female nudity at the high school locker room and some decent fight scenes but overall "Angel" was kind of a letdown.

Great video box cover. So-so B-flick.
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The Ultimate B-Whore Movie!
slapborisday5 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has it all. Action and hookers, gunfights, cursing, sex, murder, and did I mention hookers? Just what the b-movie doctor ordered on a late Saturday Night. You'll want to fog up the windows, feeling as if you're at a drive-in watching this (or not!). The story is simple. Plain girl at school by day; hot hooker chick at night. All taking place on Hollywood Boulevard. The actress who plays Angel looks like a young Sally Field... sort of. She can act better than most b-movie vixens; and a heck of a lot better than the two other actresses who carried on the "Angel legend" in two other lamer sequels. This movie is bad, but good. A good bad movie. Anyone who loves the genre knows what I mean. The cast is great actually. As in, all formerly great actors. Rory Calhoun stands out as a cowboy who claims he's Kit Carson; he's nutty but ya gotta love him; he's Angel's number one protector on the streets. Then there's Susan Tyrell, who overacts like birds fly, playing a tough lady who paints bad pictures and owns the cheap hotel where Angel lives with a supposed invalid mother. Cliff Gorman, who looks like a handsome version of Nick Tortelli from 'Cheers', plays Angel's father figure and mentor; a cop who wants to save her from the streets. And Dick Shawn plays a cross-dresser with a heart of gold. Oh, and John Diel as the bad guy; that's Cruiser from 'Stripes' if you really need to know. And so, I quite recommend this movie. As I said, it will entertain. And best of all, it's not boring. Suited perfect for a long weekend night!
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An underrated gem.
bigpappa1--213 May 2000
Wilkes is honer student by day at an expensive prep school, hooker by night. This movie was unfairly tossed and not given a chance. An underrated gem of a movie. The film is filled with colorful characters and fairly well done. Wilkes is very appealing as Molly/Angel. Seek this movie out. I gave it an 8/10.
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Unique Story Line and View of Living on the Streets of L.A.
steve_kaden11 January 2001
I gave this movie a higher than earned score simply for the uniqueness of the story line. I thought that the number of characters and the story that was built around each and then their interrelationship with each other was done with some real style.

The movie didn't have the budget to produce an Oscar winner and made do with some lesser named actors and actresses. I found it to be a entertaining way to pass some time and would probably enjoy seeing it again. This doesn't hold true for the sequels.
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What a double life does to a person
GOWBTW14 May 2020
Trying to survive in the world, or trying to survive life,period. That's what Molly(Donna Wilkes) is trying to do. During the day, she's a high school student with straight A's. At night, she's Angel, a prostitute. While her friends at school are one thing, her friends at night are considered her "family". Simply because her parents are not with her at home. Her mother went out East, and her father left her years later. When her secret catches up with her when two of her call girls friends are murdered by a maniac, the police lieutenant goes all out to be a father figure to her. When her friends at school find out, she is now "screwed". It's the last straw when her cross-dressing friend "Mae"(Dick Shawn) is slain, she goes on the hunt for the killer. This film is well made, good cast, plenty of action. I wouldn't put down this gem . 4 out of 5 stars.
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Beauty And Brains Are A Significant Plus When Walking The Streets.
buckikris9 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Angel( Donna Wilkes) is a 15 year-old honor student at her private high school in Los Angeles, California. She is somewhat of a private person who one day gets questioned by Principle Patricia Allen( Elaine Giftos), why she isn't involved in extracurricular activities? Angel tells her, her studies take up most of her time; and she takes care of her mom who had a stroke. What the school and her classmates don't know is Angel leads a secret life. She is an A+ student, but at night she is a prostitute who works Sunset BVLD.. She has been a hooker since she was 12 years old, when her parents left her. Kit Carson( Rory Calhoun) is an older man who dresses as a cowboy and works an act with his two guns. He looks after Angel and will remind you of Sam Elliot. In the building she lives in Solly Mosler( Susan Tyrell) is the landlord. Mae( Dick Shaw) who is a drag queen hangs around both Sally and Angel, and usually is the one with the low-down on everything. Angel usually hangs with both of them along with two other hookers, Crystal( Donna McDaniel) and Lana( Graem McGavin). One night a psycho( John Diehl) starts targeting prostitutes. His first victim is Lana, then Crystal. His M.O. is taking them to a hotel, the start to get undressed while he waits. Then he gets close enough to strangle them and then when dead he has sex with them. When he is done he brutally abuses the bodies.

