Former porn star Marilyn Chambers (Behind the Green Door, if your personal database doesn't immediately click on that claim-to-fame) stars as Angel Harmony, top agent of a covert action organization called H.E.A.T., and to show you what kind of a movie this is, we are never going to be informed what that acronym means. Her latest mission - to investigate the mysterious doings of scientist-possibly-gone-wrong Albert Shockley (Dan Jesse) - brings her into conflict with two other secret agents, Mark Wisdom (Stephen Johnson) and Samantha Vitesse (none other than Mary Woronov).
Five years after her star turn in the non-porn Rabid, Marilyn Chambers made this attempt at a comedy-adventure. Trading heavily on Chambers' adult movie career, Angel is loaded with about as much nudity as the R rating would allow, but it's obvious the movie would prefer to be regarded as more than a mere drive-in boobfest. Unfortunately, it gives the viewer no reason to do that. Low-octane action scenes do little more than call attention to the lack of time and budget, and the most telling example of the humor on display is embodied in the character of Angel's mentor and trainer: Han Zeisel, played by familiar Asian character actor Gerald Okamura, dubbed with a Bad Komedy German Accent.
I will admit to laughing when the villain finally shows up in an appropriately super-villainesque purple-and-black outfit complete with lined cape; and one advantage to the rampant nudity is seeing Ms. Woronov in the altogether (I do have my weaknesses). But the rather disjointed storytelling (it takes a third of the movie to figure out if Angel, Wisdom and Samantha are supposed to be good guys or bad guys) and a seeming inability to commit to a uniform tone inevitably short-circuit this movie as entertainment to anyone but fans of Chambers or hardcore drive-in/crap movie fanatics. And we can thank the stars above that the implied threat of a sequel in the movie's subtitle: The Protectors, Book # 1 - was never carried out.
But hey. Mary Woronov naked. That counts for something.
The quality here is of a piece with other Monterey Video discs - a soft image, likely from a tape master, and far too dark, like its MV contemporary Girls Are For Loving. I suspect this is a about as good as Angel is ever going to look, though, as these were the very same criticisms levelled at the old Vestron laserdisc of this movie.
In fact, if you watch the closing credits to the very end, the Vestron Video logo appears. Hmmm.....
More fodder for flashbacks to Monterey's Ginger discs here: First you have a "Totally Marilyn Pictorial", which is six pages of nude Chambers photos (two per page), most taken from the naked karate practice seen in the opening titles of the movie. A theatrical trailer is available, also from a tape master, but also one of the few pieces of evidence I can find that this ever played in theaters. There's also the usual "Other DVDs" which leads you to a page cluttered with Montery's other discs, which run to extreme sports, Grateful Dead concerts, and the Ginger series. A "Marilyn Bio" rounds out things - barely two pages of very little information, ending with "It's certainly been a unique path to stardom."
Did I mention Mary Woronov gets naked in this movie?
Dr. Freex, 2/18/2004