Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Angels aren't the only ones...

Tortured Angels - aka Strike of the Tortured Angels  (Asso Asia Films, 1982)

Sure, why shouldn't the pic of the poster be
 as visually muddy as the print I watched?

Before the Camera:

"Susan Lee"   (psuedonym)
"Stella Jone"   (fake name)
"George Bill"  (alias)
"Larry Moore"  (nom de acting)
"Jim Man"  (nickname)
Laura Sode-Matteson (a waitress 11 times on TV's original Hawaii 5-0!)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by "Roy Rosenberg"

Produced by "Kenneth Holl"

Written by "Gary Capra Jr." and "Dick O'Nell"

Ah, the venerable women-in-prison (WIP) flick. Was there ever a genre of film more rigidly formatted? (Much like a prisoner's schedule...come to think of it...) You got your opening sequence outside the prison, where your lead character commits a crime or gets framed; you have a quick trial sequence - so quick it usually picks up with the judge banging his gavel to signify the end of the trial; you get the exit from the van at the prison; the tough talk from some of the other new arrivals, and sometimes a beatdown of one of them to establish how mean and tough the guards are; the first humiliations during processing; receiving the standard issue prison garb; the first of usually several shower scenes; the first fight over territory (i.e. top or bottom bunk?) the guards showing they'll be no help; the introduction of the warden, either pleasant but ineffectual, or vicious and sadistic and plenty effectual; allies and enemies on the block are established; the weak willed ally either goes mad and dies trying a mad dash to freedom, or is tricked into an isolated spot (usually the showers) and killed by the lead villain; and finally, one of two climaxes: The Big Breakout™ or The Final Battle with the Baddie™.
    Here we have an Asian WIP movie, and as they so often do, the Asian filmmakers put their own unique spin on the format:
    They do almost none of the above.
    There are some women in prison. One guard is kind of mean, but only around sometimes and really more stern than mean. There are no shower scenes, and for an exploitation flick it stays awfully chaste, with precisely one tush onscreen briefly. There's no plot in the prison, and around the halfway mark the filmmakers seem to grow bored of the prison (they weren't the only ones) and have the three leads escape. They head to the home of the lead character's sister, and the prison doctor follows them there, and the whole thing turns into more of a talky soap opera than a WIP flick.
    This is truly some wretched filmmaking. Check out those fake Americanized credits up there. It's just chintzy from the get-go, and never delivers anything you're looking for when you sit down to watch a movie like this. There is, however, one aspect of this movie that will forever mark it in my mind. Here is a visual aid:

 That's right. The African American woman in the lead trio is not African American. She's not even African Asian. She's instead played by an Asian woman in blackface and afro wig. In the 1980's. I kept thinking I was wrong. But you can see for yourself. Why they couldn't bring in an appropriate actress for the role I will never know. I will say one positive thing for this wrongheaded enterprise: at least the woman dubbing her does nothing to "play it black;" instead giving her a very middle of the road voice so at least it doesn't go that extra step across the line.
    Nonetheless - this is a unforgivably clean piece of filmic trash that should give you a new hobby: Not Watching It.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Around 49:18, the actress pictured above is tired of playing with bikers.

Eye Candy ?  


Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says "Tortured Angels was shot in Hong Kong. Sadly, it recovered."

Yup. Til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

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