Angel in the Dark (1991)

Angel in the Dark VHS CoverWhat if you were a cop and your partner got killed? What if your wife was shot in the back? What if your little daughter was pumped full of lead as you watched and screamed? And it all happened at once!

How far you would go for vengeance? Would you tear apart the city until you brought those responsible to justice? Would you break both man and God’s laws to set things right? Or maybe you would crawl into a bottle of cheap hooch, become a dirty disgusting bum and never get revenge!

We all handle our grief in different ways and there isn’t a right or wrong way to process the terrible things that happens to the ones we love. But I think we can all agree that Michael turning into a whiskey-soaked hobo who hangs out in alleys where dead bodies are dumped by the local drug cartel is pretty freaking lame. It doesn’t help that you can’t stop laughing as he feebly attempts to play at being a bum by wearing what looks like a bum costume from a Halloween store.

Dirty trench coat, pork pie hat, and fingerless gloves complimented by his perpetual five o’clock shadow would no doubt make him the life of your masquerade party, but watching him slumped over the bar while a fight is destroying everything around him, you’re just urging him to get on with the business of cleaning himself up and kicking ass. This is a Teddy Page movie starring Romano Kristoff, not Leaving Las Vegas!

Michael though doesn’t wear the most ridiculous costume in the film. His reluctant partner in taking down the cartel, Eddie, is forced to wear a getup that makes you wonder just what in the hell Nick Fury is doing in a Filipino Z movie.

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Dressed all in black with a eye patch, Eddie is an undercover narc trying to take down the Snowman (yes we’re laughing at that, but Eddie actually says it with a straight face) who is moderately skilled at kickboxing (he needs to hide a piece of metal under his coat to defeat an opponent) and pushes Michael to finally straighten up and get on with the training montage before the big money fight.

But what does that have to do with either Eddie busting Snowman or Michael getting revenge? Beats me, but more importantly it did provide Michael the money he needed to pay for the operation to restore the eyesight of a blind little girl! A blind little girl who was the daughter of the hooker Michael loved!

But what about Carlos, Lynn’s vicious pimp? Michael beats the crap out of him and then after Lynn and her blind kid are kidnapped by Snowman in an effort to force Eddie to return the drug shipment he ripped off, Eddie shoots him about a hundred times!

That raises two questions we need to answer. First, the reason why Michael isn’t dealing with Carlos during the epic war that destroyed chunks of the building all this was going down in was because he’s main eventing with Snowman and Snowman’s designated kickboxing monster, a big brown dude with war paint and spiked hair extensions! Second, yes this movie is that bad ass!

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Angel in the Dark is the sort of poorly dubbed, non-acted collection of silly scenes full of dialogue so deficient you’ll be lightheaded from giggling (taking the blind kid to the park to get balloons is exactly the sort of awful scene you want your garbage action movie to be when there’s a little down time between outbreaks of heavy weapons fire) that doesn’t seem like a masterpiece of micro budgeted mayhem when it starts, but by the time Michael is ziplining across a building to catch the falling blind girl, you just can’t help but gawk in appreciative disbelief.

The first hour with Michael pretending to be skid row drunk who doesn’t care about anything is pretty tedious going. How many times can he and Eddie encounter each other before they team up and wreck everything in front of them? And the longer it goes on, the worse Eddie looks as drunken Michael saves Eddie’s butt by beating up three guys at once after watching with vague amusement as Eddie almost gets choked out!

A movie like Angel in the Dark is supposed to pay off big time as it wraps up (hero vs. villain to settle everything!) and it is here that the film unleashes all that you can possibly want. The whore and her daughter are captured, Michael has hooked a time bomb up to the drug shipment, Eddie and his cops are raiding the building while Snowman and his soldiers are trying to kill everyone!

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There’s nothing poetic or artful about what follows, it’s the action movie equivalent of a drunken one night stand and you don’t care how sloppy, dirty and disgusting it is, you’re just enjoying the ride!

Try not to get caught up in Michael’s back and forth with Snowman’s painted henchmen as he’s thrown, kicked and punched through walls and gets so desperate that he bites the big bastard on his side just after smashing him in the head with a rock. And it ends the only way it could – with Michael pulling the guy by his deadly braids backward until he is impaled in the throat by an exposed metal bar while both men are screaming at the top of their lungs!

But what about the revenge for his dead family? Snowman was likely behind it, but let’s be honest – the hot hooker was an upgrade over the dead wife in the unflattering mom jeans.

© 2015 MonsterHunter

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