Sunday, April 22, 2012

Angel III: The Final Chapter (1988)


Though not strong enough to warrant a full fledged film series, New World Pictures couldn't pass up on the opportunity to franchise their money making hooker with a heart of gold character "Angel" thus they forged on to bring audiences a so-called "final chapter" into their "Angel" saga. To my surprise "Angel III" ended up better than I expected but I did go into the film with low expectations after the utterly disappointing second entry "Avenging Angel".
Angel (this time played by Mitzi Kapture) is a successful photo journalist (so much for that law degree she worked so hard for in the second film!) and while on an assignment runs into her mother that abandoned her in the first film. Not long after confronting her mother and learning about a sister she never had, her mother gets blown up so Angel sluts herself up to go undercover as a call girl to find her sister and bring down a high class drug/slave operation.
Mama go boom
Lots of changes in personal between the "Avenging Angel" and "Angel III" occur, most notably series creator Robert Vincent O'Neill stepping down and letting exploitation filmmaker Tom DeSimone take over the franchise reins. DeSimone, hot off his women-in-prison spoof "Reform School Girls", surprisingly takes the film into more serious territory, a breath of fresh air from the overly silly second film. Sadly he also does away with many staples of the original two films, like the quirky secondary characters and the whole street prostitution backdrop causing the franchise to get farther and farther from it's roots.
Our new 'girl next door' version of Angel with her new sidekicks
Also new to the series is star Mitizi Kapture, the third actress to portray the title character. Was it seriously that hard to get an actress to return for a sequel? Though Donna Wilkes fit the role the best, Mitizi comes out being my personal favorite actress in the role and seems much more comfortable than Betsy Russell in "Avenging Angel", though she does maybe have a hair too much of 'the girl next door' image to pull off an ex-hooker. Dispite that she is gorgeous and has a strong presence for an exploitation film. Alongside her is an 'old friend' named Spanky (Mark Blankfield) who never appeared in a film before this. Why not bring back one of the secondary characters from the other films? Even if the same actor wouldn't return why not replace him/her? It never stopped the filmmakers from recasting Angel! We also get Richard Roundtree in one of his many stock cop roles and ex-Bond girl Maud Adams as the leader of the whole drug operation.
"Where's my paycheck?"
"Avenging Angel" was a better 'sequel' but "Angel III: The Final Chapter" is a better film, if that makes any sense. "Avenging Angel" was a much more solid when it came to continuity but the more serious plot and darker tone of "Angel III" made it more engrossing film experience for me, though the tone shift may alienate some "Angel" fans in the long run. For a third entry into an action exploitation series, it wasn't that bad. Much like "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter", the subtitle is a complete lie as an "Angel 4" did emerge some years later but this one marked the end of the theatrical run of the franchise.
 Written By Eric Reifschneider

No comments:

Post a Comment