After Angel hears the news about Lana she is extremely careful with her Johns. When she finds out what happened to Crystal, she needs to go to the police. When she meets with Lt. Andrews( Cliff Gorman) he questions her. The only thing she can tell him about the suspect is his unique boots. When he is bought in for a line up she identifies him by the shoes, but he kills 2 cops and escapes. Lt. Andrews finds out who she really is, and wonders why she does this? She tells him her story, and realizes she is probably his next target. The two know something needs to be done, before he gets to her. Lt. Andrews and Angel team up, along with undercover cops, she is now under surveillance so the will be able to catch this creep.

One night while working the streets, three of her classmates spot her, and try to rape her. Luckily she has her gun and scares the S**T out of them. The next day at school becomes hell for her. The word gets out about what happened. Her locker is searched and a gun is found. Meanwhile, the killer changes his appearances so he can target Angel. He blends into the Hare Krisha Cult, with their shaved heads and robes. An undercover cop notices him breaking away from the cult and heading toward Angel's apartment complex. Once there he is killed, stuffed into a phone booth shot in the head. The killer finds Mae and a fight breaks out, Mae is killed. When Angel comes back and sees what has happened she takes Solly's gun and walks up Sunset BVLD. She is determined to find the killer if it is the last thing she does. When Lt. Andrews, Kit Carson, and Elaine hear about it, they get moving. They are hot on her trail making sure she doesn't do anything stupid. The follow her into a back alley, were Kit shoots him fatality in the chest.

I remember seeing the trailer for this movie when I was 12. I never got around to seeing this until I found it on UTUBE, the other day. It is a great movie with an important life lesson about how turning tricks can be the ultimate nightmare.
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SanteeFats21 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A fifteen year old high school student with great grades is also a hooker at night on Sunset Blvd. The fact that she is played by a 25 year old woman is besides the point, I guess. There is a nut case out killing whores and so she is on the list of course. The creep kills one of her fellow pros. So there is fear on the streets. Dick Shawn plays a transvestite who also works the streets, loves Angel like a sister, and ends up getting killed by said psycho. This sets Angel off and she gets a gun and goes looking for the killer. He attacks her, she gets rescued and starts stalking him. Running him down she takes a couple of shots at him but he ends up getting gunned down by a street performer played pretty well by of all people Rory Calhoun.
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Lost in a fish market.....
FlashCallahan3 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
15 year-old Molly is the best in her class. Nobody suspects that the model pupil earns her money as lady of the night "Angel".

The well organised separation of her two lives is shattered when two of her friends are murdered.

She's the only eye witness and becomes a target. The investigating Detective helps her, not only to survive, but also to query why she does what she does....

I really have no idea what I actually just saw, but after about thirty minutes, I couldn't stop myself from enjoying it.

Everything about wreaks of exploitation, but it's not in your face. Never once do we see the titular character partake in any occupational traits, it's as if she spends the night with the worse cross-dresser in town, and a woman with amazing eyebrows, whilst avoiding a killer.

Diehl is brilliant as the killer, and although he virtually utters no lines, he's quite a sinister presence.

With films like this, there are huge unintentional laughs, and the best pedestrians on the street looking bemused, but that's what makes this film so much fun.

It's bonkers, cheesy, way over the top, and short.

