Angels’ Brigade

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Charlie’s Magnificent 7 Angels.”

After her brother is severely beaten by a drug dealer, Las Vegas lounge singer (!) Michelle Wilson (Kiger, Miss January 1977) is visited by his teacher (Cole), who knows the location of the cartel’s drug warehouse. Wilson puts together a team of women who have reason to want to take the dealers down, including a stuntwoman (Anderson) and an undercover cop (Grant). There’s also a martial-arts instructress, a model and, tagging along, one of the teacher’s pupils. They build a heavily-armed van, train in the ways of war, and rip off a bunch of militia types for weaponry, before staging a successful raid that destroys the warehouse. However, the mob (led by veteran actors Peter Lawford and Jack Palance) are not prepared to let them get away with it.

This is best known through its use – in a severely truncated form – on MST3K, and I suspect that’s where most of the 1,200+ votes on the IMDB come from [it’s more than, say, the rather better-renowned Black Mama, White Mama]. The unedited version is less worthy of derision. I wouldn’t call it great cinema, but it heads from Point A to Point B in a brisk fashion, and the practical effect – stunts, explosions, etc. – are decent enough. Of course, there’s little or no characterization to speak of, on either side, it’s clearly ripped off from Charlie’s Angels, and there’s a weird unevenness of tone that is hard to handle. For instance, the militia types are incredibly incompetent, bumping into each other at the drop of a swastika, but then the girls seriously consider dropping a truck on the head of an informant.

However, I couldn’t bring myself to hate this to the level its former position in the IMDB Bottom 100 would project. There’s something almost charmingly naive about such a simplistic approach, and it’s also refreshingly free of any romantic angles to slow things down. At a few points, I even found myself contemplating the remake potential. If the discussed all-female version of The Expendables ever comes to pass, it might not be too dissimilar to this, though hopefully with more originality.

Dir: Greydon Clark
Star: Susan Kiger, Sylvia Anderson. Jacqulin Cole. Robin Greer

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