Angel Eyes (1993)
Angel Eyes (1993)

Genre: Crime Drama and Thriller Running Time: 1 hr. 24 min.

Release Date: March 17th, 1993 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Gary Graver Actors: Monique Gabrielle, John Phillip Law, Rachel Vickers, Erik Estrada, Suzanne Ager, John Coleman, Hoke Howell, Richard Harrison

 


 

A

woman is violently murdered by her daughter – in the backyard in broad daylight while hanging laundry. Despite the blood and the slashing knife (filmed as if trying to copy “Psycho”), this sequence is hysterical, not just because of the bad acting and the poor dubbing, but because of the goofy way in which white sheets interfere with the dying woman, rather than properly augmenting her death flails. It sets the amateurish tone for the rest of the picture, which segues into the opening titles and then into a lengthy sex scene feature plenty of nudity and simulated sex.

While the doorbell rings and the rain pours down outside, real estate agent Steven Fox (John Phillip Law) makes love to his girlfriend, Michelle (Rachel Vickers, later known as adult film star Raven) – written to be exceptionally moody and fickle and drunk. After a number of position changes, Steven finally pads downstairs to open the door. “Daddy! It’s me, Angel!” A full-grown woman, Angel (Monique Gabrielle), claims to be a stepdaughter, requesting a place to stay the night. Although Michelle is furious and incredulous, Steven gives Angel the upstairs room – where she unpacks a suitcase full of stuffed animals and dolls.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles loan shark, money launderer, and political conman Johnny La Costa (Erik Estrada) has to twist a few arms to collect monies owed and to instill fear (in league with bigger boss Vince [Richard Harrison]). He’s also quite willing to commit murder if he thinks his clients can’t pay up. More importantly to the target audience of the film, however, Johnny has a collection of naked, sunbathing women lounging around or skinny-dipping, as if to meet a quota on exposed flesh.

“Wait a minute, young lady.” It soon becomes apparent that Angel is deviously manipulative and considerably unhinged – terrorizing the household, cutting herself, spying on her stepfather’s sexual activities, and plotting untimely demises. This, of course, is a good thing for viewers, since it results in Angel climbing into a shower with Michelle (and, later, seducing her), leaving her robe open for when her stepfather walks in on her, and rubbing herself as she imagines being between the sheets with Steven (which is, expectedly, fully visualized).

The film is mostly comprised of sex scenes or other opportunities for nakedness, leaving little in the way of plot. This is entirely anticipated, as the project is only slightly removed from cheap porn. The storytelling, scripting, and acting (especially by Gabrielle and Vickers) are basically equivalent, as is the brooding saxophone music. Lines are recited so pitifully that it’s comical; even transitions into the next romp in the bedroom are so haphazard that they inspire laughter. “Take me shopping!” cries Michelle, only for the outburst to cut abruptly to another sex scene. And it only gets more outrageously bad from there; if the setup had been taken seriously, instead of serving as an excuse for softcore sex, it might have made for a genuinely unnerving thriller. But the end result is just absurdly trashy filmmaking (with a curiously poetic parting shot).

– Mike Massie

  • 2/10