Plus it's the best film ever to feature a Hare Krishna fight a transvestite.
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Love that theme song!
Hey_Sweden23 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Angel" is a classic of its era, a trash favourite with an effectively exploitative concept, of a 15 year old honour student, Molly Stewart, played by the lovely Donna Wilkes, who walks Hollywood Boulevard at night as a hooker named Angel. She DOES want more out of life, and actually is just doing whatever she can to support herself with her actual parents nowhere in sight. She still has a loving family of sorts, albeit a highly unconventional one made up of colourful characters like drag queen Mae (Dick Shawn), faded cowboy actor Kit Carson (Rory Calhoun), and butch lesbian landlord (the inimitable Susan Tyrrell). She will need to rely on these people when an extremely creepy necrophiliac killer (a pre-'Miami Vice' John Diehl) is butchering Angel's fellow prostitutes. "Angel" may not be exploitative as some fans may wish it to be, but it's still awfully hard to resist, especially with those striking scenes set on the Boulevard and a soundtrack featuring a theme song, "Something Sweet", performed by The Allies. There's a fair amount of comedy, often thanks to Shawn and Tyrrell; however, while Shawn camps it up a bit, he does invest the character with some dignity and appeal even while so outrageously attired. In fact, the movie hits its emotional peaks quite well. The theme of abandonment by parents gives the movie some poignancy and Wilkes really scores in the scenes where she's required to give the exposition / back story, and one can really sympathize with the Angel character. She actually does a pretty convincing job of playing about a decade years younger than she was at the time. Cliff Gorman is likewise engaging as Lt. Andrews, the compassionate detective who develops a concern for Angel's welfare. Calhoun is an absolute hoot, as is Tyrrell. A number of familiar faces appear in other roles big and small: Elaine Giftos ("Gas!", "The Student Nurses") is the kindly school counsellor, John Carpenter regular Peter Jason the jovial john, Steven M. Porter is the street entertainer Yo-Yo Charlie, Gene Ross ("Don't Look in the Basement", "Halloween 4") is the vice cop, and Ross Hagen an urban cowboy. Diehl is memorable as the psycho, uttering not a word until his final scene. Viewers will appreciate the breast shots, although the shower sequence where we see some full frontal nudity is awfully fleeting. Generally agreeable and entertaining, "Angel" moves along very well to its inevitable ending; it would be followed by a few sequels in the years to come. Eight out of 10.
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Good Golly, Miss Molly!
BA_Harrison23 September 2011
Just one look at the poster for this film, which depicts its winsome star Donna Wilkes both as pig-tailed, 15-year-old high-school student Molly and hot-pants wearing Hollywood hooker Angel, and it is clear that the film has bags of sleazy potential: after all, isn't under-age prostitution always a winner? Factor in the film's vicious serial killer angle, the seedy locale, and a whole menagerie of LA weirdos, and this could easily have been an essential slice of hard-hitting 80s exploitation. Sadly, this is not quite the case...

If one is to believe Angel's writer/director Robert Vincent O'Neill, Hollywood Boulevard circa 1984 was a gaudy wonderland where, even if one's dreams didn't come true, there was still friendship to be found among the kind-hearted hookers and lovable oddballs who walked the streets at night; psycho killer aside, everyone in the film is essentially a good soul despite their outwards appearance or dubious life choices. While O'Neill's rather rose-tinted view of Hollywood and his affection for his characters gives the film heart, it also seriously undermines its ability to act as a truly gritty shocker.

Particularly notable is the reluctance to depict Angel actually plying her trade, as if doing so might make the viewer less sympathetic towards her plight; she spends most of her time chatting to friends, and the one time she actually picks up a john, the scene is cut short before any hanky panky can take place (in fact, virtually all the nudity in this film occurs in the girls locker room at Angel's high school, and none of it is from Wilkes!). O'Neill also kindly spares his viewers the pain of seeing any of the oh-so-undeserving murder victims dispatched in detail, meaning that the film is disappointingly light on gore.

The good news is that, even though Angel frustratingly wimps out on the stronger stuff, thereby denying it legendary status, the film still offers plenty for it to warrant a viewing: John Diehl makes for a convincingly deranged killer; Susan Tyrrell, Dick Shawn, and Rory Calhoun give strong supporting performances; cinematographer Andrew Davis effectively captures Hollywood's seamy vibe; and last but not least, there's the undeniable appeal of Donna Wilkes who, whether in school uniform or slutty work attire, looks gorgeous throughout.
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